Grading out the Ute position groups after the dramatic win over Cal

Mostly good grades for the Utah position groups after knocking off Cal

Quarterback: C+

Travis wasn't at his best, but he did enough to get Utah the win. The numbers don't dictate how well he managed the game. 16 of 27 for 170 yards and another 149 on the ground. Yes, there were two picks, but one was a deflected ball. Missed some open receivers, but last year's Travis Wilson would have lost this game.

Running Back: A

222 yards out of Booker will get the job done every day of the week and twice on Saturday. The guy was an animal in carrying it 34 times with another 5 catches. Heisman Trophy caliber performance. Joe Williams got his standard 1 carry.

Wide Receiver and Tight End: C-

Couldn't get much separation and there were a few drops. The one thing that saves this group? They blocked very well on Saturday night. Butler-Byrd needs to be use more if nothing else than to stretch the field.

Offensive Line: B+

This was easily the best overall performance of the season for Utah's line (outside of Jackson barton who struggled quite a bit). Sam Tevi was very good in both his pass blocking and run blocking. He may have turned the corner and the rest of the line was helping open up holes for Booker. Definitely a step in the right direction.

Defensive Line: B-

Good penetratio up front by Seni Fauonuku and Filipo Mokofisi was solid again. Good to get Dimick back and he deflected the ball that Paul picked off, but Fitts looks better right now. Pita had a big sack. Sold overall performance. The big question I have? What happened to Lowell Lotulelei? He's gone missing this year.

Linebacker: B

Gionni Paul had one of the most athletic interceptions you'll see out of a linebacker and posted 8 tackles while forcing a fumble. He has to be one of the favorites for Pac 12 defensive player of the year. The Utes held the Cal running game mostly in check thanks to the linebackers.

Cornerback: B+

Dominique Hatfield played the game of his life in slowing down Kenny Lawler. He was in position all night long and the big-time receiver couldn't get much going. Hatfield's pick was perfect placement taking advantage of a slightly errant throw. Reggie Porter was solid and Bobbie Hobbs made a great play late. Butler-Byrd had maybe the play of the game outside of Paul's interception with his pass knocked down in the end zone. Great play.

Safety: B

It was a mixed bag out of the safeties, but mostly positive. Marcus Williams just seems to be in the right place at the right time (I believe we call that proper positioning) in picking off his 4th pass of the season and Tevin Carter led the team with 9 tackles (they should just list him as a linebacker now), but came off with injuries a few times.. There were a few instances where they were late in helping on deep balls or lost their assignment, but Goff didn't make them pay every time and they were able to get away with it.

Special Teams: B+

Phillips was 3 for 4 on field goal attempts with his only miss from 48, while he was continually putting the ball into the end zone for touchbacks. Tom Hackett averaged over 50 yards per kick and had two kicks land inside the 10, including his final punt to force Cal to go 90+ yards on their final drive. Britain Covey had a nifty 20 yard punt return that kept the Utes from being pinned deep.

Offensive Coaching: B-

There were complaints about the play calling, but when Booker is beast-moding, you just give it to him and get out to the way. The call for the deep ball to Butler-Byrd was perfect and caught Cal off-guard (the confusion between the corner and the safety helped), but they could have tried something similar again, or used him as a decoy. Covey wasn't targetted a ton and the passing game was pretty vanilla, but they followed the recipe for a win. No complaints here.

Defensive Coaching: B-

The Utes tried to attack Goff as much as possible, not letting him sit in the pocket. His pocket awareness is uncanny though and it made it hard to pick up sacks. The players were constantly in the right position and scheme to capitalize on the mistakes by Cal and to force turnovers. Solid gameplan that got the job done.


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