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Fumbles still a concern for Utes

Published August 18, 2012 12:21 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Hanging onto the football remains one of the biggest areas of concern for the Utes following Tuesday's scrimmage.

The Utes, who were second to last in the Pac-12 after losing 13 fumbles in 2011, put the ball on the ground twice Tuesday.

Both fumbles were recovered by the offense, but that was little consolation for Utah coach Kyle Whittingham.

"Today in the four-minute situation, when you have the game on ice and the only way to lose it is to give the ball back and fumble, even though we recovered them there is no excuse for that," he said. "You have to have the two hands on the ball at all times in that situation."

One of the fumbles Tuesday came on the center-quarterback exchange. The Utes fumbled twice on the exchange in the first scrimmage.

"We have to work on that," Whittingham said. "But it's better to learn it here than through the course of the season."

Injury report

Running back Lucky Radley and defensive end/linebacker Jacoby Hale suffered hamstring pulls in the session. Safety Quade Chappuis hurt his shoulder but checked out fine, Whittingham said.

The Utes are experimenting with the 6-foot, 225-pound Hale at defensive end because they are so loaded at linebacker.

No other moves

The Utes have moved receiver Tanqueray Towns to defensive back and freshman Travis Still from defensive back to linebacker. Whittingham said he doesn't anticipate making any major moves among the players.

The Utes are thin along the offensive line, particularly with Sam Brenner (shoulder), Vyncent Jones (hamstring) and Miles Mason (foot) battling injuries. However, Whittingham said he is content with the players already on the offensive line depth chart and isn't considering moving any defensive players to the other side.

lwodraska@sltrib.com