Michael Brandy, Deseret News
Utah's starting quarterback competition is complete — at least when it comes to Thursday's season opener against Utah State.
While acknowledging that both Terrance Cain and Jordan Wynn have done a nice job, head coach Kyle Whittingham noted that "through the process" of camp and practices, a starter is in place.
A formal announcement, however, isn't coming. Ute fans will just have to wait and see who it is.
There's no advantage schematically to keeping things quiet, he explained, it's just an effort to make things easier for the players.
"We thought that was the best way to handle it. It's not like some top-secret deal," Whittingham said. "Let the guys focus, prepare and do their thing on Thursday night with as little distractions as possible."
Regardless of who the starter is, Whittingham is hopeful there's an opportunity to get both quarterbacks a chance to play in their first major college football game.
"Ideally we'd like to get them both in a game situation," he said while dismissing any thoughts of a platoon system.
Cain, who has been getting most of the reps with the No. 1 offense in recent days, and Wynn shared the top spot on the depth chart released Monday.
"You never know what you've got until you put them under fire in a game situation," Whittingham said. "That's something we'll be finding out on Thursday night."
Whittingham expects Utah State to go after the new starter with full force.
Left tackle Zane Beadles, who followed Whittingham's lead and declined to say who the starter will be, said both Cain and Wynn will be up for the challenge.
"There's some unknowns and some things that we'll obviously have to work through," Beadles said. "But we've got two very, very talented guys back there. I expect both of them to play very well for us. Either one back there we're completely comfortable with. It's not a huge deal as some might think it is."
If Wynn is the starter, he'll be the first true freshman to ever get a season-opening nod for the Utes since newcomers were allowed to do so in 1972. Cain is seeking to become the first junior college transfer to start at Utah since Brett Ratliff in 2006.
Neither player showed their hand after Monday's practice.
"Both of us are preparing, both of us are ready to play. We've been watching film together and we're in the meeting together," Wynn said. "So either one of us is ready to take each snap. I feel like we both have a pretty good grasp on what we think (Utah State) is going to do. We're just going to put it all on the line Thursday."
As for the starting job, Wynn offered a little intrigue.
"Who knows? All I've been saying to everyone is expect the unexpected.
That's what I've come to do. It's really a day-to-day thing and no one knows for sure," he said. "So you've just got to go out, play football and not worry about it."
The true freshman added that he's excited for his first game with the Utes.
So, too, is Cain.
"I'm ready right now," said the junior college transfer. "But we never stop preparing. You've got to keep on working hard and getting ready for your opponent."
EXTRA POINTS: Whittingham said that freshman kicker/punter Nick Marsh, who was No. 2 on the depth chart at both positions, has been suspended indefinitely. "He's not on the team at this point for disciplinary reasons," he said. ... Right guard Walter Watts, who had his knee scoped late in camp, took his normal reps Monday and will play Thursday if everything continues to be OK ... Injured defensive end Koa Misi (back) and left guard Caleb Schlauderaff (knee) will be game-time decisions ... Wide receiver Ray Magee, a junior college transfer, will not join the team this season because of academics ... Three days before the opener, Whittingham said he is "cautiously optimistic" about the Utes ... Utah's remaining practices before the opener will be closed to the media.
Brian Johnson blog
The Deseret News' newest blogger predicts that Terrance Cain will get the start at quarterback on Thursday. Go to deseretnews.com/blogs
Utah State at No. 19 Utah
Thursday, 7 p.m.
TV: The mtn.
Radio: 700 AM, 610 AM, 1230 AM
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