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Utah Utes vs USC Trojans 09/23/2016

John Cordes/Icon Sportswire

Scouting Notes

Utah Utes vs USC Trojans 09/23/2016

Utah Utes vs Southern California Trojans

Friday, September 123, 2016

Rice-Eccles Stadium/Salt Lake City, UT

Score:  Utah (31), Southern Cal (27)

Notable Prospects Entering the Contest

Southern California Offense

JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Junior:  Smith-Schuster had his best game of the 2016 season as he totaled eight receptions for 98 yards. He showed effective route-running skills on a 3rd and 7 first down conversion where the corner played off and soft and he timed his plant foot well to come back to the football and separate. He also showed good awareness on a 3rd and 8 conversion to sit down between zones and convert. He showed soft hands and the ability to create quick separation which was effective given Utah’s plan to not allow anything down the the field. Smith-Schuster fought through any DB’s attempt to play physical and disrupt his pattern. Stock:  Same

Justin Davis, RB, Senior:  Davis had his most productive outing of the season as he racked up 126 rushing yards on 10 carries including a touchdown. Davis was decisive and explosive hitting the hole and displayed terrific vision both in the hole and in space. He showed excellent burst where he continually broke angles and tacklers were left diving at his ankles. Davis found daylight with consistency and despite an early fumble, had a terrific outing. Stock:  Up

Chad Wheeler, OT, Senior:  Wheeler had a good game as a pass blocker, demonstrating quick feet that can slide and mirror rushers. He displayed a powerful base to anchor and re-anchor while proving to be effective creating space in the run game. Wheeler has excellent play speed and he was efficient in getting out in space and executing blocks. Stock:  Up

Zach Banner, OT, Senior:  Banner had a sloppy game where he allowed pressure on the QB because of his slow feet but what surprised me most was the lack of power he demonstrated. Banner was repeatedly walked back to the passer on bull rushes and stood back up into the hole when drive blocking. He also struggled with hand placement where they were too wide and opponents were able to get into his chest plate and control at the point of attack. After a good junior season, Banner is not continuing his ascension as a senior.  Stock:  Down

Southern Cal Defense

Adoree Jackson, CB, Junior:  On a positive note, Jackson displayed his dynamic ability with the ball in his hands on his kickoff return for a touchdown. For the most part, his cornerback play was underwhelming and he was targeted and taken advantage of when his team needed him most. I noted 6 receptions allowed due to an easy inside release established by the receiver to gain leverage and make receptions. His press technique was inconsistent and he was widening too much in his transitions which allowed separation and completions. On Utah’s game winning TD drive, Jackson allowed a whopping 6 catches including the go ahead score where he was simply out-physicaled for the football. He did have a positive rep where he was tested on a fade route and played the ball perfectly to breakup the pass but this was a poor outing from a highly regarded prospect.

Stock:  Down

Utah Offense

JJ Dielman, C, Senior:  Dielman had  a solid outing where he demonstrated good movement skills and timing in the execution of his blocks as it pertains to the play design. He was effective sealing at the second level, creating gaps and movement in the run game while mostly working himself into good body position. There were some times where Dielman lost leverage and was unable to anchor but this was all in all a sound performance. Stock:  Same

Isaac Asiata, G, Senior:  It’s obvious that there is considerable chemistry between Dielman and Asiata when watching them function on combo blocks and pass protection where they are perfectly in synch with the timing and design of the plays. Asiata has good play strength and was able to create running lanes and work as pulling guard. He doesn’t quite have the same level of athleticism as Dielman but he does have a bit more power.  Stock:  Same

Utah Defense

Marcus Williams, S, Junior:  Williams was asked to function as a last line of defense player and to keep everything in front of him which he did. This limited the amount of aggressive, playmaking opportunities for Williams but to his credit, he fulfilled his assignment well and kept the Trojan offense in check for the most part. Stock:  Same

Lowell Lotulelei, DT, Junior:  Lotulelei missed most of the contest with a shoulder injury but he was dominant when he was on the field. He showed tremendous get off, power and hand technique to stack and shed against the run. He was an impactful pass rusher where he displayed hand technique to create separation and the quickness to apply pressure. He is powerful to hold his ground and penetrate the line of scrimmage. Stock:  Same

Other Players that Flashed

Hunter Dimick, DE, Senior:  Dimick dominated his matchup with Zach Banner where he showed excellent play strength to set the edge and work Banner back into the QB on passing downs. He is a very sound run defender both playside and backside.

Best Players on the Field

Hunter Dimick, DE, Utah

Justin Davis, RB, USC

JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, USC

Chad Wheeler, OT, USC

Forgettable Performances

Adoree Jackson, CB, USC

Zach Banner, OT, USC

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Joe Marino

Marino began his career as the Assistant Editor for USA Today Digital Properties Draft Sites Network in 2011. A member of the FWAA, Marino writes about the NFL, College Football and NFL Draft for FanRag Sports.

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