For the first time since the 1960s, Utah dominated Colorado State in Fort Collins. This has been a place Utah generally struggled at and it's good to see they could roll to such a convincing victory, even if it came against the hapless Rams.
Now a bye week before the Utes play Wyoming. But before we look at that game, let's grade the CSU outing.
Offense: B The offense didn't look great, but it was pretty solid all around. Utah did what I expected them to do, run the ball down the Rams' throat. The Utes went for 322 yards on the ground and only passed for 130, but it wasn't like they really needed to air it out.
Brian Johnson continues his rehabbing while playing, but he did a pretty solid job. Johnson was 14 of 21 and had two touchdown passes, but also threw an interception. Johnson gets a rest this week and I expect him to be far closer to 100% than he was prior to this game.
With Johnson still a bit shaky since returning from his early season injury, Utah continues to rely on its potent running game. For the first time since the 2002 season, Utah has had two players run for 100 or more yards. Darrell Mack had 151 yards on 20 carries, while Ray Stowers went for 123 on 11 attempts. The dominance on the ground was expected, but at the same time shocking. Utah -- once billed as one of the weakest running teams in the nation -- has now had 100 or more yards from one rusher in 6 of their last 7 games. Pretty impressive and obviously the key reason Utah has won five striaght.
Defense: A This is a scary good defense that has just been killing opposing offenses. Saturday night was no different, as Utah held a Colorado State offense that had been averaging 23 PPG to only 3.
Utah also held the Rams to only 2-13 on third downs, pitched a three quarter shutout and sacked Caleb Hanie and Billy Farris more times than one can count on their hand. They also neutralized what appeared to be a threat from Colorado State's running game. Prior to Saturday, Gartrell Johnson had been fairly successful on the ground. Yet outside of a long run in the first quarter, he was pretty ineffective and the Rams could never find their groove on offense. Because of that, even with Utah not exploding offensively, the Rams could never make it a game.
Special Teams: B+ Outside of a missed field goal for Louie Sakoda, he was pretty much on his game. He had two field goals in the second quarter and was perfect on each of his three PATs.
Unlike last week, Utah's punt coverage was really solid and the Rams never really had good field position all day because of it.
Coaching: A A great coaching effort by Kyle Whittingham and crew. He got the Utes up for this game and because of that, there was no let down. The Utes destroyed the Rams and that's what many fans wanted. Now winners of five straight, they'll return back to Salt Lake where they will have an extra week to prepare for their game against Wyoming. Luckily for Utah, they're 2-0 after bye weeks under Whittingham and if you counter in bowl games, a perfect 4-0. Let's make that 5-0 next month!