The No. 1 offense and defense went head to head Saturday in Rice-Eccles Stadium.
April 7, 2012
SALT LAKE CITY--
The 3,000-plus fans who attended Utah's first spring scrimmage enjoyed plenty of offense and some big defensive plays on a sunny morning in Rice-Eccles Stadium. Eighth-year head coach Kyle Whittingham termed the 97-play scrimmage as "overall very productive and very positive," while reserving special praise for the four quarterbacks, receiver Dres Anderson, running back Harvey Langi, the offensive line and the linebackers.
"Dres and Harvey stood out for the offense and I was very pleased with our offensive line, which has just nine healthy bodies. They are getting better each day," said Whittingham. "On defense, I like how the young linebackers are coming along. They had a good day."
Anderson caught seven passes for 96 yards and a 22-yard touchdown from rookie quarterback Travis Wilson. Langi (9 rushes for 42 yards) and Jarrell Oliver (11 rushes for 49 yards and a touchdown) carried the ground game while Heisman Trophy candidate John White watched.
Starter Jordan Wynn completed 11 of 27 passes for 103 yards and two touchdowns, the first to fullback Max Moala and later to tight end Jake Murphy. Murphy finished with three catches for 40 yards. Wynn also engineered a nice touchdown drive against the first-string defense that finished with DeVonte Christopher running a 3-yard reverse into the end zone with no one near him.
Backup QBs Wilson, Chase Hansen and Jon Hays performed well with the Wilson and Hansen getting their first taste of college defenders in a live scrimmage situation (Wynn was the only Ute off limits to tacklers). Wilson finished 9 of 11 passing for 106 yards, a touchdown and an interception. The new freshman's interception proved costly as cornerback Keith McGill returned it 35 yards for a touchdown. Hansen was 3 of 4 passing for 10 yards and Hays completed all four of his pass attempts for 55 yards.
Even with All-America candidate Star Lotulelei and linebacker Trevor Reilly sitting out the entire scrimmage to allow some youngsters compete, the defense brought the heat. Joe Kruger finished with three of the defense's five sacks, Joape Pela had a sack and two tackles for loss and V.J. Fehoko, Joseph Smith and Jacoby Hale each had two tackles for loss.
Kruger also broke up a pass--one of seven breakups on the day. One of the most impressive was a Tyler White knock down in the end zone on a Wynn to Christopher pass.
The kicking game was inconsistent with Coleman Petersen going 3-of-5 from 20-40 yards out and 1-of-5 from 50 yards out (his longest make was a 51-yarder). Nick Marsh was 2-of-4 in field goals with a long make of 29 yards.
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