Report Card: Utah vs. Oregon

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Kaelin Clay — D
Everyone knows about “the play” for which Clay will always be remembered. The receiver beat his man deep, and quarterback Travis Wilson placed it perfectly in Clay’s hands, leading to an assumed touchdown. However, Clay dropped the ball a yard shy of crossing the plane, and the Duck defenders took the ball the other way in what seemed like the “Flying V” formation, all the way to the house. Just looking at his numbers, Clay finished the game with 331 all-purpose yards. But the 14-point swing that was caused by the hands of Clay warrants a lower grade, bringing him down to almost a failing mark. As far as a leadership grade goes, Clay deserves to be a lot higher. After the game, Clay took full responsibility for the loss, showing how much he cares about this team. If I’m a Utah fan, I’m looking for the return man to make some noise next week in Palo Alto.
Travis Wilson — B-
I know, I know, he threw not only his first pick of the season, but also his second against the Oregon defense on Saturday night. However, Wilson was heading into this game knowing he wasn’t going to start. Being the competitor he is, I’m sure Wilson still prepared for this game as if he would play, but for someone who didn’t look like he would get much playing time after the starter Kendal Thompson led the Utes to a touchdown on the first drive of the game, Wilson did a pretty good job. The quarterback finished the game going 18-for-28 for nearly 300 yards and two touchdowns. Add on the touchdown that he lost from Clay’s mishap, and it seems Wilson is capable of leading this team after all.
Andy Phillips — C+
This is by no means a knock on Phillips, as I know this guy can kick the football. The only reason he gets a middle-of-the-pack grade is because he just didn’t do anything that spectacular in the game. The kicker hit 2-of-3 field goals, with the longest being from only 32 yards out. He was close to making his game spectacular by hitting a 48-yarder, but his kick was just off as it clanged off the goal post and fell to the ground. There was enough leg on the ball for it to be good from nearly 60 yards, but the game was mostly mediocre for Phillips.
Defense — Incomplete
I struggled giving this unit a grade, good or bad. I can really see both sides of it. On one hand, there’s a tough Utah defense that made this Oregon offense work for every point. Even if at times the Ducks found some gaps for some big plays, that’s more of a testament to their speed and athleticism than it is poor defense being played. However, the Utes did give up 508 total yards, including 269 on the ground. I’m willing to let them re-do this assignment. Take it home, work some things out and I’ll reevaluate after Stanford next weekend.
 
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