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Grading out the Utes win over Washington

NCAA Football: Utah at Washington Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

Offense - B+

It was an extremely slow start for the Utah offense, but once they got going in the second half, it was over. The Ute offense mustered zero points on just 34 yards of offense. But once the offense got into a rhythm, they exploded in the second half.

The Utah offense can contributions across the board. While Huntley and Moss were the obvious standouts, it was players like Sampson Nacua and Solomon Enis that provided a crucial spark that allowed the Utes to come away with the win in Seattle.

Utah needed everyone to step up in order to get a road win against a team that they had only beaten once - now twice - in program history and multiple guys were able to answer that call. It wasn’t perfect, fumbles by Jordan Wilmore and Derrick Vickers are things that can’t happen when you are trying to get a road win against a conference rival, but fortunately they did not determine the game.

Overall, the Utah offense managed 399 total yards, 239 of which came in the second half, and three scores against a very good Washington defense. It wasn’t pretty, but the Utes got the job done when it mattered.

Defense - A-

The Utah defense, much like the Utah offense came alive in the second half after a slow start to the game. Washington QB Jacob Eason looked like he was going to have his way with the Utah defense early on in the game, driving for two easy scores in the first 18 minutes of play. But the second half belonged to the Utah defense.

Defensively, the Utes managed three takeaways, two in the second half, but perhaps the most impressive - and important - stat by this Utah defense was the fact that they allowed zero points off of turnovers. The Washington defense managed two takeaways from the Utah offense but each time the Utes’ defense was able to answer the call and keep the Huskies from putting up any points.

The Utah defense made it interesting, allowing 3 fourth-down conversions in the final minutes, which allowed the Huskies to make it a one-score game, but fortunately for the Utes, they were able to recover the onside kick to give Utah the victory.

Special Teams - A-

Finally, some good news coming out of the special teams’ department following a Utah victory. The special teams did great for the Utes. As a team, the Utes kept the Huskies return game in check, allowing just two punt return yards and just 38 kick return yards on two returns for Washington.

The kicking game also did their job, converting on both of Jadon Redding’s field goal attempts. But when it mattered most, the kicking ‘hands team’ came away with the game-clinching recovery on Washington’s desperation onside kick in the final minute.

The Utes still have work to do, particularly in the kick return department, which is why the special teams’ grade slipped to an ‘A-’ but they were able to come up big for the Utes when called upon in their win over Washington.