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Utah football: Utah coach Kyle Whittingham says Utes got a lot of work done in first scrimmage

Published: Wednesday, April 9 2014 6:12 p.m. MDT

Utah's Eric Rowe closes in on UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley in the second half of a game at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Thursday, October 3, 2013.

Matt Gade, Deseret News

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SALT LAKE CITY — In his review of the first spring scrimmage, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said the Utes got a lot of work done.

Getting more than 120 snaps in will do that to a team.

The high number of reps, Whittingham continued, gave the coaching staff a lot of good things to evaluate. Among the things to analyze is how the Utes operate under new offensive coordinator Dave Christensen.

“We got a lot of things on tape — offensive scheme-wise — to take a look at and teach from when the new guys come in this fall,” said Whittingham, who added that the Utes would've had to have taught off of film from Christensen’s previous stops at Missouri and Wyoming. “We’ve got our own stuff on tape, which is going to be a help.”

ROWE-VING DB: In a perfect world, Whittingham acknowledged that the Utes would like to have senior Eric Rowe play cornerback this season. He’s made 35 starts over the past three seasons at safety. At 6 foot 1 and 201 pounds, Whittingham noted that Rowe’s ability, great length and big wingspan would help the Utes combat the three and four wide receiver sets they see on a regular basis.

“If we do have the luxury of playing him at corner then we’ll do that,” Whittingham said. “But that’s to-be-determined based on the guys that we have not had a look at.”

As such, no definitive decision on Rowe will be made until fall camp when several new safeties to the program — including the highly touted Tevin Carter — are evaluated.

OH, LINE: Whittingham cautioned reporters to “don’t ever believe in depth charts.” It’s proved to be especially true when it comes to the offensive line. Whittingham admits there’s been a lot of mix-and-matching this spring. That was the plan going in, he said, to get a look at everybody — most at multiple spots.

“The end result has got to be getting the five best guys out there,” Whittingham said. “So that’s why all the different looks and the different guys playing different positions.”

Junior center Siaosi Aioni and junior left guard/left tackle Jeremiah Poutasi have been consistent performers this spring. Senior right guard Junior Salt, who is being held out of most of spring ball for precautionary reasons with an undisclosed injury, is also considered a projected starter this fall. The other two spots, though, are being heavily contested and may not be decided until August.

EXTRA POINTS: Redshirt freshman Conner Manning has moved into the No. 2 spot on this week’s depth chart at quarterback. Junior Adam Schulz is No. 3. ... Salesi Uhatafe, a redshirt freshman, is the current No. 1 at right guard. Poutasi moved from the leader at left guard to left tackle and sophomore Hiva Lutui from right guard to left guard. ... Sophomore receivers Delshawn McClellon and Dominique Hatfield have risen to starting slots on the depth chart. ... UTA and TRAX routes that deliver fans to Rice-Eccles Stadium on game days will operate on Saturday, April 19 for the red-white spring game. ... Sophomore Hipolito Corporan is on the depth chart at safety this week. He opened camp as a cornerback. ... Redshirt freshman McKay Murphy has been moved from the defensive line to the offensive line. ... Senior Greg Reese will stay at defensive end after asking to be moved there from tight end earlier in camp.

Email: dirk@desnews.com

Twitter: @DirkFacer

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