Utah-SDSU: Positions Grades

Grading out each of the positions after the win at San Diego State...

Quarterback A
21 of 33 for 362 yards and 2 touchdowns. Led the team to a comeback from 17 down. Looked composed, confident, and ready to lead a team. Exactly what he and the Utes needed. Very good performance.

Running Back B
Didn't do a ton outside of the long runs that both Wide and Asiata broke off, but each of those runs led to a touchdown in the comeback. Both caught a few balls out of the backfield and Asiata was very good in pass protection, something that has become apparent that his quarterback is going to need to be successful. < br>
Wide Receiver B+
Wynn threw the ball around a lot hitting a bunch of different receivers meaning no one had a huge game, but the big plays out this group were huge and something that was missing the past few weeks.

Tight End A-
Dallin Rogers had 4 catches for 49 yards and really helped open up things for Wynn to go deep. Moeia had possibly the season saving catch with the 47 yard hail mary at the end of the first half. The blocking in the run game wasn't great though by the tight ends and Moeia missed a few assignments.

Offensive Line B
Opened up good sized holes in the running game and gave Jordan Wynn plenty of time to throw, something he didn't have in the last two games. I think it is apparent now, Jordan Wynn ABSOLUTELY needs time to throw. Without it, he's an average quarterback at best.

Defensive Line C+
Not having Sealver Siliga wasn't as bad as many thought as Kruger, Heimuli, and Lotulelei did a good job on the interior shutting down the run. The defensive ends got decent pressure, mainly in the second half on Lindley, but still didn't pick up the multiple sacks they should have with some of the SDSU deep drops.

Linebackers B
The linebackers held the Mountain West's leading rusher Ronnie Hillman to only 54 yards rushing as Chad Manis made his return. Chaz Walker's INT was huge and the come up with a few big tackles. Much better than last week against Notre Dame where they were outmatched.

Cornerbacks F+
They were bad, especially in the first half. It was better in the second half, but Lindley still threw for 528 yards on 4 INTs. I said it last week that they'd need a good performance to shut down the big play ability of the Aztecs, but that didn't happen. The only thing that kept this from being s straight F was the interception by Burton at the end of the first half that led to the hail mary touchdown.

Safeties D+
Blechen, Taplin-Ross and Bird didn't do the one thing they had to do: help over the top and stop the big play. San Diego State had 17 passes of 12 yards or more with 12 of those coming in the first half. The interception at the end by Blechen made this grade better. Blechen proved once again that he's a big time player that makes big plays in key situations.

Special Teams B
Joe Phillips is the new Mr. Do Everything by punting, kicking, and do kick-offs as well. His ability to pin SDSU deep was impressive (even though they generally turned around and blew down the field for a score anyways).

Coaching B
Congrats to the coaching staff for getting this team back on track and not letting them quit when down big early. Aaron Roderick opened up the offense for the first time in weeks and Wynn and his playmakers responded with big plays. Kalani Sitake made the necessary adjustments at the half to put his defense in position to get stops, force turnovers, and make plays.

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