Report Card: Utah at UCLA


The Utes had yet another test for the 2014 season and, as a team, passed with flying colors. But, how did individual players or units do? The report card is in, and here are the grades:
Kendal Thompson — A+
No, Thompson did not play a perfect game in Pasadena, but let’s give credit where credit is due. The Oklahoma transfer knew he had a chance of playing Saturday night, but who would have thought he would have played for nearly the whole game? He walked into a hostile environment in the mecca of college football and came away victorious over a top-10 team. Not too shabby for a backup quarterback, eh?
Devontae Booker — A
I struggled with putting a grade on this one only because he had such a good week last week. Booker had yet another great performance on the ground, rushing 33 times for 156 yards and a touchdown. The only reason I gave him an ‘A’ and not an ‘A+’ is because he didn’t do as well as last week. But honestly, Booker played out of this world and was dragging Bruin defenders along the way.
Dres Anderson — B
Anderson, a Riverside, Calif. native, came home to play in the Rose Bowl, and he relished the opportunity. Despite not having a huge game, the receiver did come down with an amazing 42-yard touchdown catch between two Bruin defenders. He only finished with two catches for 38 yards, but hey, that touchdown was a great catch and a big momentum gainer.
Defensive Front Seven — A++
If one didn’t watch the game, it would be easy to look at the stat sheet and see that UCLA rushed for over 200 yards and threw for nearly 270 and say that the Bruins got the better of Utah. However, this front seven, namely Nate Orchard, looked dominant throughout the game. Late in the game with UCLA deep in its own territory, the Utes came up with three straight sacks to force a punt. The unit finished with 10 sacks overall, the most for the Utes since 1983. This group has performed well all season long and it stepped up on the biggest of stages.
Receivers — D
Heading into the season, the receiving core was one of the strengths of this Ute squad, headlined by the aforementioned Anderson and his partner-in-crime, Kenneth Scott. However, last night against the Bruins, this group looked terrible. There were dropped balls after dropped balls, and they really didn’t help Thompson out that much. The group as a whole combined for just 100 yards. The Utes weren’t looking to put up huge passing numbers with Thompson at the helm, but they still looked terrible. If Utah wants to solidify itself as a contender, this group needs to be better.
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