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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Report Card: Williams and Defense Outperform Classmates against Buffs

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Travis Wilson — C-

Senior quarterback Travis Wilson (7) attermpts a pass at the Utah v olorado football game, Saturday November 28, 2015.
Senior quarterback Travis Wilson (7) attermpts a pass at the Utah v olorado football game, Saturday November 28, 2015.

On paper, Wilson had a pretty awful showing against the Buffs. A 10-for-26 performance for just 108 yards and one touchdown won’t turn many heads, but in the end, Wilson led the Utes to their ninth win of the season with a bowl game remaining. While the stat sheet tells one story, it’s not entirely Wilson’s fault. All season long, Utah’s receivers (minus one of Wilson’s favorite targets in the injured freshman Britain Covey) have struggled to create separation. That was an issue again on Saturday. But the C- grade is appropriate, as Wilson deserves a poor grade for his red zone interception alone. Seriously, what was he thinking on that throw? Utah will hope for a better outing from its senior quarterback in its bowl game.

 

 

Joe Williams — A

joe williams 2

When Devontae Booker went down with an injury two weeks ago, many expected his backup in Williams to be a serviceable backup to Utah’s best player. Williams has been much more than that, however, especially on Saturday, when he rushed for 187 yards and a score to help the Utes run past Colorado. This is not to say Williams is as talented as Booker, as the JUCO transfer still has a lot to accomplish before he can even touch Booker’s résumé. But there’s no denying the running back has a burst of speed that might prove to be special next season. Utah fans have got to be excited about his play late in the season.

 

Defense — A-

defense 6

Utah’s rush defense was as stout as ever on Saturday, holding the Buffs to just 49 yards on the ground. While the Utes gave up 258 yards through the air, the three interceptions and single fumble recovery helped contribute to holding Colorado to just 14 points. There were players flying all over the field — particularly seniors Gionni Paul, Tevin Carter and Jared Norris — and this unit continues to carry this Utah team into the postseason.

 

Special teams — B+

The special teams unit played a lot better on Saturday than it has in the last few weeks. Punter Tom Hackett looked like his normal self, pinning the Buffaloes inside their own 20-yard line three times in seven tries, while his partner-in-crime Andy Phillips was a perfect 2-for-2 on his field goals in a game that was decided by just six points. The return game lacked highlight plays, but that could be attributed to an undisclosed injury to the human joystick in Covey. The Utes will need him back for the bowl game if they hope to have an impact in the special teams.

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