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Grading out the Utes win over Arizona

NCAA Football: Arizona at Utah Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Another Pac-12 opponent, albeit a weakened one, and another complete performance by the Utes. I’m not sure the last time we could say that against Pac-12 opponents, which is an encouraging sign for the Utes as they get ready to take on USC this Saturday. Let’s take a look at each unit and grade them out.

Offense: A

I’m not sure if there’s been a time where the Utah offense has come out and dominated in back to back conference games, especially when one of the games is against a ranked opponent. The Utes put up 495 total yards, and that was with them pulling back the play calling basically in the 3rd quarter. Tyler Huntley was super efficient all night long, and was in command of the offense. It was impressive, on multiple occasions he either shuffled around the pocket to make a big play, or he calmly came up to the line and made the play to convert a 3rd down. The running backs were potent, led by Zack Moss and his 68 yards. The wide receivers continue to emerge, outside of Britain Covey. Demari Simpkins had his best game of the season, and Samson Nacua keeps on improving as well. It was a great all around effort.

Defense: A

Utah was like a shark circling chum in the water when Khalil Tate went down. They attacked the backup QBs all night with blitzes all game long, and even though the Wildcats were bailed out on some flags in the secondary. Arizona couldn’t get the run game going at all, as Chase Hansen and crew just shot the gaps all game long. Arizona only had 72 yard on the game on the ground, and 318 total yards. Utah does mix in some three man rush, which isn’t very popular, but for the most part they just kept their foot on the throat of the Wildcats and went for the kill on both sides of the ball.

Special Teams: A

Matt Gay didn’t have to do much in this game, with the Utes finding the end zone every time, but Mitch Wishnowsky was his All American self. He had multiple punts within the 20, and one at around the five, but it was his fake punt run for about 30 yards that was one of the highlights of the night hands down. Not because of when it happened, or that it happened at all, it’s the run itself. He noticed the hole in Arizona’s punt coverage, and slashed through defenders for the first down. He evaded tacklers and broke away from people. How many people’s punters can do that?

Coaching: A

Again, the Utes were aggressive and efficient on both sides of the ball. There have been games where Utah will grind it out, but that’s not what has happened the last few weeks. They’ve gotten up and have went for a kill shot in each game. Scoring TDs every time they were in the red zone, and keeping Arizona to only 10 points is a good trend, and something we’ve seen the Utes struggle with at times against lesser opponents. The gamplan was great, and the guys are clicking at the right time. The improvements the line, wide receivers and Huntley has made this season are notifciable and really fun to watch. Now it’s up to the Utes to keep this momentum up, because it’s not getting any easier with USC coming to town.