Utah vs Colorado State- Position Grades

Grading out each of the positions after the drubbng of Colorado State...

Quarterback A+
Wynn may have been even better against Colorado State than he was against Iowa State. 23 of 29 for 321 yards and three touchdowns. The big number: ZERO….as in zero interceptions. The gameplan was drawn up perfectly with the Utes using short, high-percentage passes to help build his confidence early on. Terrance Cain was very good as well going 9 of 11 for over 100 yards and a touchdown. There are about 100 schools across the country that would love to have him as their starter. The stat of the game: the quarterbacks hit thirteen different players for completions.

Running Backs B+
The total yardage numbers look a lot better than it really was with Sausan Shakerin breaking off a 72 yard touchdown run in the final moments. The running game started slowly, but a lot of that was on the offensive line who did not do a good job of opening up holes in the first quarter. Eddie Wide really got things going with a few long runs, including the long 36 yard touchdown run that I've been begging for, for weeks. Wide ran a lot more in the style of Matt Asiata putting his head down and protecting the ball. He needs to do more of that going forward. I was surprised that Asiata didn't get more carries with the undersize CSU defensive line and linebackers.

Wide Receiver A
This was the best game all year for the receivers as Jereme Brooks got back in his groove and DeVonte Christopher proved to be hard to stop once again. Shaky Smithson even got into the act with a career high five catches. His touchdown catch from Wynn was magnificent as he came back to the ball and did a good job of fighting for it.

Tight End B
Dallin Rogers had a beautiful catch on a nicely thrown ball by Wynn for big yardage and Kendrick Moeia pitched in a 32 yarder of his own. The blocking from this unit is getting better with each game.

Offensive Line B-
Not the best effort out of this group as Wynn faced pressure early and the running game was stalled through much of the first quarter. There were multiple plays where lineman were late when pulling and didn't get to their blocks. The overall numbers weren't bad, but they need to be better when TCU comes to town.

Defensive Line B+
Things started off slowly as Pete Thomas had all day to throw without pressure for the first quarter and a half. Once the Utes jumped out to a nice lead though and Colorado State was forced to pass, the defensive ends were able to tee off on Thomas and get a couple of sacks. Derrick Shelby had his second straight productive game with a sack and forced fumble. He was almost unblockable for a stretch at the end of the first half through the fourth quarter. Christian Cox was very good in run support again and was able to get better pressure this week than in games past. Sealver Siliga and Dave Kruger toyed with the undersized offensive line for CSU as the Rams couldn't get anything going up the middle.

Linebackers A-
Chaz Walker had his best game in weeks and was a tackling machine. He should do something similar this week against Air Force. Matt Martinez and Chad Manis did a great job in helping limit the Rams to 28 yards rushing. This unit is going to have their work cut out for them against the Falcons and their running game.

Cornerbacks B
The corners started slowly and were noticeably frustrated with the separation the CSU receivers were getting early, but really shut them down midway through the second quarter and into the second half. Lamar Chapman has really turned into a weapon getting into the backfield. The coaches are having him blitz from all over the field and he's making the most of the opportunity to do so. Brandon Burton didn't have his best game, but was still the best cornerback on the field.

Safeties A-
Justin Taplin-Ross had arguably his best game of the year and was all over the field in pass coverage and run defense. He did a great job of getting pressure when asked to blitz. Blechen was stout throughout and delivered a few nice hits.

Special Teams A-
The on-side kick call was a product of great scouting, good timing, and perfect execution. The kickoff coverage team did a tremendous job of keeping the nation's leading kick-returner, Derek Good, in check and making the Rams go 75+ yards.

Coaching A
A nice gameplan by Aaron Roderick, especially early in the passing game, as he drew up short, high-percentage passes for Jordan Wynn. As Jordan's confidence grew, things opened up in both the passing game and running game. Sitake was the master of the blitz on Saturday getting tons of pressure in Pete Thomas' face from corners and safeties.

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