LOGAN — The Utah Utes made mistakes early and couldn't make enough plays late to defeat in-state rival Utah State Friday evening. USU beat Utah 27-20 in overtime.
Here's how Utah graded:
OFFENSE: The Utes displayed an inconsistent attack in Logan. While accumulating 199 yards in the second and fourth quarters, they totaled just 126 in the other quarters and overtime. They were outgained 380 to 325 and went just 2-17 on third down. Jordan Wynn threw 6 of 11 for only 47 yards before finding himself in a sling after sustaining a shoulder injury, and Jon Hays finished just 12 of 26 for 154 yards after starting his first drive 4 of 5 late in the second quarter. John White gained just 3.6 yards per carry for a total of 97 yards Friday night. The only significant category in which Utah beat USU was in time of possession (nearly 35 minutes). GRADE: C-
DEFENSE: While rising to the occasion in the second and third quarters, the Utes allowed USU to score 27 points and gain 235 yards in just two stanzas and a 25-yard overtime drive. The worst came in overtime when they allowed quarterback Chuckie Keeton to rush for 23 yards on third-and-9, paving the way for a Kerwynn Williams plunge two plays later. Keeton and Williams, the feature back, each carried the ball 17 times for 98 and 94 yards, respectively, for averages of more than five yards per carry. Keeton was also efficient through the air, going 22 of 32 for 216 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. GRADE: C+
SPECIAL TEAMS: Sean Sellwood may have not liked punting 10 times, though he at least averaged nearly 53 yards per try. Coleman Petersen may have nailed two field goals of 40-plus yards, but a 52-yard winning field goal attempt from his foot at the end of regulation never stood a chance. The return game was a non-factor. GRADE: B-
OVERALL: The Utes faced a team that may just win its conference and may just give Wisconsin all it can handle next week. But they did leave much to be desired. While they weren’t dealt an easy card in a necessary quarterback change halfway through the game, it’s difficult to argue that Wynn would have clearly been better than Hays. The Utes' performance in Logan may keep them in some Pac-12 games, but they will need to shift into a higher gear to meet their own expectations. At least they proved they could adjust to a personnel change under center last season. If they need to do the same thing again this time, there’s more time to do it. GRADE: C+
Rhett Wilkinson attends Utah State University, is a Capitol Hill intern and the co-founder and managing editor of Aggie BluePrint. He's previously been an intern for the Deseret News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter: @wilkl
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