Position Grades: Utah at USC

A lot of poor grades on the offensive side of the ball after the dud in Los Angeles

Quarterback F
Wilson was bad. Schulz was bad. A combined 12 of 31 for 130 yards and 3 interceptions. Wilson's QBR? 14.3. Adam Schulz? 1.1. Not much more to say here. They were flat out terrible.

Running Back D
Lucky Radley and James Poole had 36 yards on 16 carries. Poole dropped a ball that would have let him walk into the end zone (although it wasn't a very good throw). It became apparent that Utah needed to use the bulk and size of Kelvin York this week. York had 4 carries for 21 yards, but was completely forgotten in the second half, despite the fact that the Utes continued to try to run the ball. None of the running backs carried their weight in the pass blocking game.

Wide Receivers and Tight Ends D+
It all starts with the drop by Dres that led to the first USC touchdown. Changed the entire game and Utah never recovered. The quarterbacks couldn't get them the ball, but I saw lazy routes, poor blocking, and a lack of speed and athleticism. This unit missed Kenneth Scott, Jake Murphy, and Westlee Tonga in this game more than any other.

Offensive Line F
Poutasi. Terrible. Aiono. Not very good. Salt. Adequate. Jones. Worst game of the year. Tofaeono. Second straight bad game. Someone needs to be held accountable. Something has to change. These are your five best offensive linemen right now, but something has to change. These guys just can't pass block.

Defensive Line A
Trevor Reilly had a great performance. Tenny Palepoi was tremendous. LT Tuipulotu had his best game of the year. Sese Ianu had maybe his best performance. Nate Orchard wasn't overly active, but was solid. They held a solid USC run game to 30 yards on 30 carries. Sialas Redd had zero yards on ten carries, mostly because the line ate up USC's front five. If not for this group, the Utes may have lost by 40.

Linebackers A-
They got a lot of help from the defensive line, who put up a great performance, but Norris, Whittingham, Hale, and Reilly (when he was at LB) were again very good. USC couldn't run the ball, and didn't get much over the middle in the passing game. They continue to get better each week.

Cornerbacks C-
The cushions were too deep. The technique of not looking back worked against the corners this week. Most of the blame is on the scheme and coaching here, but Cody Kessler was inaccurate, the Utah defensive line had good pressure, and USC still threw for 230 yards. No picks again hurts when your offense is turning it over.

Safeties B-
The safeties did their job on Saturday, and outside of one mental gaffe by Walker on the first TD of the game, were pretty good. My only problem? Why weren't the safeties both shifting outside to help the corners and moving closer to the line of scrimmage to help out the corners? USC threw a bunch of 8 yard out routes. Safety help would have allowed the corners to play tighter coverage.

Special Teams C
Andy Phillips was lucky to make his one kick and missed his other. Hacket was decent, but had some ugly looking rugby style kicks. Norwood had a nifty punt return, but Dres couldn't get anything going on kickoff returns. The Utes covered USC's 2 kickoff returns very well.

Coaching D
Not prepared. Not focused. Didn't have a reliable contingency plan in multiple fazes of the game. There was no creativity on offense. The play calling showed zero confidence in the passing game, but expected different results despite doing the same things over and over. Sitake and Tuiaki keep this from being an F.

Ute Zone Top Stories