- Kevin Gemmell, College Football
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Catching you up on the spring scrimmages from over the weekend.
There were highlights on both sides of the ball as the Utes ran 97 plays in front of more than 3,000 fans at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Projected starting quarterback Jordan Wynn completed 11 of 27 passes for 103 and two touchdowns. Wide receiver Dres Anderson caught seven balls for 96 yards, which included a 22-yard touchdown reception. A lot of the veterans on both sides sat out to yield time to the younger players. In the absence of running back John White IV, Harvey Langi rushed nine times for 42 yards -- earning praise from head coach Kyle Whittingham.
"He's starting to play the way that we envisioned he would when we recruited him," Whittingham said. "... He really did some good things."
The defense also had its share of highlights. They managed five sacks -- despite defensive lineman Star Lotulelei and linebacker Trevor Reilly sitting out. Joe Kruger tallied three sacks and Joape Pela notched a sack and a pair of tackles for a loss. Cornerback Keith McGill returned an interception 35 yards for a touchdown.
"It wasn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination," said new offensive coordinator Brian Johnson. "But I thought we did a nice job moving the ball and guys showed up ready to play. Still got some work to do these last two weeks, but I think we've been doing a nice job so far."
Whittingham added that he thought the "flow" and "tempo" of the play calling was much better from the quarterbacks and Johnson.
The defense recorded 12 sacks -- though a sack was granted when a defender could "grab" the quarterback. Still, defensive end Logan Mayes was able to get his hand on the quarterback four times and defensive tackle Xavier Cooper got there three times.
Quarterback Jeff Tuel settled in and completed 19 of 33 passes for 253 yards, two touchdowns and an interception -- one of four turnovers created during the 110-play session held in front of a couple of hundred fans at Martin Stadium.
"I feel real comfortable like I'm really starting to get a grasp of the plays," Tuel told reporters after the session. "That's really what it is. Once you get it mentally, you start playing physically and not thinking about things. That's one of the things coach [Mike] Leach harps on is being hesitant. You really have to let it go."
All six scores came through the air with Gino Simone catching seven balls for 101 yards and a score. Bobby Ratliff and Andrei Lintz also caught five balls apiece and touchdowns, followed by scores from Isiah Myers and Rahmel Dockery.
The banged-up Trojans held a non-tackling scrimmage on Saturday. Garry Paskwietz and Erik McKinney from WeAreSC break down what they saw from USC -- specifically running back Buck Allen getting his reps now that Tre Madden is gone for the year. Allen has been hampered by a hamstring injury.
"Today gave me confidence," Allen told USC's blog. "A teammate went down, so I knew I had to step up. I could have taken the day off, but I didn't."
Head coach Lane Kiffin talked about Madden's injury and said he thinks he'll come back as a "great player." He also said that Madden's switch from linebacker to running back is permanent.
"Extremely disappointing," Kiffin said of losing Madden. "Probably one of the most valuable guys on our team as of last week because we have a lot of great players, but sometimes we have guys that are similar to them. We don't have anybody like him, nor do we have anybody coming in really like him.
"To have a big guy that could run a 4.5 electronic, with his hands, it was really unique and it was a great experiment. Unfortunately he won't be here this year for us."
In other injury news, wide receiver De'Von Flournoy suffered a high ankle sprain.
Catching you up on the spring scrimmages from over the weekend.UTAHThere were highlights on both sides of the ball as the Utes ran 97 plays in front of more than 3,000 fans at Rice-Eccles Stadium.