Four Takeaways From Utah Football’s First Fall Camp Scrimmage

Oct 17, 2020, 4:30 PM | Updated: Oct 19, 2020, 12:59 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah football completed their first scrimmage of fall camp on Saturday.

Head coach Kyle Whittingham said all week that it was going to be crucial to figuring out certain position battles and watching to see what players emerge in those battles.

Without watching the film from the scrimmage, Whittingham said that the offense performed well.

“The offense overall had a good day, they probably had a better day of the two units,” Whittingham stated. “Defense struggled a little bit, gave some things up, got to get better. Open field tackling, gave up some gaps in the run game. A lot of good things on both sides of the ball but a lot of work to do in the next three weeks. So next week will be pretty much a carbon copy this week with the Saturday scrimmage culminating the week with the Saturday scrimmage. And then and it’s two weeks countdown and things starting start getting fresh and ready to go for the opener on the seventh.”

Here are four takeaways from Utah’s first of two fall camp scrimmages.

Quarterbacks Battle Down To Two By Monday

The scrimmage on Saturday was supposed to be the day that the three-man quarterback battle was trimmed to two. Kyle Whittingham said that all three played well but wants to watch the tape first before deciding which quarterback to eliminate from the starter position.

“All three quarterbacks play well reserve judgment until we’ve watched the tape. They all did some good things,” Whittingham said.

Right now, Jake Bentley, Cameron Rising and Drew Lisk are battling for the starter job. It seems likely that the competition will move to Bentley and Rising starting on Monday.

“We don’t have a choice in that, we have to be able to start sinking the reps into two guys and then like we’ve said many times before, get that down to one but there is no time for us to continue to sink equal reps in the three guys. So come next week at practice there will be some separation there and some divvying up of the reps differently than the first week,” Whittingham added.

Four Running Backs To Make Travel Squad

Another big position battle taking place is the running back spot with the departure of Zack Moss. Following the scrimmage, Whittingham believes Jordan Wilmore, Devin Brumfield, Ty Jordan and Micah Bernard will make the travel squad for the Utes.

One running back that was not listed was T.J. Green, Whittingham said that his production was not to what the other four running backs brought to the scrimmage.

“I think we’ve established that we know who just generally speaking the running backs that are going to be traveling with us and be the guys that are in the mix. It was those four that I mentioned. TJ Green, didn’t quite have the production that the other guys had in this game. Although he did a couple nice things as well,” Whittingham stated.

Cornerback Hierarchy

The cornerback group is filled with freshmen and sophomores. Now that they have gone through some live work, Whittingham has seen four players emerge and will get playing time this season.

“I thought they play solid,” Whittingham said. “JT (JaTravis) Broughton was probably the best just without doing intensive evaluation. Malone Mataele played well. Clark Phillips showed up. Bronson Boyd did a nice job. That corner pool is starting to develop a hierarchy. We need six that’s ideal. If you have a two-deep in a nickel scheme with the three corners we put on the field. We have six quality guys that we feel are ready to help us out and that’s ideally where we want to be at.”

At safety, Kyle Whittingham added that true freshmen Nate Ritchie and Kamo’i Latu were impressive during the scrimmage.

Utes Lose Another Wide Receiver

Earlier this week, Utah lost wide receiver Jaylen Dixon, who entered his name in the transfer portal. Now the wide receiver group took another hit as it sounds like Tyrone Young-Smith will miss the remainder of the season.

“With the departure of Jaylen Dixon and Tyrone Smith – looks like he’s going to be lost for the season,” Whittingham said. He’s had a hard time here staying healthy our heart goes out to him. He’s worked his tail off. The wide receiver crew is now getting a little bit thin, but the guys that we’re counting on played outstanding,  Solomon Enis, Bryan Thompson, Britain Covey. And so are the tight ends as well. Money parks, the freshmen did some nice things at wide receiver. Samson Nacua, who is having an outstanding camp. I need to talk about him more because he’s doing some really good things and Devaughn Vele. So those six guys really and money would be the seventh right now with receiving those top six and then Money being number seven.”

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASportsYou can download and listen to the podcast, here.

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