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Go Utes!
Defense Shines in First Scrimmage

Freshman QB Travis Wilson's acrobatic flip came up just short of the goal line.

Freshman QB Travis Wilson's acrobatic flip came up just short of the goal line.

Aug. 9, 2012


Photo Gallery by Brooke Frederickson

Scrimmage Stats Get Acrobat Reader

Even with newly-minted SI.com preseason All-America defensive tackle Star Lotulelei watching from the sidelines, the defense held the upper hand in the first scrimmage of fall camp. The quarterbacks failed to lead any scoring drives when the ball was spotted at their own 35-yard line, but did find the end zone six times in the red zone and two-minute drills.

Lotulelei and running back John White did not play to let others battle for places on the depth chart.

"The defense won the scrimmage but the offense did some things well," said coach Kyle Whittingham. "We ran the ball well and were better in the two-minute (drill) than we have been up to this point, including going back to spring camp."

Junior college transfers James Poole, who just recently joined the team, and Kelvin York looked particularly good out of the backfield. Poole rushed 10 times for 65 yards and broke off a nice 31-yard run, while York had eight carries for 41 yards. Lucky Radley's 11 rushes included a 1-yard touchdown during red zone action and Jarrell Oliver scored on a 9-yard run during two-minute drills.

Also showing off his running skills was third string quarterback Travis Wilson. The 6-foot-6, 220-pound true freshman has been "live" to the defenders throughout camp and showed athleticism and speed even while taking some big hits. Wilson, who also completed 6-of-7 passes for 65 yards, was involved in the most acrobatic play of the day. He leaped high over the pile only to get hit so hard he windmilled in the air, doing a full flip before landing just short of the goal line.

Starter Jordan Wynn completed 8-of-15 passes for 123 yards and three touchdowns during red zone play, but also threw pick in the end zone to Mo Lee. Backup QB Jon Hays was 2-of-5 passing for 55 yards. Luke Matthews led the receivers with four catches for 94 yards (long of 60) and a touchdown.

The defensive line showed off its depth in Lotulelei's absence, with new juco transfer Tenny Palepoi forcing a fumble, recovering two fumbles and adding a tackle for loss. Sophomore defensive end Nate Fakahafua had one and a half sacks.

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