Utah at BYU- Position Grades

Grading out each position after Utah's trip to LaVell Edwards Stadium…

Quarterback: B+
Jordan Wynn threw for 239 yards and 2 TDs while completing 53% of his passes. Wynn did throw his first interception of the year, and had a couple more passes that could have easily been picked off, bur when given time to set his feet, he was solid. Wynn moved the chains, and showed great toughness after taking some early shots. Norm Chow did a nice job of moving the pocket around to allow Wynn to throw from space, preventing as many batted balls as we saw in weeks 1 and 2. Wynn also did a much better job of getting the ball to his receivers in areas where they could make plays. An overall very solid night from the Utes' QB.

Running Back: A
The PAC-12's new leading rusher is John White IV…through 3 weeks at least, who is now averaging nearly 127 yards per game on the ground. White had a tremendous evening. In the first half, yards were hard to come by, yet White continued to pound the ball into the heart of BYU's defense, falling forward for 1, 2, and 3 yards at a pop. In the second half, things opened up for White, who finished the night with 174 yards on 22 carries (7.9 average). He scored 3 rushing TDs, bringing his total to 6 TDs on the season, good for 14th in the Nation in total scoring. At one point in the second half, White had 117 yards rushing on 3 carries and 2 TDs. Langi and Vakapuna also had nice moments as they spelled White at times.

Wide Receiver: B
After dismantling USC's secondary for 11 catches in week 2, Devonte Christopher was the early focus of BYU's defense. Christopher was targeted early and courageously went after the ball despite being on the receiving end of multiple big hits. He finished the night with 3 catches for 58 yards, but his impact was bigger than his statistics. Opposite of Christopher, Dres Anderson had his biggest night as a Ute, catching 3 balls for 81 yards, including a 59 yard TD reception out of the half. Anderson's speed was way too much for BYU's DBs to handle. As a group, Utah's WRs only caught 7 balls on the night, which can and should be improved upon. Reggie Dunn had another nice run on a reverse, but tripped over the 5 yard line on a slant-and-go route with a nicely thrown ball incoming.

Tight End: A
Utah's Tight End group will probably never put up monster numbers, but on Saturday night, the group accounted for more receptions than Utah's Wide Receivers (8 catches as a group). Dallin Rogers led all Utes with 4 receptions for 32 yards. Newcomer Jake Murphy made plays while he was on the field, and made his case for increased playing time. Murphy finished with 3 catches for 51 yards, including a pivotal 30 yard TD that put Utah up 14-10 at the half. Kendrick Moeai added 1 reception for 6 yards.

Offensive Line: A-
After being embarrassed in the Coliseum in week 2, Utah's Offensive Line bounced back with a very nice performance. BYU's defensive line started out strong, but wore down throughout the night as they failed to tally a sack on Jordan Wynn, despite sending heavy pressure most of the game. The second half was truly a dominating performance by this group, as they gave Jordan Wynn as much time to throw as he wanted, and also paved the way for a huge night from John White. On the outside, John Cullen had a much improved performance, while Sam Brenner and Tevita Stevens did some really nice things. Tony Bergstrom (arguably Utah's best player) went down with a knee injury in the first half, and was replaced by Percy Taumoelau and Kapua Sai at times. Taumoelau performed admirably while filling in for the undisputed leader of Utah's Offensive Line.

Defensive Line: A
BYU rushed for just 11 yards on the night, including -8 in the 2nd half. BYU's highly touted Offensive Line could do very little to contain this group with little to no success on the ground. Through the air, the Cougars put up good yardage, but Utah's DLine still kept Heaps uncomfortable. Derrick Shelby had 2 QB hurries, 1 Fumble recovery for a TD, 2 PBUs, and generally had his way with BYU OT Braden Brown. Star Lotulelei was not only disruptive, but forced a fumble on a BYU drive that had comfortably marched down the field into the red zone. Freshman Nate Fakahafua also performed well when he got on the field, getting 2 PBUs and dropped into coverage capably at times.

Linebackers: A+
You will be hard pressed to find a better defensive performance from a linebacker group anywhere in America. Trevor Reilly earned PAC-12 Defensive Player of the Week honors after a breakout performance. Reilly, a former walk-on who wanted to play at BYU, finished the night with 5 tackles, 3 TFLs for -35 yards, 3 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, 2 sacks for -21 yards, 1 PBU and 1 QB hurry. Chaz Walker also had 5 tackles and a forced fumble. Matt Martinez had 4 tackles and a fumble recovery. Jacoby Hale had 3 tackles and a TFL, and V.J. Fehoko had a fumble recovery that he returned 57 yards for a touchdown. As a group, Utah's linebackers had 24 tackles, 4 TFLs, 4 FFs, 2 PBUs, and 2 sacks.

Cornerbacks: B
Conroy Black once again had a relatively quiet night…just the way he would like it. Ryan Lacy had a PBU and a QB hurry, but BYU still managed to throw for 343 yards and a TD. BYU's Cody Hoffman bounced back from back-to-back disappointing games to catch 8 balls for 138 yards. Utah's CBs adjusted nicely in the second half, showing different coverages, and ultimately confusing BYU quarterbacks greatly.

Safeties: B
An interesting night for Utah's safeties. Eric Rowe and Michael Walker started for the Utes. Walker made some very nice plays early, including a nice TFL on the opening drive, and a fumble recovery as well. Rowe was quiet early, and didn't see the field much in the second half (some reports claim injury, some say he was benched). Keith McGill got a lot of time in the 2nd half, and though he does not yet look comfortable, he did some nice things. Walk-on Quade Chappuis had a very nice 2nd half, finished with 5 tackles with an interception. The safety-by-committee approach was affective in the second half, but is still an area to watch with interest moving forward.

Special Teams: C-
For the 3rd straight week, Utah's kickoff team has been among the nation's best. Marsh has the capability to kick the ball deep into the endzone, but has instead opted for very high kickoffs, with tacklers already on top of returners when they catch the ball. Utah's kickoff team ranks 10th in the nation by averaging just 15 yards per return. At kicker, Coleman Peterson was a train wreck. Peterson missed a 29 yard attempt badly, and also missed an XP. Peterson DID make a 39 yard FG and a 20 yard FG, though his 20 yarder was a very low kick that was blocked by a defensive lineman with both feet on the ground…the ball still went through. At punter, Utah used a combination of Sellwood and Marsh. Sellwood had a booming 57 yard punt with lots of hang time, and averaged nearly 50 yards on his 2 punts. Marsh came on to punt the ball inside the 20…his kick was perfect, and should have been downed inside the 1 yard line, but greed on the part of Ute coverage caused the ball to roll a couple of inches over the goal line. In the return game, Reggie Dunn had just 1 return for 25 yards. Returning punts was true freshman Charles Henderson, who averaged 14 yards per punt return, with a long of 29. Henderson looks to be a very dangerous weapon for the Utes.

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