It was a rather uneventful day at the spring game on Saturday, as the Red squad topped the White team by a score of 20-10. The second half was pretty worthless, but the first half had some interesting tidbits.
The Red squad jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead when Tyler Huntley led them down the field by feeding Devontae Henry-Cole over and over again, both through the air on and on the ground. Huntley on the day was 8 of 12 for 65 yards with a really bad pick and one sack. Huntley showed his play making ability, especially when he had to move around the pocket, and one of his highlights of the day was a great pass to high school teammate Demari Simpkins for a pick up of 16, where Simpkins snatched the ball along the sideline. DHC had 50 yards on the ground on 11 attempts and 23 yards through the air on 4 catches.
The White squad settled in later in the 2nd quarter, when Troy Williams started to find a nice rhythm and led the team down the field for a field goal. Troy was rather efficient today, going 9 of 15 with 73 yards, but was sacked five times. His highlight was a beautiful 22 yard pass to Kyle Fulks, after stepping up in the pocket to allude pressure. Fulks was immediately smacked by JC transfer safety Corrion Ballard.
The offensive line struggled quite a bit today, for both QBs, and Huntley was better equipped to evade pressure. As long as the team can solidify the o-line, I think they’ll be in really good shape. The Utes have to replace four starters, so it’ll take a bit of time for them to get the two deep they want there. I liked what I saw from the routes from the wide receivers, there was more down field attacking, and some nice clear out routes.
On defense, I’m becoming a big fan of Julian Blackmon, who had a nice day today, by breaking up a couple of passes and laying some nice hits on people. The true sophomore is developing nicely. The d-line also caused plenty of problems for the offense, including some tipped passes against Williams that would have picked up first downs.
Nobody should jump to any conclusions based off of this afternoon. The offense has only had this new coordinator and playbook for about 13 or 14 practices, and are still waiting for guys to get back from injury or to join the team. It’s going to take some time for them to start reacting instead of thinking about what they should be doing, but I like the foundation of what I’m seeing from the O, thus far.
And for the first time, the spring game won’t be the end of spring football. The Utes have one more practice, and then it’s the long draught until fall camp starts in August.
Here’s who didn’t participate today, just for a little context: