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Shoddy offense has Utes shaking their heads

Published April 15, 2011 12:14 am
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The most important scrimmage of Utah's spring session turned out to be a dud for Utah's offense.

Freshman Tyler Shreve went 11 of 25 for 107 yards, a touchdown and an interception, and sophomore Griff Robles struggled even more, going 6 of 13 for 47 yards with three interceptions Monday.

Hoping to see good execution, coach Kyle Whittingham was left instead shaking his head over the errors.

"It puts an urgency to find out who is our No. 2 quarterback," he said. "Jordan Wynn is our guy, but we're trying to [find] our backup. … One quarterback will look good one practice and then it will be the opposite the next day. Today, neither looked good."

Shreve is a freshman and Robles has limited experience, playing in four games last year, when he rushed for 124 yards and attempted just one pass.

The two could have competition in the fall, too. The Utes are expected to add Jon Hays, a 6-foot-1, 205-pound quarterback who prepped in Paradise, Calif., this summer.

Hays played at Butte College, where he passed for 1,746 yards as a sophomore. He was headed for Nebraska-Omaha, but in March the school announced it was moving to Division I and dropping football as part of the process, which essentially made Hays a free agent.

He could be what the Utes need if Shreve and Robles don't develop quickly enough.

Part of the struggles could be attributed to an inconsistent offensive line. The Utes have had several players out with injuries and on Monday, John Cullen, Vyncent Jones and Isaac Asiata all went down with injuries.

Whittingham didn't believe any of the injuries were serious, but admitted they highlighted Utah's struggles.

"We have to go into fall camp with the same line and we haven't done that much this spring because guys have gotten dinged up, but that is part of the game," he said. "You have to … be able to adapt, and we certainly have to do a lot better job."

Luke Matthews led the receivers with four catches for 45 yards and Harvey Langi had 16 carries for 68 yards and a touchdown.

Defensive lineman Tevita Finau had two pass breakups and returned a fumble 18 yards to lead the defense.

"We made a lot of plays on defense and tackled well and created takeaways, but we didn't have a lot of production except in the red zone," Whittingham said. "The throw game was not good enough."






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