Backs against the wall, down numerous starters, many others injured, and one more loss meant the season’s over. The Utah football shrugged off all of that the other night and played one of their most complete games of the season to clinch bowl eligibility for the 4th straight season. I loved almost everything about this game, so let’s grade it out:
It was a great night on offense for the team with 491 total yards, 320 of which came on the ground, plus zero turnovers. It was about as efficient and bruising of a night that we’ve seen since Joe Williams running all of teams last year. Zack Moss was an animal, and ran unlike any running back I’ve ever watch at Utah. He was dragging guys, running them over, breaking tackles, and just would not go down. It was a performance that will not be forgotten soon with his 196 yards and 2 touchdowns. Troy Williams stepped up for Tyler Huntley, going 15 of 24 for 181, and had a pair of rushing TDs himself. Troy was super efficient, took care of the ball and hit big plays down the field to his wide outs, specifically Darren Carrington and Raelon Singleton. It was one of Troy’s best performances as a Utes, because he kept everything on schedule. The offensive line was also as solid as they’ve been all season, giving good pockets to throw from, and getting to the second level in the running game. I am dinging the O for their lack of turning some field goals into touchdowns in the second half.
The Utes held CU to 319 yards, of course the 13 points, got 5 sacks, and forced a crucial fumble in the 4th quarter. The defense was playing with a serious purpose, and the guys that were filling the roles of various injured players came out and played great. Cody Barton, Bradlee Anae, Donovan Thompson, Chase Hansen and Corrion Ballard really stood out to me. They were disruptive, and were making a point to not let Phillip Lindsay get going. Coach Scalley was coming after Montez all night long, and made him very uncomfortable. It was a pretty vintage Utah defensive effort (minus a couple of extra turnovers). I am going to ding them for a couple of those long drives CU put together in the 2nd half. Scalley seemed to soften things up a bit for about a quarter, and then dialed it back up to finish things out.
Special Teams: A-
Matt Gay was an absolute stud, and should be the Lou Groza winner this season. Boy, the Utes have filled Andy Phillips shoes nicely. The only thing that brings the special teams grade down a bit is that one shanked punt by Wishnowsky. He’s not 100% right now, and he wasn’t really able to drive the ball, and in the case of the bad punt, it’ll happen at times.
That’s how I see it, it was a great performance with a couple small blemishes.
How would you grade the team out?