If you've been connected online the last couple days since Friday's spring scrimmage, I'm guessing you're already questioning the state of the offense and our quarterback situation. Is Travis Wilson the guy? Is there a chance Adam Schulz pushes for the starting role ... and what about Brandon Cox?
For what it's worth, I still believe Wilson is the guy and would be surprised if he isn't the guy come August. But after how last season unfolded, I'm guessing there is a great deal of our fan base who is less confident in the sophomore's ability. This past scrimmage certainly didn't help alleviate those fears.
Wilson was a 11 of 25 for one touchdown and two interceptions. He struggled for large portions of the scrimmage and Schulz, who, not too long ago, was a walk-on, definitely looked more impressive. However, by the end of the scrimmage, he cooled off immensely and finished with numbers that weren't that much better than Wilson's - he completed 13 of 22 passes, did have two touchdown throws ... but, like Wilson, also threw two interceptions.
It's easy to get antsy at this point and wonder if Schulz is the better option than Wilson. But I think it's also important to pull back and realize that while Wilson wasn't great Friday, Schulz's performance wasn't head and shoulders above Wilson's and because of that, it's way premature to proclaim him a potential starter.
Wilson has also made some great improvements throughout spring ball, even though they weren't on full display in the scrimmage. That's important to point out because it wasn't like Wilson was bad last year, anyway, so, this progress we're seeing, from a quarterback who stepped into his role fairly admirably, I might add, should at least offer some optimism.
But the big picture here is that Utah has options and better options than they did last season. If Wilson doesn't pan out, which I still think is a bit of ridiculous claim, Schulz or Cox could settle into the role fairly solidly. Still, that path is not one I anticipate we'll head down, but it's good to know there are possibilities that don't end with Jon Hays lining up under center (and credit Hays for all he did here at Utah - the guy played his ass off and deserves respect for that ... but he was a less ideal situation).
Overall, Kyle Whittingham said he was pleased by the scrimmage, though there was still work to be done. I agree with that. Friday looked every bit like the first scrimmage of spring ball. Beyond all that...
James Poole continues to impress. He finished the day with 68 yards and three touchdowns, by far the best performance of any of the running backs. Kelvin York, if you didn't know, is being held out for turf toe, so, he didn't participate in the scrimmage. Lucky Radley, who you keep waiting for to get his break because he's such a great guy, had 47 yards on 10 carries and 1 touchdown - so, hopefully his is a name we hear this fall. I know Lucky had a fairly good spring in 2012, but saw minimal action last year.
Of the receivers, Dres Anderson once again continues to improve. I'm giddy knowing he's only a junior because I think he could turn out to be something special. He had one touchdown, but led all receivers with 103 yards on six catches. Kenneth Scott also had a good day, though he failed to score a touchdown.
So, it was a mixed day for Utah's offense. I'm guessing some will make hay out of the quarterback problems, but that doesn't worry me at this point. I still believe Wilson is the guy and hope that he is when we line up against USU - not because I have some affinity for him, but because I do believe he's a good quarterback.
On the defensive end, like offense, it was mixed bag. Lots of long plays in this scrimmage, but I guess that means good things for the offense. This is why scrimmages are so tough to gauge because if one side of the ball is doing extremely well, it's at the expense of the other. But I'll mention Keith McGill, who was very solid in his defense with four pass breakups. It's good to see McGill back.
Special teams are still, sadly, special. Utah really is going to have an interesting kicking game again this year, as Andy Phillips missed a 34 and 52 yard field goal - though he did make a 27, 30 and 30. Jamie Sutcliffe made a 27, a 41 and 47, while missing a 27 and a 41. So, not exactly solid numbers ... but hey, they made their PATs! There's that.
Good scrimmage? I think it was okay. Not amazing by any stretch, but it was good enough ... especially for spring.
Utah will hold another scrimmage on Saturday and then a week later, host the annual Red-White Game.