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Game day grades: Utah at BYU, Utes edition

Game day grades: Utah at BYU, Utes edition

By Josh Furlong | Posted - Sep. 17, 2011 at 11:57 p.m.

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PROVO -- At first glance, the score of 54-10 for a Utes victory would make it seem as though Utah was flawless in their execution against BYU. But that would not be exactly true, as the Utes struggled for much of the first half before the offense started clicking.

Quarterback: B-

Jordan Wynn showed some improvement Saturday against the Cougars, but is still producing mediocre numbers for his team. On the night, Wynn was 16-of-30 for 239 yards and two touchdowns. He also added one interception to the stat sheet, which was the first of the season.

In the first half, Wynn looked okay, but persisted to throw into double and triple coverage, nearly getting picked off several times. Additionally, many of Wynn's passes were low, with several being tipped by a BYU player.

In the second half, Wynn was given plenty of time to throw the ball, making better passes to help move the Utes offense along. His 59-yard touchdown pass to Dres Anderson was probably the highlight of the night for Wynn.

Running Backs/Full Backs: B+

Credit needs to be given to the Cougar defense in the first half for ultimately shutting down Utah's run game. John White struggled for any yardage in the first half, with BYU putting great pressure on the run game.

But in the second half, White found his home and ran all over the Cougars. On back-to-back possessions, White's impressive speed gave the Utes an additionally 14 points. White finished the night with 22 carries for 174 yards, with his longest being a 62-yard rushing touchdown.

This is the second week in a row where White has struggled in the first half, only to pick up the running game in the second half. When do we get a full game?

It was also nice to see freshman running back Harvey Langi get some playing time. Langi had three small gains but managed a 27-yard rushing first down as the game came to an end.

Wide Receiver/Tight End: A-

As a team, the Utes were really productive in the passing game, putting up 232 yards among four different receivers. Dres Anderson and DeVonte Christopher continue to be major targets for Wynn in the pass game. Adding tight ends Jake Murphy and Dallin Rogers only adds to the Utes offense.

However, the Cougars clearly outmatched the Utes in the passing game, with BYU receivers combining for 343 yards. Utah's passing game is good, but it needs to continually increase as the team enters conference play in two weeks.

Offensive Line: A-

The offensive line gave Wynn all the protection he needed Saturday. There were few instances when BYU's defense could put pressure on Wynn. However, the O-line struggled in the first half against a tough BYU defense to open up some gaps for White to run through.

The second half was almost spotless for the O-line, giving the Utes offense every opportunity to utilize the run game and give Wynn the protection he needed.

Overall Offense: B

Utah's offense needs to continually improve as the season moves forward, especially as Utah enters conference play in two weeks. But there is signs of promise as the offense is seemingly making the right progression.

The next step for the Utes is to get the run game starting out quicker and Wynn to connect more with his receivers, maximizing on the momentum given to them.

Defensive Line: A

Utah's defense was a thorn in BYU's side, especially Jake Heaps. Forcing seven turnovers, there really isn't much more to ask from your team. Additionally, it is always nice to put some points on the boards because of defensive scores. Both Derrick Shelby and V.J. Fehoko added touchdowns to the Utes blowout score.

Linebackers: B+

Overall the linebackers were good, but allowed BYU to get some yardage. Nevertheless, the defense put pressure on Heaps, with several balls being tipped for near interceptions.

Defensive Backs: B

BYU was able to separate themselves pretty easily in the first half, allowing for big gains. However, as a whole, the defense was pretty decent, putting the pressure on Heaps to throw into tight coverage.

Overall Defense: A-

It's hard to be critical of a Utah defense that scored two touchdowns and forced seven turnovers. Any coach in NCAA football would like to have that on a weekly basis. As was expected going into the season, the defense is Utah's strongest team. Improvements can and will be made to make this defense even better.

Special Teams: B-

This is the second week that Coleman Petersen has had trouble with field goals. In a horrible wide right kick in the first quarter, many were left shaking their head. It was only compounded by a missed extra point in the third quarter. Luckily, Petersen had several opportunities to redeem himself in the game.

Despite field goal attempts, Utah's special teams was on top of its game. The kickoff team forced BYU to march down the field, giving them little room to start with.

Overall Team: A-

It's hard to be critical of a team that wins 54-10 on the road against its rival, especially with two defensive touchdowns and seven opponent turnovers. The Utes are continually improving and show no signs of a USC hangover. As the bye week approaches, Utah is in a perfect position to fix their mistakes and prepare for the grueling Pac-12 schedule looming, starting with Washington and Arizona State at home.

*Email:*Twitter: @JFurKSL

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Josh Furlong


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