That was a close one! At least it appears that way if you look at the box score. The truth is, Saturday night in Pasadena, the Utes dominated Brett Hundley and the UCLA Bruins. In fact, it took UCLA until late in the 4th quarter to take the lead, and it didn't last long. On one of the biggest stages in college football, in one of the biggest venues, Utah had one of it's biggest moments in program history. There were many players and moments that stood out, but I did my best to narrow it down to the best of the best,
Offense - Devontae "DB-23" Booker
Devontae Booker is the most dynamic RB the Utes have had in the last decade. His mix of physicality and elusiveness caused the UCLA defense all kinds of issues. Booker averaged 4.7 yds per carry Saturday night rushing for 153 yards. He was exactly what the offense needed in Pasadena, and he will be an intrigal part of what Dave Christensen hopes to accomplish the rest of the season. The best part about what Booker has done to this point, is the fact that the ball security worries of fall camp have been a complete non-factor.
Defense - Hunter Dimick
Dimick has been consistent to say the least, and Saturday night was no different. Hunter Dimick finished with 2.5 sacks, multiple tackles for loss, and enough menacing hurries to cause Hundley nightmares for the rest of the season. To this point in the season, at times, he has at times been equally as disruptive as his counterpart Nate Orchard. While Orchard recorded 2.5 more sacks than Dimick this week, I feel that his work ethic and his ability to constantly give Hundley and the UCLA O-line problems wins him the defensive game ball this week.
Special Teams - Andy Freaking Phillips and Tom 'Thunderfoot" Hackett
This is a joint game ball. Why? Phillips for his clutch kicking that landed him a Lou Groza kicker of the week award, and Hackett for neutralizing one of the most dangerous players in the Pac-12, UCLA WR/PR Ishmael Adams. After the performance that Utah's special teams had in the Rose Bowl, there is no question that they are the best in the nation.
What do you think about our game balls this week? Right on or way off?