The game ball today goes to the defense, which recorded the best play of the day (see below) and played very well. However, the offensive stumbles were, according to offensive coordinator Dave Christensen, because today was devoted to installing new plays.
Coaches are reserving judgment on position groups until after a few padded practices down the line. Right now, practices are mostly about getting reps under each player’s belt.
Today belonged to Travis Wilson, definitely. He was quick with his throws, balanced touch and arm strength, and had the best throw of the day. He threw a deep ball down the sideline and it hit wide receiver Kenric Young's hands in stride, but the pass was broken up by defensive back Reggie Porter.
Thompson had more missed throws today than yesterday. He also had a ball batted at the line by Pita Taumoepenu. He also took a sack where he was stripped of the ball, as well.
Redshirt freshman Conner Manning was again the last quarterback on the field. He's working hard to improve himself and, potentially, move into the number two spot.
Wilson is likely to be the starting QB. He is more experienced, has better poise, and better mechanics than the others at this point. The gap isn’t Wilson/Jon Hays big, but it’s fairly clear at this point. One important take-away from this camp is that Utah’s quarterback depth is vastly improved from recent years.
Junior Kenneth Scott again had the best day of the wide receivers. He made a great leaping catch on a slightly underthrown ball from Kendal Thompson.
Tim Patrick had a nice catch and run in the open field. Coach Taylor Stubblefield referred to him as a "wild stallion."
Senior Andre Lewis was targeted once, and he dropped the ball, but coach Stubblefield said the 6-3 wideout would start on a lot of other teams and said he will have a definite role in the Utes offense.
Delshawn McClellon had a nice catch and is looking good. He may be the starter at the H-receiver at this early point in camp.
Kaelin Clay is starting to get worked into the rotation. He still needs some work on his conditioning, getting in football shape and learning the offense, but he definitely has great speed.
Freshman speedster Kenric Young (6-foot, 180) of Florida almost had a 20+-yard reception, but great coverage and a nice breakup by sophomore defensive back Reggie Porter (5-11, 181) prevented the catch. It was a good route from Young though, but Porter was stride for stride with the former high school track star and ripped the ball out at the last second, which bodes well for the Utes secondary.
Coach Stubblefield was very excited about the work Dres has put in.
The wide receiving corps is diverse, with bigger players (like Scott, Tim Patrick, and Lewis) and a lot of speed guys. It is difficult to really tell what each of the wide receivers can bring, since the practices haven't gone to full pads yet.
Freshman tight end Wallace Gonzalez (6-5, 240) came off as a great person. He knows it is a business and will follow through on his responsibilities. He's very physically imposing as a person, so if he has decent speed, he could be a great weapon for Utah in the future. He has a good sense of humor, as well.
Isaac Asiata took most of his reps at right guard, with JJ Dielman taking most of his at right tackle again. There were rotations for sure, but most of the time the offensive line was the same as yesterday. There wasn’t a timeline presented by the coaches to solidify the starting five, but we will mostly know by this time next week.
Senior defensive back Eric Rowe has excellent defensive instincts and will slide into the cornerback role well.
Senior free safety Tevin Carter (6-1, 210) had a strong showing today. He has a good football IQ, has nice ball-tracking ability, as well as the speed to close the gap. He told us neither his health or speed are at 100% yet, simply due to not playing football last year, but feels he’ll be good to go for the season.
Utah has a lot of good athletes with some really high potential in their cornerbacks. The talent needs to be polished before they see results in conference play, but the athleticism is there. They have a good amount of third and even fourth options for nickel and dime packages in sophomore Justin Thomas (5-8, 178), Porter, and senior Wykie Freeman (5-11, 174). Utah also gave some playing time to younger players like freshmen Andre Godfrey (5-10, 190), Travonne Hobbs (5-9, 175), and Casey Hughes (5-11, 185). However, Hughes struggled against the bigger, stronger Tim Patrick (6-5, 195).
Offensive Player of the Day: Wilson - He separated himself from the other quarterbacks today by working throws at every level and playing more consistently than Thompson.
Kenneth Scott - He is very consistent and works very hard to make plays. His leaping downfield catch on a slightly under thrown ball was a highlight of the day.
Defensive Player of the Day: Porter - He's come on strong this fall, and today was more of the same. His breakup of Wilson's deep sideline pass was by far the best play of the day, and he matched up well with every receiver he went against.
Quote of the Day: "I think I’m in great shape, but not Utah shape" - freshman tight end Wallace Gonzalez (6-5, 240) when asked how he felt regarding conditioning and tempo.