Utah coach Kyle Whittingham isn't putting any extra importance on today's scrimmage at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

Camp is camp, after all.

"Every day is critical," he said. "It's part of the process. We've got to get better each and every day."

The Utes' second scrimmage of camp will be situational. They'll work on such things as two- and four-minute offenses, backed-up situations, red zone and third downs.

Whittingham said the 70 planned snaps will mostly be handled by the less experienced starters and primary backups. Special teams will also be an area of emphasis.

With the Aug. 30 season opener at Michigan just two weeks away, quarterback Brian Johnson acknowledged the Utes have got to play fast, execute an get work done.

"Things need to start tightening up at a rapid pace and get ready to go," said Johnson, who noted the scrimmage does carry some significance. "Obviously we've got to show progress, get better and find a way to make plays."

ASIATA'S RETURN: Running back Matt Asiata continues to battle a sore ankle. He's receiving 6 a.m. treatments on the lingering injury and is getting better.

On Friday morning, the junior was back on the practice field after spending significant time in "The Pit." He didn't see much contact in his return, but did get a lot of individual work in.

"It's still sore but I've got to play through the pain," said Asiata, who is determined to get healthy for the team.

"Matt was back out there doing what he can do," Whittingham said. "He's not 100 percent, but at least he's back practicing."

The coach estimates Asiata's status at about 70 percent.

"We've just got to keep him going," Whittingham said. "Fight through it and just continue to get reps."

STILL NO NEWS: Whittingham said there's nothing new to update on wide receiver Aiona Key's status. The wide receiver is still waiting for a junior college grade to be posted before reporting for camp.


E-mail: dirk@desnews.com