2012 Preview: Offense

Looking at the Utes on the offensive side of the ball heading into 2012


Starter- Jordan Wynn

Backups- Jon Hays, Travis Wilson

Jordan Wynn is back, and that means the offense is going to return to a productive, dynamic level. If Wynn can stay healthy, something that has not been his forte during his time at Utah, the Utes will be able to move the ball consistently and average 400+ yards per game. If not, they'll struggle in the same manner that they did last season under Jon Hays. Hays is slotted as the backup right now, having beaten out true freshman Travis Wilson. Hays doesn't have the skills that Wynn and Wilson do, but is a gamer and helped will the Utes to victory in multiple games last season. Wilson is the trus freshman who wowed during spring and fall camp. He has a tremendous amount of upside, and has showed that a propensity for running the ball along with a big arm. Kyle Whittingham has never shown a willingness to preserve a redshirt if it can help the team, and Wilson will likely get the call in certain packages. All in all, the Utes are in much better shape this season at the quarterback spot than they were last season, and that WILL add to the victory total.

Running Backs

Starter = John White

Contributors = Kelvin York, Jarrell Oliver

John White returns to the Utes after a highly successful junior year in which he set school records for rushing yards in a season (1519 yards). Behind White, junior college transfer Kelvin York should bring the thunder to White's lightning. York's job isn't safe however, as Jarrell Oliver has emerged as a capable runner and continues to make his case for carries this season.

Fullbacks / H-Back
Starter- Dallin Rodgers

Contributor- Max Moala

At fullback / h-back, offensive coordinator Brian Johnson is expected to utilize two players, dependent upon situation. Dallin Rodgers will be the pass catching H back, while Max Moala looks to replace Shawn Asiata as John White's lead blocker in appropriate packages.

Wide Receivers

Starters- Devonte Christopher, Dres Anderson, Luke Matthews

Backups- Geoff Norwood, Sean Fitzgerald, Reggie Dunn, Kenneth Scott, Anthony Denham, Quinton Pedroza, Delshawn McClellon

This is a solid group with a lot of depth. DeVonte Christopher is a fifth-year senior with a lot of experience. He has led the team in receptions for each of the past two seasons. Dres Anderson brings speed and play-making abilities to the other side of the field making this a very threatening duo. Luke Matthews is a solid third option and the bench is full of players each with their own unique skill sets that can be used in different situations as needed. Many receivers will see time on the field this year.

Tight Ends

Starter: David Rolf

Backups: Jake Murphy, Westlee Tonga, Kendrick Moeai, and Dallin Rogers (starting H-back)

This group has a lot of talent. David Rolf is Mr. Blue Collar; he is a fantastic blocker that should really help the unsettled offensive line. Rolf is slated as the starter due to his ability to do everything well, his game has no weakness. Behind Rolf there are the two talented receiving tight ends, Jake Murphy, who is a spectacular athlete and could have a breakout season for the Utes this year, and Westlee Tonga who was an unstoppable force in the red zone during fall camp. Kendrick Moeai has played in 36 games as a Ute and is a solid backup who can do a little bit of everything. Lastly, Dallin Rogers will be playing the hybrid position, H-back. He is a jack of all trades and should be used a lot this season, Rogers was 3rd on the team in receptions last year, despite missing over half the season.

Offensive Line

Starters- Miles Mason, Jeremiah Tofaeono, Tevita Stevens, Sam Brenner, Percy Tuamoelau

Backups- Siaosi Aiono, Vyncent Jones, Kala Friel, Carlos Lozano, Jeremiah Poutasi, Hiva Lutui

If there is one area of concern on this team, this is it. The offensive line is replacing two all conference tackles, and no one stepped up and seized other job in spring or fall camp. Miles Mason and Percy Tuammoelau received the nods coming out of camp, but their starting spots are tentative at best as neither has been overly impressive, and there are younger guys nipping at their heels. On the interior, the Utes are set with Sam Brenner and Tevita Stevens leading the way. Brenner will compete for all conference honors, while Stevens could be the best center in the Pac 12. Tofaeono has locked down his starting spot and was consistent throughout fall. As for the backups, there are a ton of players ready to step in should an injury occur. Friel, Lutui, Lozano, Poutasi, and Aiono have never taken a division 1 snap before so all of the depth is inexperienced. The line could end up shuffling over the first couple of games while the coaches look to find the best fits with Vyncent Jones getting a long look at guard and Sam Brenner possibly moving out to tackle. It's going to be a trial by fire for the first couple of games, but there is plenty of talent on the roster and this group should be well above average by the end of the season.

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