Grading out the positions after Utah's win over Fresno State

Giving each position group a grade after the Utes took down the Bulldogs

Quarterback: D+

19 of 25 doesn't look bad, but it was a very inefficient 19 of 25 for Thompson. He missed multiple wide open receivers, and dropped his eyes trying to run almost immediately after pressure came his way. Hansen missed his only pass on a deep one to Scott where he was WAY behind the D. He just doesn't look comfortable out there yet. The quarterbacks were good enough to get Utah by Fresno State, but this won't fly in Pac 12 play.

Running Back: A-

Devontae Booker was a man on Saturday night, punishing defenders and jumping over would-be tacklers. 151 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground ot go along with 5 catches will get the job done. Joe Williams has 5 carries for 21 yards, and we saw his speed on one early run where he was able to get to the corner and turn it up the field. He needs more reps though to keep Booker alive.

Wide Receiver and Tight End: B

It could have been a big day for the Utah wide receivers and tight ends if Thompson and Hansen had been somewhat accurate throwing the ball over 5 yards. Scott was able to get deep a few times, but was either missed or drew a pass interference call (you could tell he was frustrated that they kept fouling him). The tight ends were weapons, but Thompson kept missing them. They'll be happy to get Travis back.

Offensive Line: C+

Utah finally decided to go with Jackson Barton in the second quarter after Sam Tevi continued to struggle. It helped a bit, but there are still issues on the line. Salesi Uhatafe was beaten too often, and the push at the line was inconsistent. The pulls are sloppy and slow right now. There were a few holes opened up for Booker and Thompson wasn't under too much pressure, but they've got to make strides before Pac 12 play starts. 

Defensive Line: C+

Only 1 sack in the game, but the Utes batted down a few balls and Stevie T had a fumble return for a touchdown. The play as a whole though was rather hit and miss. One play Utah would completely blow up Fresno's line. The next play, they'd get blown off the ball and Fresno would pick up 7 on the ground. Jason Fanaika was largely ineffective, but Kylie Fitts was an absolute animal. Not sure where Filipo Mokofisi was the entire game.

Linebackers: C

124 rushing yards out of Fresno State isn't terrible, and they were able to help bring some pressure in the backfield, but there were a lot of missed tackles by the linebackers, notably Jason Whittingham. Norris was solid with 10 tackles, but overall it was an inconsistent performance.

Cornerbacks: C-

It's good to have Hatfield back and he's already the best corner on the team, but there's still some rust. Some poor angles and missed tackles turned what should have been small gains into chunk yardaged at times for Fresno, especially in the 4th quarter. 

Safeties: D

Tevin Carter had a good game and continues to make a lot of plays in slowing the run game, but the missed tackles down the field and some poor angles helped Fresno State pick up some big plays. Marcus Williams shows flashes of brilliance followed by head-scratching mistakes. 

Special Teams: B

What a weird special teams performance. Hackett had his best game of the year putting his two punts inside the 20, while Phillips hit his only field goal. The two touchdown returns were great and put the game away, but Hobbs' fumble to open the game was disappointing and Fresno State came close to breaking a few returns.

Offensive Coordinator: C

We'll give credit to Harding and Roderick for taking a few more chances down the field, but the quick screens weren't fooling the Bulldogs and the lack of designed run plays for Thompson were a bit disappointing.

Defensive Coordinator: C+

It's not like Pease had to dial up a bunch of blitzes to get pressure as Utah's ends (mostly Fitts) were able to get into the backfield quite a bit. The Utes looked dominant at times in the first half before some mental lapses in the second half let Fresno State get back into the game. Is that on the coach for playing it safer, or the players for playing softer?


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