Walking into Utah's football practice Thursday, I immediately witnessed a phenomenon. A pass was deflected at the line of scrimmage, fluttered through the air and was caught by Ute nickel back Justin Thomas, who made a diving interception.
Something like that occurred only three times in Ute games last season from a defensive perspective, anyway. Michael Walker's fourth-quarter interception at BYU came on a critical fourth-down play, although he probably should have deflected the ball and improved the Utes' field position. Keith McGill turned his interception against UCLA into a touchdown. Trevor Reilly clinched the season-ending victory over Colorado with a pickoff, then fired the football into the south stands of Rice-Eccles Stadium.
So all three interceptions were highly memorable. Then again, there were only three of them. As that play in Thursday's practice illustrated, Utah should have had more interceptions just by accident, with opponents attempting 443 passes.