Monday, April 22, 2013
QB Wilson solid in Utah spring game
By Kevin Gemmell
We'll be hitting the two other spring games and weekend practice reports throughout the day.
Last week Ted talked about how important it would be for Utah quarterback Travis Wilson, the presumptive starter, to put some separation between himself and the pack. He may have done that Saturday with more than 8,500 fans watching.
Wilson was a crisp 13 of 17 for 210 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions. He played for one half and directed five scoring drives during that stretch.
"I was comfortable out there," Wilson told the Salt Lake Tribune. "I feel like I made the right plays and guys made plays for me."
Adam Schulz was 9 of 20 for 245 yards with a pair of touchdowns, and the game's lone interception. He was also sacked four times. Logan Bateman (working with both teams at times), was a combined 3 of 5 for 77 yards.
"I thought he put some separation between himself and Adam today," head coach Kyle Whittingham said in the same report from the Tribune's Tony Jones. "The competition to be the starter is by no means over. But it’s obvious that Travis has improved significantly from the end of the season to now."
A lot of Wilson's success can also be attributed to Utah's improved offensive line play -- which allowed the two teams to combine for 797 yards of offense in a 35-28 game.
"The offensive line has been night and day compared to last year," Whittingham said. "The main reason is Dan Finn has done a great job coaching them, they've worked their tails off in the offseason, and we've been able to have some continuity in the spring without any injuries. We had 17 guys in spring camp without any days missed, and I can't ever remember that being the case."
Kenneth Scott caught five of Wilson's tosses for 97 yards and a touchdown. The influence of new co-offensive coordinator Dennis Erickson is evident, Whittingham said.
"He's adjusted the tempo of the offense, he's simplified what we're doing, and he's added some elements that have been good additions -- mainly utilizing the running backs in the throw game a bit more and simplifying the run game. There's not a whole lot of variation from one team to another team that runs the spread, but just those subtle changes can make a big difference."
Karl Williams led all players in rushing, gaining 108 yards and scoring three times on 19 carries. Kelvin York had 79 yards on 13 carries. Wilson's "White" team topped the "Red" squad because of some good defensive pressure as well. Tame Fangupo, Greg Reese, Moses Folauhola and Moana Ofahengaue all posted sacks in the victory. Reginald Porter also had the lone pick of the day. Uaea Masina of the Red team led all players with seven tackles.