OGDEN — When the clock hit zeroes on Aug. 30 in Salt Lake City, the box score showed Weber State football with 61 yards gained for the evening in its 41-10 loss to Utah.
The run game was flummoxed up front by a great Utah defensive line. The passing game was disrupted by an even better Utes secondary.
And several days later, after Utah’s final statistical review of the game, Weber’s offensive output was lowered to 59 yards — just seven shy of WSU’s all-time record low of 52 yards gained in a 1964 shutout loss to Idaho State — in 53 offensive plays.
Kaden Jenks, the redshirt sophomore given the daunting task of quarterbacking a new offense against a soon-to-be-ranked Utah team, threw 5 of 22 for 13 yards.
“That’s an awful rough place to play your very first game as a quarterback when you’re the visiting team,” WSU offensive coordinator Dave Schramm said. “But he’s good, he’s had a great attitude. He sees he left some throws out on the field and he’s worked to get better.”
It might take a shift of temperament, if not a total bout of amnesia, to move forward positively.
“Everybody has been working hard,” Schramm said. “There wasn’t one guy on offense who came close to playing a great game, so we’ve got a ways to go. But their attitude has been great.”
It’s not all on Jenks to make the offense go. He led a zero-turnover effort and delivered some throws on time and on target that were dropped, exacerbating the rough day the offense was having all-around.
“He did a nice job taking care of the football but, obviously, we’ve got to complete some balls,” Schramm said.
After in-depth review of game film, he said coaches were satisfied with players’ effort from start to finish, but assignment issues, typical especially for players in their first college games, threw wrenches into moving the ball.
“But that’s no excuse, we’re not making excuses for it,” Schramm said. “Guys understand, we’ve all got to do a better job. I’ve got to do a better job putting them in the right position to be successful.”
Injuries didn’t help, either, most notably the right-knee sprain to senior running back Treshawn Garrett that has him unlikely to play this week at Cal Poly. With redshirt freshman Josh Davis slated to start in the backfield, Schramm said his work is to match who is available with the right game plan.
“You put the game plan together based on certain guys playing in certain spots, so you’ve got to shuffle your papers a little bit — but that’s all part of the deal,” Schramm said.
WSU and Cal Poly kickoff in a non-conference game at 7 p.m. MDT Saturday, Sept. 8, in San Luis Obispo, California.