The Utah football team took their last significant live reps in fall camp today with the final scrimmage of fall camp. The biggest position battle, between the quarterbacks, has started to show signs of sorting itself out with Troy Williams edging ahead of Brandon Cox and Tyler Huntley. The scrimmage today aimed to help solidify the team’s starting lineup for the first game of the year against Southern Utah on Sept. 1. Some big name players like Lowell Lotulelei did not see significant time in the scrimmage because they are known commodities, but other players are still fighting to get a starting spot or to make it onto the two-deep.
During the final 20 minutes that the media was able to observe, we did not see the first-string. What we heard though from coaches and players sounded promising. It sounded like the offense at least held its own against the defense if not possibly even won the scrimmage. Head coach Kyle Whittingham said he is happy with where the team is at 16 days before the start of the season. He said they are not quite ready yet to name Williams the starter, but the gap between Williams and the other quarterbacks is still there, and I would not be surprised if Williams is named the starter next week. Teammates like wide receiver Tim Patrick and running back Joe Williams both talked about the leadership and the work ethic that Troy Williams has. He was the last player practicing on the field after the scrimmage ended, still working hard to try to improve. Patrick said Williams has worked hard in film study with the wide receivers to make sure they are all on the same page.
Speaking of wide receivers, it sounds like they had a great day in the scrimmage. According to Patrick, Raelon Singleton caught a 10-yard pass and took it 60 yards for a touchdown prior to the media viewing session. Whittingham hinted at a lot of big plays from the offense and praised the wide receivers. He said there were only two drops during the scrimmage (and one was by Tyler Cooperwood during the media viewing session). Whittingham said Patrick in limited reps had the best day. He also cited Kyle Fulks, Singleton, and Tyrone Smith as strong performers during the scrimmage at the position. There seems to be a confidence and swagger with the wide receivers heading into this season. They know they need to produce, and they believe they will.
Defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley said the defense did not force any turnovers during the scrimmage. There were a few opportunities, but the players did not capitalize. Despite the lack of turnovers, Scalley was happy with the defense overall. He said they did not do well enough in the short yardage situations and the four-minute drill. There is still competition and experimentation happening at the linebacker position. Sunia Tauteoli is playing the best football. Cody Barton is currently the second starter at linebacker, but JUCO transfer Kavika Luafatasaga and true freshman Donavan Thompson are both pushing for playing time.