The Utah Utes might be close to being a good team, as coach Kyle Whittingham said earlier this week, but they keep imploding too.
The four turnovers proved to be just too much for the Utes to get the upset. What had to be maddening for Utah fans was the upset was right there, thanks to a stellar performance by the defense that held Oregon State to 226 yards of offense.
What woulda, coulda, shoulda been.
Here are the grades:
Overall - C- Utah's defense played well, but the turnovers and some questionable playcalling and clock management did in the Utes.
Offense - D- Wilson made some poor decisions and held the ball too long, but he didn't get much help from those around him either as DeVonte Christopher fumbled and had a pass sail through his hands and John White dropped a pass that would have gone for a big game. The Utes got too cute in the red zone too and it cost the Utes. The most glaring play was Christopher's fumble on the pitch on OSU's 3-yard line.
Defense - A Utah's defense played well enough for the Utes to win, giving up just 226 yards. Utah never sacked Cody Vaz (16-for-26 for 174 yards) but he didn't burn the Utes with any big plays either. The Utes played particularly well on third down, allowing the Beavers to convert on just two of their 11 attempts.
Special Teams - F - Forget punting, returns and the like. Coleman Petersen's missed 43-yard field goal in the first half was a momentum killer. He is now 3-for-8 on the season and 3-for-5 from 40-49 yards.
Coaching - B- A solid effort by the defense was overshadowed by the offense. The Utes kept trying to get around the edges but nothing worked for them. It's easy to be an armchair quarterback, but decisions such as taking Kelvin York (10 carries, 52 yards) out of the game when he was more successful than White (20 carries, 68 yards) and some of the playcalling will be rehashed all week as reasons why the Utes struggled.
One of the drives that stuck out the most for a lack of adjustment was Utah's final drive of the half. White rips off a 29-yard run to Utah's 40-yard line with two minutes to go.
But instead of taking some shots downfield, White rushed twice and Wilson completed just a 4-yard pass to Kenneth Scott. The Utes called timeout twice on fourth-and-one then punted with 19 seconds remaining in the half.
- Lya Wodraska
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