Forget San Francisco, Utah left its offense in Pittsburgh.
California dominated the line of scrimmage by packing the box and forcing the Utes to rely on someone else besides John White IV. It turned out to be a brilliant move as Jon Hays looked bewildered and befuddled against the speedy Golden Bears defense. The result was an ugly game all around and yet another Pac-12 loss for Utah.
OFFENSE: Until a couple of garbage-time runs by White late in the game, Utah had managed to lose yardage in the running game. Early in the fourth quarter, Utah had just 50 total yards and a negative-six yards rushing. Hays, meanwhile, was so bad that the coaching staff yanked him in favor of Griff Robles, who was playing linebacker a month ago. And that was before the pick-six Hays threw in the fourth quarter. GRADE: F
DEFENSE: So incredible on the East Coast a week ago, Utah's defense was sieve-like against Cal QB Zach Maynard, who had 254 yards passing and three touchdowns, plus 36 rushing yards and a TD. Former Cottonwood Colt Isi Sofele found plenty of running room as well, tallying 85 yards and score. What happened to the dominant 'D' fans saw at Pitt? After surrendering just 120 yards a week ago, the Utes gave up 384 to the Bears. GRADE: D
SPECIAL TEAMS: Looking for a silver lining? Well, the special teams weren't bad. Utah covered kickoffs and punts well and Reggie Dunn consistently gave the offense great field position. The fake punt, a pass from Sean Sellwood to 300-pounder Star Lotulelei was well executed as well. Coleman Peterson nailed his only field goal try at windy AT&T Park. GRADE: B+
COACHING: Utah's staff should have seen this coming. With White's big game last week, Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham and his offensive leaders looked shocked that Cal was going to sell out against the run. Of course, they can't go out and throw it for Hays. Or tackle for the linebackers. It's back to the drawing board because every team the rest of the way would do well to use Cal's blueprint on both sides of the ball. GRADE: D
OVERALL: Utah fans have to be keenly aware that Utah has fewer wins against Pac-12 teams than does BYU. Ouch. Oregon State next week looked like a gimme, but until Hays and the offense can find some consistency, Utah will be lucky to win any game down the stretch. GRADE: D-
Andy Griffin is a southern Utah broadcaster and sports writer and has been involved in covering sports in Utah, including professional, college and high school sports, since 1989.
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