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Grading out the loss to USC

NCAA Football: Utah at Southern California Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Another tough loss, one where Utah had a chance to get the win at the very end, but that’s life in this league. Let’s grade out the Utes in their 1 point loss to USC.

Offense: C-

I almost want to give a 1st half grade and a 2nd half grade here. The Utes were really good in the 1st half. With 21 points scored, over 260 yards of total offense and Moss going over a 100 on the ground, things were looking nice. In the 2nd half, things slowed down dramatically. The Utes ended up with 436 total yards, and 75 yards of that came on that final drive. Troy Williams did improve, but his effectiveness declined in the 2nd half, and of course, he missed Carrington. Moss could have gotten a few more carries, as Coach Whitt said in his presser this week. I really do like what I’m seeing from the entire wide receiving corps right now, and hopefully Singleton will be back soon. With that said, Carrington still needs more targets by Williams (assuming Huntley isn’t back).

Defense: C-

Similar to the offense, I wish I could do two grades. Their 1st half was awesome, forcing the three fumbles, and almost had a pick early on too. Outside of a couple of chunk plays in the 1st half, they really contained USC really well, and the whole unit was flying around. In the 2nd half, they gave up three extended scoring drives to USC, and couldn’t get off the field on 3rd down. Ronald Jones also got rolling a bit in the 2nd half, mostly in the 4th quarter. Some of it has to do with some fatigue, but they missed some assignments and lost some contain. Yeah, Sam Darold made some plays, but Utah has to get off the field on at least one of those drives. Not having Fitts for most of the game, and Anae getting shaken up again too hurt.

Special Teams: B+

A missed field goal by Matt Gay really hurt, but Mitch Wishnowsky was nails. He was awarded Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week, and continually pinned USC deep. The snapping was better too, although, they are a little slow getting back to Mitch, so hopefully that continues to improve. There’s not much to say about the return game, but Boobie continues to be reliable.

How would you grade out the team?