In horrible weather conditions, Jon Hays started off the game on a woeful pace. Fortunately for the Utes, Hays played much better in the second half than in the first half. On the night, Hays went 11-18 for 123 yards with 0 TDs. Most importantly, Hays didn't have any turnovers on the night. On 3rd down, Hays had a couple of nice throws in the second half to move the chains.
Running Back: A+
Every person watching Saturday's game knew that John White would see a heavy workload. Somehow, Utah's star offensive player was able to carry the ball 42 times, earning 193 difficult yards and 2 touchdowns. White is having a season for the record books, and the Washington State game might be his best game of the season.
Wide Receiver: C+
Utah's wide receivers did not see a ton of action, but took advantage of the opportunities they got. Devonte Christopher led the Utes with 5 receptions for 83 yards, and proving to be a reliable 3rd down option for John Hays. Luke Matthews also had a big game, finishing with 70 yards receiving on 2 catches, including a 49 yard touchdown pass from punter Sean Sellwood.
Tight End: D
Utah's Tight Ends had their numbers called more times than in previous weeks, but still were relied upon to be more blockers than pass catchers. Kendrick Moeai caught 3 passes for 18 yards, while converted DE David Rolf caught 1 pass for 2 yards.
Offensive Line: B
In snowy conditions, Utah's got their hands in the snow and generated a good push against an overloaded defensive box. As a team, the Utes rushed for 214 yards as a team, and allowed 2 sacks. Tony Bergstrom once again had a big day, while Tevita Stevens had his best game of the season. Both players finished with a team high grade of 89%. John Cullen continues to earn back the trust of players and coaches with his play between the whistles. On Saturday, Cullen earned a grade of 85% against Wazzu. Miles Mason came back down however from back to back solid games, to earn a simple grade of 75%. Sam Brenner had a surprisingly bad showing, earning a grade of just 71%.
Defensive Line: B+
Washington State rushed for just 81 yards on 23 carries (2.7 per carry). The Ute defensive front got good push most of the night, and ultimately kept blockers off their linebackers, allowing them to fly around and make plays. For the first time in a while, Utah failed to get a single sack. Star Lotulelei and Tevita Finau registered Utah's only tackles for loss on the day.
Utah's linebackers had an active day, providing lots of help to the secondary, and occasionally putting some pressure on Connor Halliday. Matt Martinez and Chaz Walker led the team in tackles with 5 a piece, and Martinez also registered a pass breakup. Junior David Fagergren also had a pass deflection .
Utah's secondary allowed 290 yards passing and 2 TDs, but Wazzu's Connor Halliday only completed 44% of his passes, and threw 4 INTs. Ryan Lacy had 2 pass breakups on the outside. Conroy Black had a very nice night, holding another opponent well below their season average. Marquess Wilson is an elite WR, and Wilson had 8 catches for 83 yards. Junior Mo Lee finished with 2 INTs on the night.
Utah's safeties were sensational for most of the night. Brian Blechen flew all over the field, and Eric Rowe continues to progress at an alarming rate. Both Blechen and Rowe both picked off Halliday as well. The only real letdown came on the deep pass play late in the 4th quarter that nearly cost the Utes the game. Rowe got lost in cover 2, and failed to come over the top to help Mo Lee. Fortunately for the Utes, Lee made a heads up play and bailed on the flat to cover the streaking WSU receiver. Other than that, a really nice night for the Ute safeties.
Special Teams: A
Coleman Peterson's performance earned him PAC-12 Special Teams Player of the week honors. Peterson finished 3/3 on FG attempts. While Peterson's game winner made the highlights, it was a 45 yarder on a frozen field that brought the Utes back into the game. At punter, Sean Sellwood had good moments and less fortuitous moments. Pinned on his own goal line, Sellwood booted a fine kick. It wasn't the only time that Sellwood kept the Utes in decent field position in the first half. Sellwood's biggest contribution came when he completed a 49 yard touchdown pass to Luke Matthews on a fake punt. The play saved the Utes and may have won the game.
Utah at Washington State - Position Grades
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