The colors were a little brighter, food tasted a little better and I slept a lot better this weekend after a Utah win over UCLA. Now, UCLA is a bad team and have a lot of problems, but Utah dispatched them they way they should have.
Let’s jump into this...
It was a 500 yard output, with a lot of balance, about half coming on the ground and half coming through the air. Also, no turnovers was a really big deal. Utah could have easily dropped 50 or 60 on the Bruins, but pulled back in the 4th. Huntley looked like himself, at least before his injury, Moss ran hard with a career high in yards, and the wide receivers were potent. With all that said, that 1st quarter was U-G-L-Y, it was bad. The Utes could barely move the ball, and they struggled with some terrible penalties. Also, the play calling early was really bad. UCLA has a terrible rush defense, and the Utes kept trying to get cute and run around them, or throw over them (which did work eventually), instead of running over them. It was nice to see Troy Taylor adjust in that 2nd quarter, and the offense was off and running.
I’m torn on what to do with this grade, because the Utes were very solid on defense, but UCLA’s offense was atrocious. The Utes held UCLA to 249 yards, and a poor 3 of 12 on 3rd down, which was a major improvement over the previous weeks. UCLA was never really a threat all night, for many reason, including Josh Rosen not playing. The Utes weren’t really able to force any havoc plays, with only the one fumble, which came on special teams, and had just the one sack. Of course, UCLA was very conservative in their play calling with an inexperienced quarterback playing, so I’m not sure if there were a ton of opportunities for plays like that.
Special Teams: A-
Matt Gay was a stud, as always, and Mitch Wishnowsky really didn’t have much to worry about all night. The one ding I hit the Utes on is Boobie Hobbs fumble, which was recovered, fortunately, by the Utes. Boobie has been good all year, and has given Utah some good field position, but I still hold my breath a little bit when he returns a punt.
What grades would you give the team?