This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
With Travis Wilson, Kendal Thompson and Chase Hansen on the sidelines, another Utah quarterback stole the show Saturday.
Alas, alumni-game starter Scott Mitchell doesn't have any eligibility left.
Highlights were few at an overcast spring game in which Utah's White team beat the Red, 12-0, but the real losers were lovers of offense.
Junior Andy Phillips hit two field goals, one from 53 yards, and sophomore Marcus Williams returned an interception 99 yards for a touchdown on the game's final play.
Brian Allen, Jawuan Mathis and Sunia Tauteoli also recorded interceptions.
"The key is, nobody got hurt," said Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham, who felt the loss of sophomore running back Troy McCormick earlier this spring was more than enough and sat more than a dozen expected fall starters.
"We had a good spring," he said. "There were no bad practices."
Clarification on the battle for starting quarterback will have to wait until fall camp opens Aug. 6.
Those clamoring to see more of redshirt freshman Donovan Isom and sophomore Conner Manning got their wish, but neither starter had his best day working with a host of unproven skill players.
Needless to say, it was a far cry from last year's 28-27 affair.
Manning led a 76-yard drive early in the first, but spoiled it by throwing within the reach of a pouncing Tauteoli in the north end zone.
Later in the half, Manning threw another gimme to Allen at midfield, and he almost had two more picks on errant throws dropped by Allen and safety Evan Eggiman.
Williams later caught Manning's last-ditch heave at the 1 and weaved up the left sideline for a 99-yard score.
"I thought 'touchdown' as soon as I caught the ball," he said. "I had a great line blocking for me; every single person was trying to get a block so I could get in the end zone, and I appreciate them for that."
Isom didn't fare much better, finishing with 15 passing yards on 15 attempts. He was at his best while marching the White team 43 yards on eight plays for a 38-yard field goal, and at his worst when his fourth-quarter end zone fade was snatched one-handed by Mathis, a redshirt freshman walk-on.
Hansen, the apparent No. 3 heading into fall, was still recovering from a minor injury to his pinky finger that he sustained in practice Thursday, Whittingham said.
Coaches originally planned to let Wilson play one quarter, but thought better of it.
Wilson, Thompson and Hansen will receive all of the reps come fall, Whittingham said.
If it's entertaining on Sept. 3 against Michigan, coaches figured, the 12,224 in attendance will forgive them if it wasn't so much Saturday.
The White team ran the ball effectively, at least, with senior Andrew Fletcher amassing 50 yards on eight carries and sophomore Monte Seabrook totaling 47 yards on 11 carries.
Junior defensive tackle Stevie Tu'ikolovatu had three pass breakups, and junior defensive end Hayden Clegg earned 1.5 sacks.
Up next for the players: summer conditioning, starting June 1. At least, that's what's next for the victorious White team.
"Losers [have] to pick up the locker room and the facility, so I'm looking forward to that," Manning said.
Twitter: @matthew_piper Inside
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Red-White game stats
Passing • Manning, 16-33-3, 96 yards; Isom, 7-15-1, 15 yards
Rushing • Isom, 11 carries, 56 yards; Fletcher, 8 carries, 50 yards; Seabrook, 11 carries, 48 yards; Leha'uli, 14 carries, 45 yards; Gray, 3 carries, 15 yards; Young, 1 carry, 8 yards
Receiving • Field, 6 catches, 44 yards; Singleton, 3 catches, 20 yards; Handley, 1 catch, 17 yards; Leha'uli, 5 catches, 14 yards; McClellon, 2 catches, 8 yards; Loomis, 2 catches, 5 yards; Fakailoatonga, 1 catch, 3 yards; Gonzalez, 1 catch, 3 yards
Field goals • Phillips good from 38, 53; missed from 55
Defensive leaders • Eggiman, 8 tackles; Clegg/Fanaika, 1.5 tackles for loss; Clegg, 1.5 sacks; Tuikolovatu, 3 pass breakups; Mathis, Allen, Tauteoli, Williams, 1 interception