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Oregon State report card

It was a memorable finish, but a sloppy game. The Utes are lucky they won, but I'll take it and they showed a ton of heart in the final two minutes, even if they still have some flaws.

Offense: C-plus - Utah's offense looked sharp early, outside of Brian Johnson's interception, but after going up 20-9, they sputtered the rest of the game, well at least until the final two minutes. Johnson was off, the play calling relied too heavily on the pass at times and no drives were sustained, especially in the second half. Ultimately, though, Utah made the plays on offense down the stretch, which kept this C+ from being a D-. Call it passing the final exam with flying colors. 

Defense: B - The defense actually played pretty well by neutralizing the Beavers' biggest strength, Jacquizz Rodgers. Though Rodgers amassed over 100 yards on the ground, he didn't destroy Utah like he did the week prior against USC.

The biggest issue with the defense, however, was giving up big plays through the air. Lyle Moevao was 21 of 31 for 313 yards and two touchdowns. Moevao is a great quarterback, but sometimes the secondary made his passing look too easy. Glancing at the schedule, Moevao will probably be the best quarterback Utah faces until Max Hall and if they can't shore up their pass defense, he could have a huge game. 

Special Teams: B+ - No turnovers on the punt returns, an 80-yard kickoff return by David Reed and a game winning field goal made this the best all around effort by Utah's special teams this season. Hopefully they can keep it up. 



  • Andy Ludwig: B - Ludwig didn't call a terrible game, but it wasn't great, either. Like I said earlier, I felt Utah relied too heavily on the pass in the second half, even though it wasn't there. But you can't deny he imposed his gameplan on the Beaver defense and it worked in the final two minutes of the game. That final drive was not only perfectly executed, but perfectly called. 
  • Gary Andersen: B-plus - I felt the defensive gameplan was to keep Rodgers in check and I believe they did that. Oregon State has an explosive offense and Utah held them to 6 points for most of the second half. It was actually a defensive battle until the end of the fourth quarter, when both teams erupted for eighteen points. 
  • Kyle Whittingham: A - It's debatable if this was the biggest game of Kyle Whittingham's career to date, but what isn't debatable is the fact it was a pretty big one. Losing would have been devastating and yet when it looked like all hope was gone, Utah found a way to win. He's now 6-0 and was able to keep the composure when everything looked to be unraveling. 
Obviously I wanted a blowout. I think destroying Oregon State would have made a huge statement, but a win is a win and the way Utah won really impressed me. You know, for the past few years, Utah consistently came up short in the luck department. It was just a year ago the Utes faced a similar situation against the Air Force Falcons. They trailed by eight late, seemingly looked as if they were going to tie it and then on fourth down, Darrell Mack Darryl Poston missed the hole, went down and Utah lost the game. This time, though, Utah made sure it wouldn't happen again and because of that, even if it was a little luck, they're 6-0 instead of 5-1. 

This season just feels special. Three times now Utah has been faced with the possibility of losing and all times they've won. I don't know if they can keep it up, but for now, it feels like just maybe the stars have aligned and Utah is in for something special. 

And now I sound like a BYU fan. 

Oh well.