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Utah vs. Arizona: Grading the Wildcats position groups

Let's make a report card

Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

It finally happened. The Arizona Wildcats found a season-defining win, and it came against the No. 10 Utah Utes.

So how did each position group do? Let's figure that out in this week's report card:

Quarterbacks: B+

That was the Anu Solomon that we enjoyed watching during the first part of last season. He was running (10 carries for 86 yards), he was connecting on passes (17-27, 277 yards, 2 TDs). Everything was flowing.

There were a couple of questionable decisions where Solomon decided to throw, when he clearly had enough running room to pick up the first down and more in those spots. And an awful interception was thrown in there on one of those plays he should have run as well.

Then he got hurt, and Jerrard Randall came in, and the offense stalled out like none other. He had four carries for -3 yards. And he was 0-for-4 through the air, until the fateful toss to Nate Phillips.

"You know, I'm pretty satisfied with that touchdown pass at the end of the game," Randall said afterwards. "I would have like to have had a few more passes, but it doesn't work out like that. I'm just happy with myself that I fought the adversity that I had."

Running backs: B-

There was nothing extraordinary that happened in the ground game, which is bizarre considering that's how Arizona has beat Utah in the past. Nick Wilson got a little nicked up, and finished with six carries for 27 yards. Jared Baker had 13 totes for 67 yards.

Arizona averaged 4.6 yards per carry. The longest run of the night was 19 yards. Nothing spectacular here, but enough.

Wide receivers: A

It felt so good to see Cayleb Jones and Samajie Grant get involved early and often. Outside of an early drop by David Richards, the receivers as a whole were making plays that we haven't seen all year. Then of course it all came to a head when Nate Phillips made that spectacular catch in the second overtime. Just great stuff overall.

Offensive line: A-

They get downgraded because of a bad Cayman Bundage snap late in the second quarter that would have cost Arizona the game because of the huge change in momentum after that play. But being real here, Arizona quarterbacks were not sacked once in this game. That is a phenomenal accomplishment considering how Utah's defensive line had performed to this point so far this year.

Defensive line: A

On the flip side, Arizona had FOUR sacks on the night. FOUR. They had been averaging 1.9 per game. Reggie Gilbert had five tackles, including a big one in overtime. Jeff Worthy had a very timely sack. Jack Banda and Parker Zellers were making plays. That may have been the best performance by an Arizona defensive line in at least the last two years.

Linebackers: A-

There were about two drives where Devontae Booker was able to gash the Arizona defense. Outside of that? Everyone up front was stout. Paul Magloire and DeAndre' Miller each had six tackles. Sir Thomas Jackson made a big play in overtime. Jake Matthews had four tackles before suffering a leg injury late in the fourth quarter. I was just really impressed with the defense as a whole on Saturday.

Secondary: B+

There were a couple of blown coverages that prevent this group from getting an A. But I'd like to focus on the positives. Tellas Jones was the best player out there, making plays in the backfield, in coverage, everywhere. It was crazy. Anthony Lopez was his typical self, recording a sack on a safety blitz.

At corner, Jarvis McCall looked good, and made a huge play that led to a Jamar Allah interception. McCall and DaVonte' Neal were basically the only corners to see the field Saturday night. That's a nice change of pace from the revolving door that we've seen at those positions.

Special teams: A

Casey Skowron was 3-for-3 on field goals and 4-for-4 on extra points. And five of his six kickoffs were touchbacks.

Drew Riggleman punted three times, averaging 47 yards a punt.

That'll get the job done, and all of these things certainly combined to make it the biggest win of the season for Arizona, and secured bowl eligibility.