Report of the first fully padded day for the Utes in fall camp.
Today was the first full pads day for the Utes. The defense won the battle of physicality on Day 5, “punching the offense in the mouth,” according to coach Kyle Whittingham, and the offense was a step behind.
The defensive line was outstanding, grabbing a few sacks and stuffing most runs up the middle. The defensive backfield smothered receivers and tight ends, knocking long and intermediate-level passes down. The pass-catchers didn’t help themselves with a case of a several drops from newcomers and veterans, attributed to a lack of concentration by Whittingham. On top of that, there were a handful miscommunicated plays between quarterbacks and receivers on route timing and length.
The Utes’ young talent is impressive, especially those on the defensive side of the field. Bradlee Anae and Leki Fotu are standing out already in their reps
In the media observation period, Tyler Huntley appeared to have the best 20 minutes in red zone and full 11s drills, though none of the QBs had a great day. Whittingham mentioned Williams had played well throughout the day, though no clear QB pecking order has been established. The QBs still are taking reps with different squads. Williams is expected to eventually win the job, though that hasn’t taken place yet.
The linebackers were a big question mark coming into last week because of a lack of depth. The top two backers in Sunia Tauteoli, Kavika Luafatasaga are performing at an adequate level, and will likely be the two guys in the standard nickel package.
J.J. Dielman continues to take reps with the ones at center, with Bolles taking his 2015 place at right tackle. His snaps are still errant at times, but he is likely to win out that center spot while Hiva Lutui heals from his spring ball injury. The snapping issues should iron out within the next week or two.
Head coach Kyle Whittingham:
QB Troy Williams with Bill Riley on ESPN 700:
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