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Red-White game dominated by defense

Spring Game
Spring Game

The largest crowd in Utah spring football history watched a defensive battle and, ultimately, an offensive struggle as Red defeated White 7-0 in Utah's annual spring game.

Quarterback Tyler Shreve, a true freshman who is battling Griff Robles for the second spot to the injured Jordan Wynn, had the lone touchdown pass of the day - as he found Dexter Ransom late in the second quarter.

That was the last major offensive play of the day in what turned out to be a listless and rather uneventful spring game.

Of course, the poor performance by the offense shouldn't be a surprise, as the offensive line was depleted and Wynn, as mentioned, sat out.

Whittingham had this to say about the game:

"It's tough to make a definitive call on the offense. We didn't have Jordan, who we expect to run it with a lot more proficiency than what we had this spring. I saw some good things. The running backs, I believe, are encouraging. I think we're going to have a nice set of receivers--although DeVonte and Dres didn't play today. On the offensive line, we're still looking for a guard."

So there isn't much to glean from Saturday's performance. At least to the point where any of us should worry about the potential of major struggle once the 2011 season rolls around. 

Not with so many players out and the offense still trying to grasp the scheme changes.

That doesn't mean, though, there isn't work to be done. While Wynn sitting out played a major role in the struggles Saturday, what showed here is how unprepared the Utes are if Wynn does happen to go down during the upcoming season. Shreve and Robles have not proven, at any point during spring camp, they're ready to step in and fill in for Wynn if the situation dictates. 

That is a concern. Wynn has not proven to be the most durable quarterback out there and right now, Utah is nowhere near ready to handle another injury from him.

But hopefully it doesn't come to that. Hopefully we only see either Shreve or Robles (and maybe Jon Hays) in mop up duty. 

If that's the case, the offense does appear to have a nice foundation. I was extremely impressed with Harvey Langi, who is a true freshman and will be battling for the starting running back spot. In fact, I'd wager the running backs were the most impressive of the offensive unit, as John White also did well for the White team. 

Defensively, I liked what I saw. With all the questions surrounding the offense throughout spring, I would have actually been more concerned if the defense didn't look good Saturday. They did what they were supposed to - held down a weakened offense and that's good.

Of the defense, I was most satisfied with Trevor Reilly. Playing linebacker, he had 2.5 sacks and a pass breakup. 

Overall, I guess it was a typical spring game. There were no serious injuries, not all questions were answered and the team isn't anywhere near their potential. 

Hopefully there is more progress over the spring and summer months and that Wynn heals up nicely - because the season is riding on his shoulders, both literally and figuratively.