Utah football report card: Defense by far the best group in loss to UCLA

Published: Friday, Oct. 4 2013 1:25 a.m. MDT

In Utah’s annual blackout game, the Utes were deep in the red in one critical category. Utah had a minus-five turnover margin Thursday against No. 12 UCLA. Its offense hardly generated anything throughout the entire second half as it fell to 1-7 against top 25 opponents since losing to TCU in 2010.


Travis Wilson (22-43, 288 yards, two touchdowns) threw six interceptions, including three in the third quarter. Some weren’t on him, however, as several passes went through his receivers’ hands. Geoff Norwood let one get past him late in the third stanza, after the Utes were on the move following a fourth-down conversion.

Later, however, Wilson had his own problems. With his team down one score, Wilson's pass sailed and was intercepted. Then he threw another pick on his offense’s final play, when it was within sight of the end zone.

The Utah offensive line struggled against UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr and a mighty Bruin defensive line. It gave up a sack on third down late in the third quarter. Ultimately, the entire unit lacked firepower for almost the entire second half against the nation’s 29th-best scoring defense. GRADE: C-

Rhett Wilkinson is a project manager for UtahPolicy.com and hails the true-blooded Aggies from Utah. The co-founder of magazine Aggie BluePrint.com, he's been an intern for the Deseret News and other publications. rhett.wilkinson@usu.edu | @wilklogan

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Payson, UT

amazing that we kept up with the 12th ranked team in the country despite 6 turnovers, all of which could be considered key. Imagine if the receivers had caught the ones that hit them in the hands. A very different game. Too bad all of that shows up on Wilson´s stats.

Disappointing loss because of the turnovers. but now can´t wait for the rest of the season. Eliminate the turnovers and we´re in every game this year except for Oregon.

Props to the secondary. This looked to be their best showing so far. These guys are going to be great by season´s end.


Steven S Jarvis
Orem, UT


Utah will be in every game INCLUDING the Oregon one. They just won't win most of them because they are still very inexperienced. The Utes have a lot of growing up to do with a Sophmore QB and many young players. What I have seen so far of him is that Wilson holds promise. He was telegraphing to the defense last night where he was going to throw which caused all those INTs. Fix that and he can move the ball consistently. The defense I believe is legit enough to keep even Oregon under 40 points.

I do not expect Utah to better than 6-6. I expect them to lose a lot of close games this year and learn from it. However, last nights grit gave me hope that the Utes will finally get things done playing against a PAC team with a winning record.

Bountiful, UT

Wow, pretty generous grading. If the QB struggles to complete 50% of his passes and throws 6 picks i don't think I'd give him a C-. The 6 turnovers alone is worthy of a D. The inaccurate throwing drops him further. He gets an F for this game.

Pretty typical game for Utah following the BYU Bowl. If only Ute players and coaches could get up as much for conference games as they do for BYU games. This game had a tremendous lack of focus and execution while the same guys were razor sharp and intensely focused in the BYU game.

Good news is there's only 3 more games to go in the annual "Post BYU Bowl Swoon" and then the Utes will get back to business.

Bountiful, UT

@Steven S Jarvis
"The Utes have a lot of growing up to do with a Sophmore QB and many young players."

Wasn't UCLA using a sophomore QB? I don't hear them using that excuse.

Just Smiling

Hey BigCougar- don't embarrass yourself. Utah was up and put more effort in the UCLA game than the BYU game. The difference is in the quality of the opponent. There's no question that BYU would have the same results as Utah if they were in the PAC-12 except they wouldn't be still there at the end of the games. Please don't try to justify your program by referring to past UCLA teams or Oregon State teams that you beat years ago. UCLA, Oregon State, Utah and the whole PAC-12 generally have vastly improved. They've all gone onward and upwards and every week will be a dog-fight. Top 25 after top 25 week in and week out. Meanwhile BYU will have their mediocre independent scheduled teams and will find great joy in pointing out their win-loss record hoping that no one will notice which teams they won and which teams they lost to.

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