Utah vs Notre Dame- Position Grades

Grading out the positions after the loss at Notre Dame...

Quarterback C
24 of 39 for 194 yards and a TD. The receivers weren't getting open so a lot of that is on them and not Wynn. The lack of creativity in the passing game and the unwillingness to go downfield is a concern. Not sure if that is on Wynn or Aaron Roderick. The decision to slide short of the first down on a third down run shows a lack of toughness and grit. Overall, not as bad as most might think. Game at San Diego State on Saturday is biggest of his career.

Running Backs C
29 carries for 71 yards isn't going to get it done. It's more than apparent every week that Asiata needs to be the one feature back. He's more decisive, runs with more power, and is nearly as fast as Wide. Give him the ball 25+ times this week and you'll see a huge improvement. Keep giving it to Wide and you might see another loss.

Wide Receiver D
Shaky Smithson played hard until the final gun, but these guys just aren't doing a good enough job of getting open and getting separation. The yards after catch numbers are poor. The same routes that were being taken for touchdowns a few weeks ago are now going for 3 to 5 yards.

Tight End B
Kendrick Moeia was open down the middle on the seam route again for big yardage. Run this play 5 to 6 times a game please.

Offensive Line C
They were much better than many might think, getting a solid push in the running game and doing a decent job of protecting Wynn. The tackles didn't have their best day and the false starts were alarming. Would have had a much higher grade if not for the penalties.

Defensive Line B+
Sealver Siliga played very well, but did have a few penalties. Utes didn't get a ton of pressure on Rees, but slowed the run game outside of two or three big runs. Star Lotulelei needs to start next to Siliga going forward.

Linebackers D-
By far their worst game of the year. They were slow, out of position, and getting pushed around. The defensive line set them up to make plays a lot, and they failed to make those plays. Chad Manis has really been missed. Notre Dame wasn't tremendous running the ball, but these guys were overmatched time and time again. This unit needs more size and athleticism.

Cornerbacks B
Burton played very well against Floyd holding him to only 4 catches and they didn't give up a ton of yards, but failed to make any big plays against a true freshman quarterback. Lamar Chapman was negated on the blitz again this week.

Safeties D+
They weren't that bad, but much of the grade is coming off of the one terrible play by Blechen on the touchdown by Notre Dame to open the second half. I have no idea what he was doing or where he thought he needed to be on that play. Other than that, both were pretty good with help over the top as well as in stuffing the run game.

Special Teams F
Do I really have to say anything? The blocked punt was laughable. Sean Sellwood looked like the worst punter in the country. Shaky Smithson couldn't get a return going and fumbled AGAIN. Throw in the big return by Notre Dame to open the game where Utah sent all of the players to one side of the field and left the other side wide open for some reason and you get an F.

Coaching D
Another clunker. Kyle Whittingham's reputation is taking a hit and his legacy could very well be defined by how the Utes finish the season. Aaron Roderick is suddenly the most conservative play caller in the country. Sitake was much improved from last week.

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