Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah jumped out early and maintained stellar play throughout its 49-6 blowout win over Washington State. Grades are in for every position group and those grades are quite high.
Offense: The Utah offense dominated from the get-go with 285 yards of total offense and 31 points in the first half alone. John White stepped up big-time with almost exclusive work at running back due to Kelvin York being out. The Wolfman had 96 yards rushing, 18 yards receiving and three touchdowns after just one half.
Travis Wilson looked composed and spread the ball around effectively — completing passes to eight different receivers. He finished the game with 17-21 passing for 171 yards and two touchdowns and sat for almost the entire second half. His only black mark was a misread that turned into an interception — but that was it.
The Utah offensive line provided a strong push on rushing plays and adequate protection throughout the afternoon. Had offensive coordinator Brian Johnson kept the pressure on all game the Utes likely would have approached 70 points. Grade: A
Defense: The Utah defense allowed some yardage in the first half, but stiffened every single time the Cougars threatened to score. The pass rush was particularly effective and helped stall drives time and again throughout the game.
Reggie Topps again provided key plays with an interception and at least one sack. Joe Kruger was particularly dominant in providing a consistent pass rush and stalemating whatever runs WSU would throw his way. Mo Lee also stepped up big in place of the injured Ryan Lacy.
Washington State finished with 259 yards — a lot of them garbage yards when the third-teamers were playing late in the game. Washington State did manage a single touchdown on the final play of the game. Grade: A-
Special Teams: It's all about Reggie Dunn these days. Utah's kick returner extraordinaire returned yet another kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown — his third 100-yard return in two games, which is an NCAA record.
Overall the return and coverage units were solid and Coleman Peterson connected on his two short field-goal attempts. Grade: A
Overall: Washington State is a bad football team, but Utah did exactly what you'd expect against a bad football team. The Utes jumped out early and kept the pressure on throughout the game — leaving no room for any momentum or even hope for the porous Cougars.
Every unit was clicking for Utah and it's hard to imagine a more solid overall performance than what fans saw Saturday. Grade: A
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