That’s his game. That’s one of his strengths, without a doubt, is to pull the ball down and make something happen with his legs, and he did that today. —Kyle Whittingham
SALT LAKE CITY — All of Utah’s quarterbacks, with the exception of Travis Wilson, could be tackled in Tuesday’s scrimmage at Rice-Eccles Stadium. It gave Oklahoma transfer Kendal Thompson an opportunity to showcase his skill set.
Although Thompson completed only 3-of-8 passes, he did have the longest run in the scrimmage (24 yards) and lengthiest scoring burst (15 yards).
Factoring in sacks, however, Thompson was credited with just 22 yards rushing in the scrimmage.
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham insists the final statistics are incorrect. He said Thompson had a lot more yards than showed up on the sheet. Whittingham added that Thompson did a lot of good things running the football.
“But that’s his game,” Whittngham said. “That’s one of his strengths, without a doubt, is to pull the ball down and make something happen with his legs, and he did that today.”
It was a less-than-stellar day for Utah’s quarterbacks throwing the ball. Wilson was 8-of-21 for 101 yards and two touchdowns, while redshirt freshmen Conner Manning (2-of-11, 24 yards) and Brandon Cox (2-of-4, 40 yards) also didn’t fare all that well.
WILSON WATCH: Prior to a couple of lost exchanges with running backs on Tuesday, Wilson had not turned the ball over a single time in camp.
Offensive coordinator Dave Christensen is confident the junior will get back on track before the next scrimmage.
“Probably not his best day, turned the ball over a couple of times and didn’t complete a lot of balls,” Christensen said. “So we’ll watch the film and make some adjustments with him and get him correct and get him ready to go for Saturday.”
THIS AND THAT: Wilson took responsibility for some of the offensive woes in the scrimmage and also gave credit to the defense for its strong showing.
On offense, Wilson didn’t think the tempo was there and said that was his job.
“I’ve got to take responsibility of getting that line set and getting ready to play,” he explained. “That’s something we’ll just get corrected and hopefully it doesn’t come up again.”
The defense, meanwhile, earned his praise.
“I think the defense did a great job today,” said Wilson, who noted that the defense guarded the receivers well, swarmed to the ball and made good tackles. “I definitely applaud the defense — how they did today — and I hope that continues for them as well.”
STEPPING UP: Wide receiver Tim Patrick, a 6-foot-5 junior college transfer, led all receivers with six catches in the scrimmage.
“He did great. He came up big for me in a couple of third-down-and-long and fourth-down catches,” Wilson said. “I think he’s establishing himself as a really good wide receiver and I know I can count on him when it comes down to some crunch time situations and definitely some sticky situations.”
Christensen added that Patrick has been making plays all camp and has been a good addition.
EXTRA POINTS: So much for concerns about senior safety Tevin Carter’s surgically repaired ankle. He returned a fumble 99 yards for a touchdown. “The ankle appeared OK on that play. No one was gaining on him,” Whittingham said. “Dres was chasing him and wasn’t gaining. That was good to see.” Anderson participated in the scrimmage and caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from Wilson. He wore a yellow jersey, however, meaning he could not be tackled. Several Utes were held out of the scrimmage for precautionary reasons. The players included defensive end Nate Orchard, linebacker Jared Norris, linebacker Jason Whittingham, wide receiver Kenneth Scott and nose tackle Stevie Tu’ikolovatu. Whittingham said that Tu’ikolovatu still doesn’t have 100 percent confidence in his surgically repaired foot but hopes he’ll be able to play 15-20 snaps per game when the season starts. A bruise, Whittingham noted, will keep cornerback Reggie Porter on the shelf for a little while. He said that safety Andre Godfrey “tweaked something” — meaning he could miss some time as well.