Spring Ball Practice Report 4/5/11

The Utes had their latest practice in cold and windy conditions which resulted in supbar play...

Utah had their first practice after their Friday evening scrimmage and it was an ugly practice for the quarterbacks and offensive line. Neither quarterback played particularly well, and to be fair the struggles by Tyler Shreve and Griff Robles could have been due to the gusting winds.

Most of the practice was spent on unit drills and teaching fundamentals with only the last quarter of the practice going in 11-on-11. Even though Luke Matthews moved to the fullback position he was practicing with the wide receivers in their drills, and on the day he was by far the best receiver on the day.

The quarterbacks and receivers were working on hitch-and-go deep routes where the quarterbacks used a shoulder fake and then throwing the deep pass to receivers. There was no defense and the passes and route running were inconsistent. The passes came in all sorts of ways from bouncing on the turf to the receivers, too high, out of reach and only a few were able to be caught. With no defense present the quarterbacks and receiver's were not on the same page and were moving before the ball was to be snapped. Offensive penalties were an issue during Friday's scrimmage as well.

In one-on-one drills between the receivers and cornerbacks, the quarterbacks were better but were still having trouble connecting, but credit needs to be given to the defensive backs who were also having a stellar day. Robert Lacey, Reggie Topps and redshirt freshman Joseph Smith were standouts during these drills as none of the receivers they were guarding caught a single pass.

During the full team scrimmage during the last part of practice the defensive line was the best unit. They were getting sacks and forcing the quarterback out of the pocket and seemed to happen on nearly every other play. Jacoby Hall and Tevita Finau were the two who were consistently getting into the backfield.

When the offensive line was holding up Shreve did throw touchdown passes to Dres Anderson and Reggie Dunn. The Dunn touchdown was the best pass of the day as it was a 40-yard strike in the endzone. Mo Lee also looked good in the team scrimmage and had at least four receptions, all were in the intermediate passing game which is an area that has been non-existent so far in spring camp. 

While coach Whittingham says the running backs are all even, but today the best back was John White who was using spin moves and jukes to get past the defensive line and was tough to bring down. White received the majority of the carries compared to Harvey Langi and Thretton Palamo. Even Palamo received more carries then Langi this afternoon.

Jordan Wynn did suit up at practice today and while he did not throw, which was expected, he worked on his footwork and took part in the team scrimmage on running plays.


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