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Three Keys to the Red-White Game

NCAA Football: Heart of Dallas Bowl-Utah vs West Virginia Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Tomorrow marks the end of spring football in 2018 with the 17th-annual Red-White spring game. While this game is primarily for the fans (head coach Kyle Whittingham always says that the last scrimmage in spring is the most important), it will be the last live look for fans at the team until Utah hosts Weber State on Aug. 30. With all that in mind, here are the three keys that we would like to see tomorrow.

1. Explosive offense

For many fans, this may be the only chance for fans to see the team in spring (whether that is in person at Rice-Eccles Stadium or on television). The news out of spring has been how well the offense has done. Usually in spring, the defense is far ahead of the offense. However, this has not been the case this spring for multiple reasons. Utah returns Troy Taylor at offensive coordinator, which means they have not had to focus on installing the offense in spring like in years past. Instead, they have been able to work on fine tuning the offensive attack, which is led by returning starters Tyler Huntley at quarterback and running back Zack Moss. Utah also gets four offensive linemen back this year (though tackle Darrin Paulo has missed spring). This game should be an opportunity for both the Red and White offenses to show off and light up the scoreboard for the fans.

2. Pass rush

Utah has made a living terrorizing opposing quarterbacks in the Pac-12, but Sack Lake City did not get after the quarterback as much last year as other years. Defense ends Bradlee Anae, Mika Tafua, and Maxs Tupai have all had nice springs. While we are unlikely to see a lot of pressure on the quarterbacks in this game just because of the format, I would like to see how the defensive lines look after losing three starters and coming off their lowest sack total since joining the Pac-12. Utah has a lot of guys who can step into big roles this year and excel, so hopefully that is on display some tomorrow.

3. Stay healthy

I think this one is the most important key for the game. This game is for the fans and differs from a real game in many ways, so it would be really unfortunate to lose a player to injury right at the end of spring ball. If Utah comes out of the game healthy, that is mission accomplished in my mind.