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Utah Utes football: Kyle Whittingham looking for playmakers

Published: Monday, Aug. 15 2011 3:28 p.m. MDT

Coaches Kyle Whittingham, front and Norm Chow watch a play during University of Utah football practice at Rice-Eccles Stadium, Monday, Aug. 15, 2011.   (Ravell Call, Deseret News) Coaches Kyle Whittingham, front and Norm Chow watch a play during University of Utah football practice at Rice-Eccles Stadium, Monday, Aug. 15, 2011. (Ravell Call, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah coach Kyle Whittingham is hopeful the Utes take a "step forward" as far as execution is concerned between the first and second camp scrimmages. He'd also like to identify the playmakers.

"We've got to find out this week who the guys are that we can count on a daily basis. We don't want a guy that comes out and makes plays for a couple of days and then disappears the next day," Whittingham said. "We've got to find out who our consistent playmakers are. We've got to continue to be cleaner execution-wise. The majority of the install is finished. This week we've got to become better at everything we are doing."

Utah's second scrimmage is set for Tuesday morning at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

"The main thing is just to keep seeing the high level of execution and for it to grow," said quarterback Jordan Wynn. "We had some little mistakes in the first one, so you'd like to see those get corrected and not happen in the second one."

Coach Kyle Whittingham watches during University of Utah football practice at Rice-Eccles Stadium, Monday, Aug. 15, 2011.   (Ravell Call, Deseret News) Coach Kyle Whittingham watches during University of Utah football practice at Rice-Eccles Stadium, Monday, Aug. 15, 2011. (Ravell Call, Deseret News)

Wynn would also like to improve on his 9-of-17 passing stats in last week's scrimmage. He threw 70 passes in Monday's practice and told reporters his surgically repaired shoulder "felt fine."

After reaching his throw limit for day, Wynn did not participate in late two-minute offense work. Backup Jon Hays took the reps and Whittingham was pleased that the first group was not penalized, nor did it give up a sack.

"We handled it pretty good relative to the last time we were in two-minute (drills)," Whittingham said before adding that "it's still a work in progress."

Whittingham also noted that things are also progressing in the kicking game — albeit "slowly but surely." Kickers Nick Marsh and Coleman Petersen performed well in practice, he said, and will be put in various situations in the scrimmage.

GO-TO GUY: Wynn revealed who his favorite target will be this season.

Coaches Kyle Whittingham, front and Norm Chow watch a play during University of Utah football practice at Rice-Eccles Stadium, Monday, Aug. 15, 2011.   (Ravell Call, Deseret News) Coaches Kyle Whittingham, front and Norm Chow watch a play during University of Utah football practice at Rice-Eccles Stadium, Monday, Aug. 15, 2011. (Ravell Call, Deseret News)

"Whoever is open is the go-to receiver. You can't really lock on one guy," Wynn said. "Then the other guys are not getting the ball and you're not spreading it around, so I don't really try to have a favorite guy. I just try to get the ball to the open guy."

PAYNE DEPARTS: Defensive back Damian Payne, a redshirt freshman from Texas, has left the team to deal with a "personal, family matter" back home.

"We wish him the best," Whittingham said. "He was a hard worker, a great member of our team."

EXTRA POINTS: Signee Po'u Palelei, an offensive lineman who played junior college ball at Eastern Arizona, has yet to complete academic requirements and will not be with the Utes this season ... Sophomore Percy Taumoelau, who was the backup at right tackle, injured his knee Saturday and will be evaluated when the swelling goes down ... The latest depth chart lists John White as the No. 1 running back and Tauni Vakapuna as No. 2 ... All practices and scrimmages are closed to the public.

Coach Kyle Whittingham watches during University of Utah football practice at Rice-Eccles Stadium, Monday, Aug. 15, 2011.   (Ravell Call, Deseret News) Coach Kyle Whittingham watches during University of Utah football practice at Rice-Eccles Stadium, Monday, Aug. 15, 2011. (Ravell Call, Deseret News)

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