Utah overpowers and dominates another inferior foe...
Utah vs San Jose State- Position Grades
Jordan Wynn wasn't stellar, but he didn't have to be. He looked a lot like Terrance Cain the past few weeks in managing the game, making the short high percentage throws, not forcing anything, and letting the more talented team overpower their opponent. He looks healthy, but the coaches didn't allow him to take too many shots downfield. Expect Wynn and the passing game to play a bigger role against Iowa State.
Running Back A
Finally!!! 272 yards in 6.2 yards a carry is very impressive. The running backs didn't break the long one that I'd been hoping for, but they looked dominant and ran with purpose. Despite only getting 8 carries, this was by far Eddie Wide's best game as he hit the hole harder and with more authority than in games past, instead of dancing around the backfield. Matt Asiata was his consistent self while Tauni Vakapuna looks like the frontrunner for the starting job next year. Beau Burton was very impressive in limited action.
Wide Receiver C+
This isn't the game to judge the wide receivers as the Utes ran the ball for most of the second half after jumping out to a big lead. Jereme Brooks did what he does best in going over the middle in turning short passes into nice games. Reggie Dunn was magnifent with his game opening 43 yard TD run and had the catch of the day on a perfect ball over his right shoulder from Terrance Cain along the sidelines for 24 yards. Beautiful play. The downfield blocking still leaves a lot to be desired, although it was better this week.
Tight End B
Dallin Rogers is making the most of his time with Brad Clifford being out. His 36 yard TD catch was beautiful and he's emerging as Wynn's favorite tight end. Kendrick Moeai, where are you in the passing game? Moeai did have his best game blocking though.
Offensive Line A
Jordan Wynn wasn't touched all game and only faced one or two hurries. The ground game was dominant as the line overpowered an undersized defensive line for SJSU, getting a great push consistently. The starters hit the bench in the third quarter and the backups came on to give them reps. Kapua Sai was the most impressive of the seconder stringers, constantly opening holes and driving his defender back from the right tackle spot.
Defensive Line A-
The defensive line was stellar against the run again and put pressure on La Secla throughout the game, although the defensive ends didn't pick up a sack. Derrick Shelby had his best game of the year after taking last week off to rest his knee. The second line of defensive lineman are going to be a very good bunch. James Aiono is very quick, but still needs to work on his strength a bit. He's best suited to stay at defensive end. Star Lotulelei is an animal and was very disruptive in picking up his first sack and a tackle for loss. Trevor Reilly suffered a concussion, but looks to be ok a this point. Great overall job by the deepest defensive line in the nation.
The linebackers were tremendous again in shutting down the rushing attack and holding San Jose State to only 94 yards, with a lot of that coming in the fourth quarter. The biggest improvement this week came in the passing game as San Jose State couldn't do anything with the linebackers causing constant confusion with their stunts and blitzes. The starters left the game midway through the third quarter which gave us a chance to see some of the backups and Boo Anderson looks to be the best of the bunch. He reminds me of a poor man's Brian Cushing. V.J. Fehoko also saw his first action.
Chandler Jones came into the game as one of the nation's leading receivers with 20 catches, but was held to 1 catch by Lamar Chapman and Brandon Burton. Chapman was again tremendous on the blitz and had a bone jarring hit on the SJSU quarterback. Conroy Black also picked up extended time and made the most of his opportunity. A ton of young guys picked up experience in this game.
I can't recall San Jose State throwing the ball more than 10 yards down the field more than once or twice the entire game, which gave the safeties an opportunity to come up to the line and help in run support. Justin Taplin-Ross had a great game in coverage and in run support. This unit is very workman-like.
Special Teams B+
1 blocked kick, and another returned for a touchdown after the kicker/quarterback kicked the ball into his own guy and Reggie Topps took it back 10 yards. Sean Sellwood is getting better every week. Joe Phillips needs more work. Hopefully he isn't rusty when the Utes really need him. The punt coverage was superb and the kick coverage was very god after giving up the long return early in the game.
San Jose State was a bad team and the coaches knew it. They designed a game plan that reduced the opportunity for mistakes, kept Jordan Wynn clean and healthy, and helped establish the run and confidence in the running game going forward. The defense was superb with blitzes coming at the right times and San Jose State often looking confused.
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