Grades are all over the place after Utah falls to Arizona

Low grades for coaches and on defense after Utah's overtime loss to Arizona

Quarterback: B

Wilson was actually one of the few bright spots on Saturday night, making most of his throws and doing some damage on the ground as well. The toss to Handley for a touchdown was perfect and he hit Tyron Smith in the hands on the late drop that could have kept the drive alive for a game winning field goal attempt. He just wasn't given much of an opportunity to make plays on his own as the ball came out of his hands almost immediately after the snap, meaning short throws, many of which went nowhere. The interception wasn't his fault either. Don't get mne wrong, Wilson could have been better, and taking that sack in OT was bad, but he kept the Utah offense alive for stretches.

Running Back: B

Booker took a beating on Saturday night, but still picked up 145 yards on 34 carries. He worked hard for those yards with his longest run being 13 yards. Probably would have been 40 carries had he not been injured midway through the game. So that's what Joe Williams looks like? Not a bad game with 37 yards on 7 carries. Maybe we'll see him more going forward, but his play gives more optimism at the running back spot for 2015.

Wide Receivers and Tight Ends: C+

They did a poor job of blocking on Saturday and hurt the run game in doing so. Not much to draw from the passing game as Utah refused to throw it more than 5 yards down the field. The drop by Smith was costly as was the interception where the receiver needed to fight harder for the ball (think it was Smith as well). Handley's catch and run was beautiful though, as was the speed Covey showed on his 46 yarder. Bubba Poole got involved, but only using the same play over and over.

Offensive Line: D+

The run blocking was average at best, and the pass blocking was poor with 4 sacks given up, which is hard to do when your QB is throwing the ball immediately after snapping it on most plays. It's hard taking on that many defenders on each play, but Arizona was running a lot of backups out there and still winning most of the battles, especially in the second half.

Defensive Line: D

Zero sacks against arguably the worst line in the conference and some personal fouls on top of that makes it the lines worst game of the year. Arizona wasn''t dominating them, but their offensive line isn't very good and these guys should have eaten them alive. Too much overpursuit of the QB and not enough gap control led to QB runs. Jason Fanaika was the only one that came to play.

Linebackers: D

Gionni Paul disappeared and Norris looked slow. Both had to drop into coverage a ton to help out, negating what they do best in making plays near the line of scrimmage. Arizona didn't run all over them, but made the Utah linebackers largely ineffective.

Cornerbacks: D+

Arizona saw something on tape with Hatfield and picked on him again and again and again. He must have given up 5 or 6 completions on the night. Butler-Byrd wasn't bad, but he played a deep ball so poorly early in the game that I almost fell out of my chair. He turned his head to spy Solomon, but Solomon NEVER runs left when scrambling, so it was unneccessary to even look back. The receiver blew right by him and 45 yards later, Arizona was in the red zone. Boobie Hobbs played a decent game, and Justin Thomas was probably Utah's best defender on the night. Brian Allen got a gift interception when Solomon threw a horrid pass right to him.

Safeties: C-

Tevin Carter continues to struggle, and outside of one tackle for loss, didn't do much. Are we already missing Chase Hansen? Marcus Williams had a lot on his plate with Carter looking old and slow out there and had a team high 8 tackles. Evan Eggiman even pitched in with 3. Arizona got deep a few times, but they made some crazy catches, and often the safeties weren't the ones in coverage.

Special Teams: B-

Hackett averaged 49 yards per punt and Phillips hit all three of hs field goals. Arizona didn't get anything going in the return game, but neither did Utah.

Offensive Coaching: D-

Arizona put their players up on the line of scrimmage all night long. Utah refused to test them deep. Run, run, bubble screen, run, 4 yard out, run, bubble screen. Where are the deep balls? You threw one to Handley and he turned it into a big touchdown. The biggest issue though? Play calling in overtime. When you have 4 downs to work, know you need to score a touchdown, you run the ball with Booker. Live and die with your horse. Utah tried to get too cute and out-think the Wildcats. If there was one time that called for Booker over and over and over again, it was overtime. Wilson saved the day momentarily with a 4th down scramble, but to go run, pass (sack), you've now forced yourself to throw on the final two downs. It was 2nd and 7 on that pass call. Booker WILL get you 7 yards on the next three carries. I just don't understand.

Defensive Coaching: C-

Pease is up against a wall a bit with the defensive injuries, but there was little creativity in getting pressure. Utah continually sent 4, dropped everyone else into covergae, often deep to defend against the big play, and then Solomon would step up and run for enough yards to keep the sticks moving. The linebackers were ineffective for much of the game and Tevin Carter has mostly become a liability. It wasn't the worst effort, but it showed a lack of depth, something we all thought Utah had enough of to get through the season.


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