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Grading out the win over Idaho State

NCAA Football: Idaho State at Utah Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Offense - A

It’s always good when the starters on offense only need to play roughly one half of play, and that’s all the time the Ute offense needed to build a lead and then take the rest of the day off as the team prepares to take on the USC Trojans on Friday night. The Utes were phenomenal in all phases of offense against Idaho State on Saturday. Huntley was efficient and accurate for the third straight week. Zack Moss was doing Zack Moss things, surpassing the 100-yard mark on just 10 carries. And the Utah receivers, in particular, Bryan Thompson, were fantastic.

Defense - A

Similarly to the offense, they needed just a half of play to show how dominant they were as they prepare to start Pac-12 play this week. The Utah defense was able to pitch a shutout against the Idaho State Bengals, despite having to start the game without Julian Blackmon who missed the game due to injury. It was a team effort for the Utes who had four players finish with five or more tackles. This defense will need all hands on deck this week as they prepare to face off against a talented USC offense.

Special Teams - B

So far the Utes have not had to rely on a strong special teams performance in order to come away with a victory but as they are set to begin conference play, that could change very quickly. The Utah special teams is getting better as players settle into their roles, but they still have work to do. They had a solid performance against Idaho State but nothing screamed ‘this is a dominant special teams’ that Utah fans are used to seeing.

This game was so critical for the Utes as they prepare to start conference play, starting with USC. To take one game where they iron out the kinks and get everything right as they prepare to enter conference play. To take a half of football to see where they stand as a team is so crucial to making sure a team is where they need to be. And judging off of their performance, coupled with the fact that the starters played just one half, Coach Whittingham must believe this team is ready to get the real season underway.