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Utah Spring Football Scrimmage No. 2 Recap

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Daniel Spight

Utah had their second scrimmage of spring football Saturday, and it was heavily focused around specific game situations. They ran four minute situations, two minute, goal line, red zone and a lot of special teams work. We even saw victory formation work by the first team offense. Overall, not a lot of highlights and 'ooohs and ahhhs' but a solid overall practice for this team.

Offense

The offense, by in large, was rather ho-hum today. A lot of that had to do with the situations the coaches were putting the team in to simulate specific in-game moments. A lot of the day the offense was focused around ball control, making sure they were able to move the sticks with the ball on the ground and run out clock. The thing that really impressed me about this was the fact that even without Devontae Booker, the offense was able to get first downs and keep the chains moving. This offensive line was nasty today when it came to run blocking. They were able to blast open holes most the day, and give whomever was running the ball plenty of space. Against this defensive front that's an impressive feat. Alex Leha'uli continued to get a lot of very productive reps with the No. 1 offense with the absence of Booker and Troy McCormick. Leha'uli had 61 yards on 15 attempts today.

The quarterbacks were rather efficient today, but not overly impressive. Travis Wilson had 67 yards through the air, on 11-of-18 passing. He did run the ball well, picking up 44 yards and a touchdown on 8 attempts. A lot of this had to do with the situational drills the coaches were running.

Wilson's best moment, as it typically has been through his career, was in a two minute offense when the offense was losing. He lead the offense down the field for what was a go ahead field goal. Wilson leaned on the sure hands of Kenneth Scott to get the team down the field. K-Scott had 5 catches for 44 yards on the day. Something that was reinforced for me today was when Wilson decides to pull the ball down and run, he's very effective at it. He did flush the pocket a bit too often again today, but when he stood in there he threw the ball pretty well.

Chase Hansen didn't have his best day, going 7-of-16 for 80 yards, plus 47 more yards on the ground. One thing that Hansen is very good at is the play action game. He's very good at hiding the ball from the defense and selling the action. Multiple times this spring he's faked out the defensive end and rolled out for a nice dump off pass. There was one situation today where Hansen was running a drive to essentially kill the clock, and on a third and short, almost threw an interception to Tevin Carter into double coverage.

Hansen didn't get any help during one drive, where on a sure first down completion to extend the drive, on a very nice play by Hansen, Raelon Singleton dropped an easy ball on the sideline, which hopefully is something that will be cleaned up.

Monte Seabrook continues to look nice with the No. 2 offense as a running back. He no doubt has a future on the offensive side of the ball. He's similar to McCormick, but not as shifty and fast.

To wrap up the offense, Conner Manning had a very nice drive with the No. 3 offense. He lead the team down the field with very impressive precision, and got the team into the end zone. He was only off on maybe one ball, the rest were picture perfect.

Defense

This defense is nasty, on all three levels. The best news of the day was seeing Gionni Paul out on the field getting some live action reps. Today the defense was flying to the ball and laying some serious wood on guys. Tevin Carter and Uaea Masina had some big hits. Masina also recorded 2.5 tackles for loss today, so he's rounding into a very nice player. If it wasn't for an injury last season, Masina would have seen the field.

On multiple occasions today, Travis Wilson would roll out to pass, and as he looked down field, Dominique Hatfield, Reggie Porter, Justin Thomas and the safeties had the wide receivers on lock down. They shut down any passing lanes almost immediately. I don't know if I remember a defense, outside of maybe the 2008 one, that had so many play makers at all three levels.

Overall, a solid day for the team. Not a lot of spectacular plays overall, but this scrimmage was all about working on some very specific details that come up in games. For some fans, if the situations the team ran today felt at all familiar to a game last season, it's because they were. It was revealed that the Utes were running situations that happened in the loss to Wazzu last season.