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Matt Piper and Kyle Goon
Matt Piper and Kyle Goon cover University of Utah sports teams for The Salt Lake Tribune. Matt Piper is on twitter at @matthew_piper, Kyle Goon is on twitter at @kylegoon

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Grading the Utes first performance

The Utah Utes won big Thursday, but how much do we know about this team? Not even Kyle Whittingham has the answer there.

"From the onset we were supposed to win this game," he said of Thursday's 41-0 win over Northern Colorado. "There were some big positives and we were clean and relatively penalty free."

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Both Whittingham and quarterback Jordan Wynn were pleased with Wynn's production, although Whittingham said he hoped for more out of the deep ball.

Still, Wynn threw for 200 yards in his first game since Oct. 1, 2011 so perhaps he was just a little rusty.

"It felt weird in warmups having the uniform on," he said. "It has been a long time."

Everyone involved said Friday's game at Utah State would be a better indication of how the Utes have evolved since camp.

Given that, let's try to grade them on what we saw. Check out our site for more game coverage too.

Offense - A- The Utes overcame their slow start and finished strong. We liked what we saw out of Jake Murphy, but not seeing more production out of the backup running backs was a little disappointing. Jarrell Oliver rushed seven times for 20 yards behind John White.

Defense - A+ Utes get a shutout, can't ask for more from them. Defensive end Trevor Reilly said he was proud of the linebackers and the way they played.

"They got called out this week and they showed they aren't a weak link," he said.

Does this defense have a weak link?

Special Teams - C Sean Sellwood booted a 60-yard punt and the kickoff coverage was improved, but that missed field goal by Coleman Petersen was disappointing, as was his missed PAT. The Utes didn't manage much on the punt returns either.

Coaching - B+ There was some confusion at the end of the first half, but otherwise things went smoothly, particularly with Brian Johnson calling his first game.

"You would never know it was his first game," Whittingham said. "It was a good game. He mixed it up. I thought it was a good start for him."

It was a good start for the Utes overall.



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