SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s closed scrimmage on Saturday had a little bit of everything. The Utes opened up on offense, defense and special teams.
“We had a bunch of receivers make plays, some spectacular catches,” said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham. “The defense tackled very well for the first live tackling of the fall camp. It was very clean in that regard.”
The latter, he explained, was also true in terms of penalties.
And there was more.
Senior kicker Matt Gay highlighted the special teams unit by making a 62-yard field goal. He was 2-for-2 from 60 yards out on Monday.
“We hope not to have to attempt a bunch of those,” Whittingham said. “But it’s a great weapon to have.”
Although the quarterbacks were not live, Whittingham was pleased with the pressure the defense applied. He said that junior defensive end Bradlee Anae didn’t play a lot, but was disruptive when he was out there.
It proved to be a good day, overall, for the offense.
“We were good on third downs,” said defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley. “I thought we were good in control down situations, not good enough in the red zone. So red zone needs work.”
Scalley said the Utes pretty much played a base defense. They just wanted to be assignment sound.
“I loved the effort. I love what we’re getting out of guys understanding don’t turn and watch, turn and run,” he said. “We’re creating more plays because of it.”
BACK AND FORTH: The battle at No. 2 quarterback between Jason Shelley and Jack Tuttle is tight. Whittingham acknowledged that it’s getting interesting.5 comments on this story
“Just when we think someone has the upper hand it goes the other way,” said Whittingham, who added that it would be ideal to have a pecking order in place by next Monday — if possible.
The decision, Whittingham explained, will come down to who moves the chains and gets the offense into the end zone.
EXTRA POINTS: Former BYU linebacker Francis Bernard, who practiced with the Utes Monday, will don pads for the first time Wednesday. … Sophomore tight end Bapa Falemaka has switched to defensive end on a trial basis. … Sophomore Ali’i Numataolo is back at linebacker and a stint as a fullback on offense.