Report Card: Utes vs. Stanford

Courtesy+by+Kevin+Hsu

Kevin Hsu

Courtesy by Kevin Hsu

Courtesy by Kevin Hsu
Courtesy by Kevin Hsu

 
Travis Wilson — B+
Was it me, or did Wilson actually look good in Saturday night’s win over Stanford? Obviously, there were times throughout the game where he could have made better decisions — I mean, he’s not that good. But Wilson played the game against the Cardinal with poise and made some good throws throughout the contest. In the end, the quarterback finished the game completing 21-of-28 for 177 yards and two touchdowns. The real encouraging thing for Utah going forward is that the Utes threw the ball downfield, letting Wilson show off his arm. And he didn’t disappoint, for the most part.
Devontae Booker — B-
It’s hard to give Booker a bad grade. He has been instrumental to the Utes’ success this season, and it’s not even that he played poorly in this one — he just didn’t have the Booker-like numbers we’ve all grown to expect. The workhorse of a running back finished the game with 17 carries for 58 yards as well as recording nine catches for 41 yards out of the backfield. It’s clear Booker has become a more integral part of the passing game, and it seems to be paying off for Utah. Not his best game, but Booker did enough to keep the Utes in this game.
Tom Hackett — A
When I looked at the box score, I had to do a double take when coming across Hackett’s numbers. The punter from down under punted the ball nine times in this contest for a total of 402 yards. Additionally, six of those punts landed inside the Stanford 20-yard line, which allowed Utah’s defense to have the upper hand on the Cardinal. Hackett, who is known for his rugby style of punting, has seemingly recorded jaw-dropping punts — did I really just say that? — every time he’s on the field, and it was no different on Saturday night. Hackett is changing the way fourth down has been watched for years and is actually making it entertaining.
Nate Orchard — A+
This guy is simply a beast on the football field. Everyone knows Orchard’s story, and he has produced all season long, as he is one of the nation’s leaders in sacks. The do-it-all Orchard was all over the field against the Cardinal, recording 10 tackles and 3.5 sacks. Those sacks put Orchard atop the record board, and he now owns the single-season record at Utah for sacks. Additionally, the homegrown talent forced a fumble that Utah recovered. That change in possession was what eventually led to the Ute touchdown that tied up the game at seven apiece in the second quarter. The Utah defense was solid on Saturday night, and Orchard was a big reason why.
 
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