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Matt Piper and Kyle Goon
Matt Piper and Kyle Goon cover University of Utah sports teams for The Salt Lake Tribune. Matt Piper is on twitter at @matthew_piper, Kyle Goon is on twitter at @kylegoon

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Utes' O-line issues continue

Dejected doesn't even begin to describe the mood of Utah coach Kyle Whittingham and the Utah players in the post-game interview session Saturday following the loss to Arizona State.

As defender Trevor Reilly aptly put it, the 20-19 loss was "hard" and "sucked." Add "heart-wrenching to that description as well.

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Utah's fourth-quarter collapse denied the Utes a much-needed win to stop their losing streak and keep their bowl hopes strong.

Instead the Utes must prepare for Oregon wondering if their offense will ever return to the efficiency of the first few games.

The latest problem, Utah's poor offensive line play, is a troubling and mysterious issue.

The Utes haven't had any lineup changes or injuries, yet they've given up 13 sacks in the last three games after allowing eight in the first six.

Granted, Utah has faced some good competition in recent weeks, but it still doesn't explain away the poor play.

Whittingham said Utah's coaching staff would review the film and determine what if any personnel changes need to be made.

However, two weeks ago he said he felt he had the best players in the starting rotation. None of the backups have exactly been pushing for more playing time either.

Still, something has to change or Utah's season could go from average to miserable.

If the Utes can win two of their last three games they will be bowl eligible and finish about where many expected them to be.

A 6-6 record against the program's toughest schedule to date wouldn't be anything to be ashamed about for a team still learning its way around the Pac-12.

However, it isn't what the Utes had in mind a few weeks ago when they upset Stanford. Suffice it to say, Utah's hopes of creating waves in the Pac-12 have gotten sacked since then.

- Lya Wodraska

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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