Utah Utes football: Offense makes big strides in final scrimmage

Published: Saturday, Aug. 20 2011 6:00 p.m. MDT

"The kicking game is still back and forth. We thought Coleman was in the lead, but now Nick Marsh shows up and had a better day today," Whittingham said while adding that there is still 12 days to settle the issue. "Right now, it's neck and neck. They keep jockeying for position."

Other spots still up for grabs when practice resumes Monday include corners spots in the nickel and dime packages.

Whittingham was a little bit disappointed with the secondary in the scrimmage, but is confident the defensive backs will bounce back and regain their camp form next week.

Defensive end Nate Fakahafua was the lone defender credited with a pass breakup.

"Overall it was a very good day for the offense," Whittingham said.

The defense, however, had a strong camp.

"We made great progress, took big steps forward," said senior linebacker Chaz Walker. "A lot of young guys learned the defense, stepped in and played great."

Freshman J.T. Strong has two sacks in the scrimmage, while Joe Kruger and Ron Tongaonevai each had one.

"I've got a feeling that we'll be very competitive on defense again," Whittingham said.

The biggest news coming out of camp and the scrimmage, however, may have been what didn't happen. Injuries didn't really take a toll and the offensive line, in fact, was boosted by the return of starting guard Sam Brenner (elbow) in the scrimmage.

"Things are looking up on the injury front. We got beat up just like everyone else in the country did during fall camp, Whittingham said. "The positive is we didn't lose anybody for extended periods of time."

Email: dirk@desnews.com

Twitter: @DirkFacer

Utes camp report

DAY 15: Camp concluded with a scrimmage at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

STANDOUTS: Wide receiver Griff McNabb caught a touchdown pass and returned a punt for a score.

INJURIES: Nothing new in the scrimmage. Several players did not participate because of nagging injuries. Most, however, are expected to be back on the field next week.

NEXT UP: School starts Monday and so, too, does the in-season practice schedule.

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