In reading the live blog of the game and message boards, I came across a lot of the "they're giving us the game and we still are losing!" comments and claming that the only reason why we were in the game was b/c they kept screwing up. Well, as some noted in the live blog, it's really not that simple and it is incredibly frustrating to see that we cannot give our guys credit for anything.
Fact of the matter is, penalties are penalties for a reason. Example: A pass interference is usually committed by a defender that has been beat by one of our receivers. If our receiver beats their man, he deserves to have a shot at the football. On most occasions in this game, our receiver EARNED the call by beating their defender and forcing him to grasp on to anything to stop a play. If it was like the NFL, we'd deserve more than 15 and an automatic first down, so they are lucky in that sense.
When their QB intentionally grounds, it's b/c he's beat by our guys and thinks he could possibly get away with throwing the ball away. Their offense should not get that benefit. If he doesn't commit the penalty, that's a sack and their offense should lose the yardage they deserved to lose, no? Same goes with a holding call...that's a sack or an incompletion, maybe even an opportunity at a fumble. If our guys earn their way into the face of a QB and are unlawfully kept from doing what they earned to do then their offense should pay. Utah didn't give the game away on penalties...our guys forced those penalties and earned the benefit of them.
If they don't commit the PI, that could be a TD catch or huge gain. If they don't hold or intentional ground, their QB is more than likely dropped for a huge loss or fumble. What about those penalties did we not earn?
They did have a personal foul penalty, false start, and unsportsmanlike conduct. Those aren't necessarily earned like a PI, holding, or IG penalty is, but those were the minority in the penalties they committed. Either way, we gave them our fair share of those "unearned errors" as well.
As far as their turnovers, they did not give us anything we did not give them right back. The only difference is we didn't get such an easy opportunity at a pick 6 and they did. They were as lucky to be in the game as we were if not moreso.
Basically, the mistakes were a part of the game that were not a net positive/negative for either team. I just think Utah was the better team at this point, and that is why they won. It was close b/c the teams were evenly matched overall, not b/c Utah "gave" things to our team. Thinking the penalties gave either team a significant edge over the other goes into the "what if" realm, which is always a futile argument.