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In the portion of practice closed to prying eyes, the reported big play of Utah's second fall scrimmage was a 10-yard hitch from quarterback Troy Williams to receiver Raelon Singleton that was turned into a 60-yard touchdown.

There were varying accounts, such as defensive end Hunter Dimick's view: "He made a pretty good pass, but we'd have sacked him first."

Told of Dimick's response, Williams laughed.

"Maybe," he said. "I didn't feel him, I didn't see him. I was just trying to make the throw."

For the first time in a while, the offense's version of events has at least equal legitimacy to the defense's. Led by Williams' ascension to the top quarterback spot, the passing game is more actively giving in the give-and-take with the defense in Utah's fall camp.

While the media didn't catch any first-team reps on Tuesday morning, the coaching staff gave its own report on the practice, in which Williams continued to tighten his grasp on the starting job.

"We've got to watch the film," coach Kyle Whittingham said, "But it's heading in that direction. … I don't know if the [gap between quarterbacks] is further, but it's there."

But beyond certainty, the Utah offense has something else rising: a little swagger.

Coming in as the biggest question mark of fall camp, what Whittingham calls the "throw" game has had its moments against what's expected to be among the best defenses in the Pac-12. While the weapons in the passing game are thin on experience, senior wideout Tim Patrick said, they're heavy on potential.

"There's a lot of balance — a lot of size, a lot of speed, a lot of everything," he said. "There's nothing you can say that we don't have, so just be ready for a big year by the receivers."

The buzz is rising as well around Williams. In trying to sack the junior college transfer, Dimick has noticed that Williams has become composed under pressure.

"In spring, you could tell that he wasn't quite comfortable with what he was doing — kind of had some bad tendencies of trying to outrun defensive linemen instead of stepping into the pocket," he said. "His pocket presence has gotten much better, and he's making great plays. He's an all-around better football player now."

What Whittingham called Utah's last significant live work leading into the season will still have to be reviewed, but he felt comfortable coming to at least a few conclusions. Junior running back Troy McCormick is shoring up the No. 2 role behind senior starter Joe Williams. Patrick, Tyrone Smith and Kyle Fulks so far look like the top receivers, and Sunia Tauteoli and Cody Barton are the favorites to start at linebacker.

On special teams, junior Boobie Hobbs — who scored on the "decoy" punt return play at Oregon last year — has established himself as the top punt returner. Whittingham thinks Williams and Fulks are the top two candidates to return kicks.

But beyond shoring up their spots, players know they're reaching a point in camp where they must show they can continue to develop. It's not just enough to be better than the next guy.

After the scrimmage, Williams shed his pads but was still lingering on the field — working on his pocket presence and hunkering down to the turf for push-ups.

Despite staying at the front of the quarterback pack, he said the scrimmage showed he needed to work on his timing. Maybe he would've been sacked after all on a handful of those plays.

"We're going to go in there, check out the film, and see what I can improve," he said. "I'm still out here working every day. It's a business, so I'm out here trying to do my best each and every day and make this offense better." Twitter: @kylegoon —

Depth chart firming up

Some of Kyle Whittingham's key observations at competitive positions after Tuesday's scrimmage:

Quarterback • Troy Williams remains the top passer on the depth chart, with Brandon Cox and Tyler Huntley competing for the backup spot. Williams has not yet officially been named starter for SUU.

Running back • Joe Williams is the No. 1 back, with Troy McCormick as the backup. Zack Moss and Armand Shyne have been cited as the top competitors for third back.

Receiver • Tim Patrick, Tyrone Smith and Kyle Fulks are the starting receivers at the moment, with Raelon Singleton, Caleb Repp and Demari Simpkins pushing at the next level.

Linebacker • Sunia Tauteoli and Cody Barton are the top two linebackers, with Kavika Luafatasaga and Donavan Thompson emerging as backups.