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Kelsey Brunner, Deseret News
University of Utah tight end Harrison Handley prepares to hike the ball to his kicker during their football camp practice in Salt Lake City on Thursday, August 3, 2017.

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah is ranked 25th in USA Today's preseason coaches poll. The Utes' Pac-12 road will be difficult, but the Utes could find success. Here's why:


Utah has a new offensive coordinator in Troy Taylor, and success on that end of the ball could lead to a big season from the Utes.

Position breakdowns


Troy Williams is projected to be the starter, but first-string competition is still open.

Running backs:

Though Utah might pass the ball more this season, the Utes' running backs still hope to make an impact.


A big storyline this year has been the signing of Darren Carrington II from the University of Oregon.

Tight ends:

The tight ends must become a bigger part of the passing game this season while remaining solid blockers to assist the running game.

Offensive line:

Starting center Lo Fakemala has been injured and four starting linemen were drafted to the NFL, so Utah could go through a rebuilding process up front.

Defensive line:

Kyle Whittingham said this line is one of the most talented and deepest he's had in his Utah tenure.


The group had little experience last year, but have plenty of talented linebackers coming back this year.


Whittingham said the group is "short on experience" but is "long on talent."


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The injury to safety Chase Hansen has hindered the defense in camp, but he could be back for the start of the season.

Special teams:

Utah brings back Mitch Wishnowsky, who won the Ray Guy Award last season. Also, a starting kicker has yet to be named.