Wilson wasn't spectacular, but was efficient throwing the ball. Not as many designed runs this week, which is the right direction to go in, and Wilson was still able to pick up good yardage when he had to scramble. The numbers could have been better if not for a few drops from the receivers, but overall Wilson continues to grow and get better week to week.
Running Backs B+
Welcome back John White. The Wolfman ran hard, especially in the second half, showing a burst he hasn't had all season, and finally breaking tackles. He went over 100 yards on the day, which means Utah won. Kelvin York looked great as well and was ready to supplant White as the feature back before an injury and White's big second half.
Offensive Line A-
Best performance of the year…BY FAR. The tackles were good. The interior linemen were great. Vyncent Jones and Miles Mason were opening up holes and holding their ground very well against the Cal front 7. Tevita Stevens had one of his best games as a Ute. Only two sacks given up on the day. This unit is getting better and more consistent.
Receivers and Tight Ends B-
Devonte Christopher didn't see the field and it worked for the Utah offense and receivers. They had a few drops, but Kenneth Scott again had a solid day while Luke Matthews reeled in a long bomb along the sidelines that led to a touchdown. Jake Murphy continues to be a weapon. Not a ton of big plays, but Wilson didn't throw it deep very often.
Defensive Line B
Sacks. Finally. The Utah ends were active, led by Joe Kruger who started the night off with a sack of Maynard. They caused a lot of disruption to the Cal QB, and helped hold the running backs in check outside of Bigelow's late long TD run. Did let Maynard run around a bit, but he's very fast and hard to contain.
The linebackers are finding their groove. Significant improvement in the last two games, with the backers staying in their lanes . Trevor Reilly had arguably his best game since the 2011 BYU matchup, and V.J. Fehoko played admirably in his return to the starting lineup. Jason Whittingham was as solid as ever.
Ryan Lacy needs to be considered as an All Pac 12 corner. He shut down an All American type receiver in Keenan Allen and picked off a pass. We haven't seen a Utah corner play like that since Brandon Burton. Brian Blechen returned from the abyss and looked like the Blechen of old. Much more sound in his angles, tackling, and awareness. Overall, great day by the DBs.
Special Teams A
Reggie Reggie Reggie. We haven't seen a return performance like that since Shaky Smithson. Dunn set a couple of NCAA records with his 2 100 yards kickoff returns for TDs, the first of which really got Utah going. Tom Hacket had another good dsya pinning Cal deep and Utah's coverage teams were stellar. The only thing keeping this from being an A+ was Charles Henderson's issues in the punt return game.
Moving Brian Johnson down to the sidelined and Roderick upstairs was a brilliant move. Johnson was able to work face to face with Wilson and it paid off. Throw on top of that his play calling, which was pretty good, and this was the best coached game by the offense this year. The defense was assignment sound and made the big plays. They were aggressive tonight, especially early on, and it resulted in multiple Cal turnovers. Great job by Sitake and company.
Position Grades: Utah vs Cal
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