SALT LAKE CITY — Utah quarterback Jordan Wynn missed his second consecutive day of practice because of illness.

"He's improved," said coach Kyle Whittingham. "Hopefully, if everything continues in the direction it's going right now, we'll get him back tomorrow. That would be ideal."

Despite Wynn's absence, Whittingham noted that the offense is making strides.

"We're not there yet, but we're close to getting over the hump," he said. "We did some good things today in practice."

Whittingham added that backup quarterback Jon Hays took some steps forward as well.

"His game is tightening up," Whittingham said. "He's eliminating a lot of the loose ends that have been showing up."

Although the defense prevailed in a scored drill that led to a spirited celebration at the end of practice, Whittingham felt the offense had the better day overall.

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Offensive coordinator Norm Chow said the offense is making progress and was pleased with the effort in Thursday's practice at Ute Field.

"It was good today," Chow said. "We moved the ball pretty good."

The Utes have their final double day Friday and scrimmage on Saturday,

EXTRA POINTS: Whittingham said Coleman Petersen would be the starting kicker if the Utes played today . . . Running back John White IV and cornerback Conroy Black were back in action after being sidelined with minor injuries . . . Defensive lineman Lei Talamaivao had a boot on his injured foot and will be evaluated later in the day.