Utah vs New Mexico- Position Grades

Grading the Utes after their 56-14 blowout at New Mexico...

Quarterback A
Terrance Cain did what he had to do….and then some in setting a school record for completion percentage in a game. Expect more of the same this week against SJSU. Kyle Whittingham keeps saying that there is no quarterback controversy when Jordan Wynn comes back and I agree with him. Let me repeat…THERE IS NO QUARTERBACK CONTROVERSY!!!

Running Back D+
Griff Robles and Tauni Vakapuna led the team in rushing in about a quarter of action for each. Asiata and Wide need to do better against one of the worst defenses in the country than 57 yards on 17 carries between them. No big runs and too much hesitation in the backfield by Wide. They did have a bunch of catches out of the backfield, but the running game needs to improve before they hit the meaty part of the schedule. Stop fumbling.

Wide Receiver C+
The consistency of Jereme Brooks is very reassuring to the coaches and this week it was DeVonte Christopher as the number 2 man. No catches for Shaky and Luke Matthews had a fumble that turned into six points. Hopefully the fumble doesn't get into his head and he can rebound. Where are the rest of the receivers?

Tight End B
Kendrick Moeia looked good in making two catches. I was surprised to see Dallin Rogers catch a touchdown. Very surprised.

Offensive Line B+
They finally gave up their first sack, but Terrance Cain generally had all day to throw it around. The run game isn't where it needs to be, but that's not the fault of the line as they again got a great push. More downfield blocking might be in order.

Defensive Line B-
5 sacks, but most came from those not on the D-line. The defensive tackles were dominate again and didn't give New Mexico any room to run, making it easy on the linebackers. Christian Cox had a solid game, but Junior Tui'one had trouble with Byron Bell. Derrick Shelby needs to get healthy and get back soon.

Linebackers A-
Matt Martinez was everywhere against New Mexico, although his tackles won't show it. Great read on his part on the interception return for a touchdown. Chaz Walker had another solid game as did Chad Manis. These guys have gone from a huge question mark to a giant strength. Where will J.J. Williams play?

Cornerbacks A-
Lamar Chapman was everywhere making tackles, including two for losses as well as picking up two sacks. The coaches are really using his speed well. You rarely hear Brandon Burton's name, which is just how he wants it. They don't throw at him, and when they do, it's usually incomplete. Enjoy him now Utah fans. He's going to leave early for the NFL after this year.

Safeties B+
Blechen is starting to be feared as a hitter. You can see it in the way people go across the middle. His hit on Dennis was painful to watch. Justin Taplin-Ross was again consistent and solid. Did drop a pick six though.

Special Teams A
Shaky Smithson took another punt back and set a Utah record for return yards in a game. He might be the best return man in the country, despite average blocking. Sean Sellwood might have an NFL leg as a punter. 3 kicks for a 49 average is outstanding.

Coaching B+
The team was prepared, didn't overlook an inferior opponent, and didn't have a punt blocked. All in all, things went well. Getting playing time for some of the second and third string guys was huge, giving youngsters experience that they'll need as injuries mount throughout the season.

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