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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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Dunn provides season-ending heroics for Utes

Well what a wild finish to a wild season. Reggie Dunn's kick return in the fourth quarter provided not only the win but the you've-got-to-be-kidding-me highlight of the year.

He'd been playing a cat-and-mouse game all day with kickoff returns and finally snagged one, adding to his NCAA-record totals and providing the difference in Utah's 42-35 win over Colorado.

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Dunn called it an unbelievable moment for him and a great way to end the game. His effort gave the Utes something to cheer about too in what otherwise was turning out to be a dreary season finale.

The offense and defense both had big breakdowns, leading to what coach Kyle Whittingham called a 'mixed bag' for the Utes.

John White rushed for 168 yards before leaving the game with a broken arm. He finished with 1,041 yards for the season and 2,560 in his career to rank sixth at Utah.

The defense came away with four interceptions, but the Utes still needed some heroics to beat Colorado.

Luckily Dunn delivered.

"It was a great way to go out," he said.

Ok, here are the grades

Overall: C+

Not going to give the Utes much of a break here. They were favored by 23 points against a team that has only managed to win one game. The offense had all kinds of issues and it was shocking to see Utah's defense give up huge chunks of yardage to the Buffs.

Offense: D

Utah offensive coordinator Brian Johnson didn't look too happy as he left the locker room Friday and you can't blame him. The Utes managed just 336 yards against the Buffs with quarterback Travis Wilson going 13-for-25 for 128 yards. Utah struggled mightily on third downs, converting just 3-of-12.

The positives were that Wilson didn't throw a pick and the rushing tandem of White and Kelvin York. York rushed 10 times for 25 yards and a touchdown in his first game back since injuring his ankle against Cal.

Defense: B-

The Utes gave up a ton of yardage but the takeaways made the difference. Tackle Dave Kruger didn't play but even in his absence it was surprising to see the Utes allow the Buffs to make so many big plays. Whittingham said the Utes have a lot to work on for 2013, that secondary play has to be high on his list.

Special teams: A

Coleman Petersen went 2-for-2 in field goals, Dunn had a return for a touchdown and Tom Hackett dropped four of his five punts inside the 20-yard line. The only goofs were fumbles by Charles Henderson on returns. He recovered one and lost the other.

- Lya Wodraska



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