Utah Utes' QB race still a dead heat

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 19 2009 12:00 a.m. MDT

Utah's second scrimmage didn't shed a lot of light on the quarterback battle between freshman Jordan Wynn and junior Terrance Cain.

On a day when Corbin Louks announced he was transferring to Nevada, the two remaining contestants for the starting QB job split the reps and posted similar numbers. Cain completed 11-of-21 passes for 152 yards and a touchdown, while Wynn was 10-of-19 for 149 yards and a pair of scores.

"It looked like it was pretty good. They each took equal reps and so we'll have to go grade the film up and see where they stand," said head coach Kyle Whittingham. "It's a two-man race and will be for the next seven to 10 days. Then we'll make a decision at some point around that time."

Wynn's touchdown tosses came on a 64-yarder to DeVonte Christopher and an 11-yard scoring strike to Elijah Wesson.

"I thought I did pretty good. I started off real well," Wynn said. "I've just got to keep staying consistent."

Cain was more philosophical about his touchdown pass, a 19-yard connection with Jereme Brooks.

"I'm not an 'I' person, so I think as a team we did good. We started off strong," said Cain, who added that Wynn and others — including the defense — played well. "Don't count your reps, just make you reps count."

Both quarterbacks turned the ball over in the scrimmage. Wynn was intercepted by Mo Neal and Tysen Clements, while Cain fumbled the ball out of the end zone once for a safety.

Whittingham said the scrimmage at Rice-Eccles Stadium, which included special teams work and several tactical situations, featured a lot of good work and things to analyze on film.

"(There were) a lot of things that we can learn from," he explained. "We did make some mistakes, like you do every day."

The most important thing, Whittingham added, is a lack of serious injuries in the final major scrimmage of camp. "We came out of it clean, which is huge at this point and time, obviously," he said.

Offensive coordinator Dave Schramm agreed.

"I think the best thing about today is we stayed healthy for the most part," he said while acknowledging some of the players are battling some bumps and bruises in the final week of camp.

Schramm said the offense is making progress.

"I was pleased with our tempo early ... It didn't get real sloppy until the end and that was disappointing," he noted before referring back to last Thursday's scrimmage. "We sustained a little bit longer this week before we got sloppy."

The pressure situations, though, are beneficial.

Besides quarterback, Schramm said another spirited battle on offense is taking place at right guard, where Walter Watts and Tevita Stevens are both playing well.

Overall, he noted, things are coming together on offense. "I'm pleased where we are at right now," Schramm said. "But we've got a lot of work to do. We've just got to keep going."

Kalani Sitake, Utah's defensive coordinator, is also determined to move forward. He said it's time to get the best guys on the field and tune them up for the Sept. 3 opener against Utah State. The Utes, he said, will likely use four or five defensive tackles, three or four defensive ends and five or six linebackers.

"I think we kind of have an idea of what we have," Sitake said. "I think we knew going into camp the guys we could count on and who we were hoping would step up. I think a lot of the guys did do that."

On the special teams front, Whittingham said that kicker Ben Vroman and punter Sean Sellwood have stepped forward. "Those two guys seem to have a hold — at least for now — on those two positions," he said.

EXTRA POINTS: Running back Eddie Wide had a 54-yard touchdown run in the scrimmage. Matt Asiata scored from 2 yards out in the two-minute drills. ... Vroman (29 yards) and Nick Marsh (37 yards) made field goals during red-zone work. ... Sausan Shakerin had a team-high 12 carries and rushed for 49 yards. ... Christopher led all receivers with six catches. John Peel was second with four. ... Tight end Kendrick Moeai had a 45-yard reception. ... Latu Hemuli and Chad Manis were credited with sacks. ... Seven Utes (R.J Stanford, Chaz Walker, Tatum Drecksel, Dave Kruger, Boo Andersen and Nick Binks) made tackles-for-loss. ... Manis broke up two passes, while Greg Bird, Brandon Burton, Jarrad Stewart and Hemuli each had one. ... Several projected starters did not participate in the scrimmage until the final two-minute drills.

Utah camp report

Second scrimmage: Quarterbacks Terrance Cain and Jordan Wynn pretty much split the reps evenly Tuesday morning at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

Standouts: Head coach Kyle Whittingham said several players excelled in the scrimmage — including wide receiver John Peel, wide receiver DeVonte Christopher, defensive lineman Latu Hemuli, cornerback R.J. Stanford, kicker Ben Vroman and punter Sean Sellwood.

Injuries: Nothing significant.

Next: The Utes are scheduled to practice twice today.

e-mail: dirk@desnews.com

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