Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Utah Blaze: Struggling Blaze must enter playoff mode early
AFL » Utah wraps up a three-game road trip Saturday.
First Published Jun 07 2013 02:28 pm • Last Updated Dec 07 2013 11:33 pm

The margin for error is none.

That’s what Utah Blaze coach Ron James told his players this week before Saturday’s showdown with the Chicago Rush, the final of a three-game road swing that has featured back-to-back last-minute losses for the Blaze.

At a glance

Blaze at Rush

At BMO Harris Bank Center (Rockford, Ill.)

Kickoff » Saturday, 6 p.m.

TV » CBS Sports Network (online stream)

Radio » 97.5 FM

Records » Utah 4-6; Chicago 6-5

Last meeting » Chicago 59, Utah 56 (April 20)

About the Blaze » The suddenly dominant Utah defense racked up six turnovers in last week’s last-minute loss to San Antonio. … Rookie defensive back Tony Tatum had an interception in his AFL debut. … The Utah offense ranks second in passing yards and third in total offense.

About the Rush » Wide receiver Reggie Grey leads the AFL in all-purpose yards with 2,066 and has 31 receiving touchdowns this season. … Former Utah backup QB Carson Coffman had eight touchdowns in Chicago’s win over Orlando last week. … Defensively, the Rush give up 54.3 points per game, which is 11th in the league.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"I told us we have to be in playoff mode starting today," James said.

The Blaze (4-6) take on a Rush team (6-5) at the BMO Harris Bank Center that came into EnergySolutions Arena on April 20 and shocked the home team 59-56 on a field goal as time expired. More than revenge and facing a must-win game to stay in playoff contention, Utah continues to deal with a midseason revamping of its game plan.

The record-setting offense from 2012 isn’t there this season, James said, and the coaching staff and players are adjusting to playing to their new strength, which is the defensive side of the ball.

"We kind of have to flip the script on ourselves," he said. "Defensively, everything has been trending upward for us. Unfortunately for us, we’re just not playing at the offensive level we’re accustomed to."

In order to get back on track, the Blaze will have to contain Chicago quarterback Carson Coffman — a rookie QB with Utah last season — who is coming off an eight-touchdown performance a week ago.

"We’re at the point of the season now where if you can’t make a push at this time of the year, you’re going to be left out of the dance," James said.

ckamrani@sltrib.com


story continues below
story continues below

Twitter: @chriskamrani



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

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.