Utah wrapped up their Spring practice with their annual Red vs White scrimmage, giving fans a taste of Andy Ludwig’s new offense.
Quarterback’s Tyler Huntley and Jason Shelley led the initial charge against scaled back defensive fronts. Shelley in particular looked the most improved, demonstrating good composure in the pocket and making smart decisions in the run game. Shelley hit senior Derrick Vickers for a cross field pass to get the first points on the board, but it was Tyler Huntley who mounted the most impressive offensive charge, finding sophomore Bryan Thompson with a deep pass before running into the end zone himself on the second snap of the drive.
As the game progressed, fans were treated to their first look at Texas transfer, Cameron Rising who looks every part of the talented freshman that has been advertised. His first snap resulted in a near fumble on a running back hand off, but rising star bounced back finding Brant Kuithe down the middle of the field for a monster gain, and finishing the drive with a two yard pass into the end zone on 4th and 2.
Junior Drew Lisk and sophomore Zach Hyman also saw some time on the field behind center, however their impact was marginal, and the gap between Huntley, Shelley and Rising was quite noticeable.
On the ground, Devonta’e Henry-Cole returned for the first time since the 2017 season, earring a one-yard touchdown for the white team, while Devin Brumfield dominated for the red team, with 12 carries for 67 yards and a touchdown.
Not much can be said for the defense, which is expected in a spring scrimmage, however Nevada transfer Nephi Sewell sealed the 21-14 win for the red team with an impressive interception off of Drew Lisk in the closing seconds. Sewell must sit for one season, but his skill set will be valuable come 2020.
The most concerning aspect of the scrimmage came from the kicking unit as both Chayden Johnston and Jadon Redding missed their lone field goal attempts with Johnston 43 yarder going wide left, and Redding hitting the left beam from 31 yards out. Considering Utah’s uncanny advantage from their kickers over the last few seasons, it’s concerning to see struggles early on, however there is plenty of time to clean this up before the season starts.
With spring ball officially over, Ute fans have just 138 days until seeing the team in action when they open the season against rival BYU on August 29th in Provo.