Redshirt freshman Brandon Cox had the most passing yards, 126, thanks in part to a 71-yard pass to Bubba Poole, who broke several tackles on a short pass before being tackled at the 3-yard line. Jason Thompson, a transfer from Wyoming, led the Red team on a 63-yard scoring drive in the third quarter, and he scored from a yard out. He was 3-of-4 for 39 yards passing.
Cox also was the best running quarterback, eluding defenders several times and finishing with 23 yards rushing. However, Cox also threw two interceptions in the red zone, one that was returned 52 yards by Filipo Mokofisi and one by Sal Velasquez that was returned 59 yards. Both would have been touchdowns except for saving tackles by Cox.
New offensive coordinator Dave Christensen was happy overall with the offense and the better tempo, but wouldn’t single any quarterback out.
“They all played well and managed the tempo well,’’ he said. “It was a productive spring and we feel good about what we accomplished.’’
GAME NOTES: Whittingham said “about 80 percent” of the projected defensive starters didn’t play to avoid injuries, including Nate Orchard, Brian Blechen, Eric Rowe and Jared Norris. Besides Booker's 103 yards on 19 carries, Dre’Vian Young had 39 yards on eight carries and Troy McCormick had 34 yards on eight carries. The top pass receivers were Hatfield, McCormick, Evan Moeai and Harrison Handley with four catches apiece. Alex Whittingham, the 22-year-old son of coach Whittingham, led all tacklers with 12, while Sharrieff Shah Jr., son of cornerbacks coach Sharrieff Shah, had 11 tackles. Defensive end Pita Taumoepenu had a sack, two tackles for loss and a forced fumble. The Utes will begin fall practice the first week of August, and their first game is Aug. 28 against Idaho State.
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