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Camp Kyle Scrimmage #1

rice eccles

Tuesday morning saw the first of what will likely be 2 true scrimmages for Kyle Whittingham’s football team at Rice Eccles Stadium. Today’s scrimmage saw the offense hold an edge over the defense, with a fair number of big plays being executed by the Utah Offense. Whittingham liked the tempo of the 1st team offense, but the 2nd team needs to pick things up. The corners continue to be the biggest concern on the defensive side of the ball, Whitt says they are down to 5-6 players competing for the starting spot.

Here’s Head Coach Kyle Whittingham’s extensive post scrimmage media session.

Scrimmage Standouts

Kelvin York-The senior solidified his spot as Utah’s top running back with an 11 carry 70 yard effort that was highlighted with a touchdown and a long run of 20 yards. Dennis Erickson loves him and compared him to a guy he had at Arizona State, Cameron Marshall.

Anthony Denham-We’ve been talking about Denham for 2 years now. He finally appears ready to step up and become a play maker. He had 2 catches for 63 yards and 2 touchdowns in Tuesday’s scrimmage, with a long of 51 yards. Dennis Erickson said afterward that Denham looks like he’ll be the #3 WR for the Utah offense. I caught up with Denham after the scrimmage and here’s the audio.

Connor Manning-The true freshman QB isn’t likely to impact the top of the depth chart this fall, but he’s got a huge upside. Nobody on the Utah roster throws a better ball than Manning. In Tuesday’s scrimmage his numbers were 10-20 for 116yds and 3 Touchdowns. Now let’s remember he was running with and against the 3′s and 4′s, but his arm and instincts are unmistakeable. He also had at least 3 other balls dropped.

Dre’Vian Young-Another true freshman who turned heads today. Running with the 4th and 5th string offense, Young showed his speed, shiftiness and explosion. On his first run he broke the line of scrimmage, made a LB miss badly, then exploded for 25 more yards down near the goal line. His 2nd and final run was a thing of beauty, showing his speed, open field vision and effort to get into the end zone for roughly 60 yards. Young was one of the nation’s top high school 400 meter sprinters last spring and showed why today. Not sure if he’ll crack the RB depth chart this fall, but when he does look out.

Missing From Action

A number of Utah starters and key contributors were held out of today’s scrimmage. Among those who didn’t participate today were: Brian Blechen, Trevor Reilly, Eric Rowe, Tenny Palepoi,  and CJ Poutasi. Also missing from the scrimmage due to injury was redshirt freshman Reggie Porter, who had been the most consistent corner this fall so far. Porter is nursing a slight groin injury.

Kicking Game

Andy Phillips sits atop the depth chart at place kicker. He continues to hold that spot down after today’s scrimmage. Phillips went (5-5) on his FG attemtps (all mostly chip shots) and (2-3) on his PAT’s. Jaime Sutcliffe went (5-7) on his FG attempts with long of 55 yds and (1-1) on his PAT. Jon Halliday was (4-7) on FG attempts and (3-3) on his PAT’s.

Travis Wilson

Solid if not spectacular day for Travis Wilson today going (3-7) 56 yards and a touchdown. Tweaked his ankle after a series, but nothing to be concerned about.  Here’s what he had to say after his first scrimmage of fall camp.

Offensive Overview

The consensus out of the 90 play first scrimmage was that the offensive line and tight ends Jake Murphy and Wesley Tonga had outstanding days. Feeding off that offensive line play with the running game headed up by York, Poole, Williams and Radley.

Here’s Offensive Coordinator Dennis Erickson’s overview of the scrimmage.

Defensive Overview

A number of key defensive players sat out today’s scrimmage, mostly to allow the coaching staff to get a look at some of the younger and back up players. Here’s Hans Olsen catching up with Utah Defensive Coordinator Kalani Sitake after the scrimmage to get his thought on his defense in the 2nd week.

Saturday Scrimmage

Kyle Whittingham says that Saturday’s scrimmage is the key date for determining position battles in camp, because on Monday they will be in Utah State preparation.