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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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Utes still have a long ways to go

The Utah Utes hoped to show they were an improved team against the Huskies, instead they showed they still have a lot of improving to do. The Utes remained winless in Seattle, falling to 0-8 all-time against the Huskies with Saturday's 35-14 loss.

That Utah's offense struggled wasn't too much of a surprise. What was was the Huskies' ability to pick apart Utah's defense. Washington quarterback Keith Price was 24-for-33 for 277 yards and two touchdowns and running back Bishop Sankey rushed 36 times for 162 yards and two touchdowns.

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Washington converted 7-of-15 third downs while the Utes were just 1-for-13.

The best example of efficiency for the Huskies was their 16-play, 82-yard drive in the fourth quarter that took eight minutes and 43 seconds to complete. Utah's defense simply had no answer for Price.

So, what is the answer going forward? It will be that the Utes have to keep working to become a better team. That probably isn't the answer a lot of fans want to hear, but what else is there?

The Utes had hoped to contend for a division title this year, but they've yet to beat a Pac-12 team with a winning record and have yet to win on the road this season.

Saturday's game against a good, but certainly not great, team showed they still have a long ways to go before they are a contender.

Ok, here are the grades

Overall: C-

The Utes didn't get blown out, but the offense still has issues, as does the defense. Washington played well, but the Utes didn't take advantage of some early scoring opportunities in the first half. The Utes had a window of opportunity and they blew it.

Offense - C

Give running back John White an A and the rest an F. White averaged 6.5 yards a carry, but nothing else worked against the Huskies. The glaring stat for the Utes was their third down conversions. Luke Matthews led the receivers with four catches for 25 yards but also had a dropped pass, as did White and Kenneth Scott. Quarterback Travis Wilson threw an interception and was sacked four times.

The Utes failed to get a first down in the fourth quarter. Washington had six.

Defense - D

The Utes sacked Keith Price three times but he definitely got the better of the Utes. He was particularly impressive on third downs. He was patient when he needed to be and still managed to connect with tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (7-for-99 yds.) and receiver Kasen Williams (7-for-73 yds.) when he was flushed out of the pocket. He showed the kind of maturity that Wilson simply hasn't played enough to have earned.

In a game like this Utah needed its defense to carry it as it has in the past and the Utes just couldn't get it done.

Special teams - B

Reggie Dunn's presence forced the Huskies to change their kicking tactics, which resulted in some great field position for the Utes, but Utah couldn't do anything with it.

- Lya Wodraska

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