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Utah football: Utes get weekend away from practice field

Published October 6, 2012 10:23 pm

Utah football • Whittingham said he saw improvement in the offensive line.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

The Utah Utes were thankful to have a few extra days before playing UCLA, but that doesn't mean they have been logging long hours on the practice field in preparation.

The Utes watched film of their loss to USC on Friday then took off the weekend.

Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said he felt the down time and rest would be more beneficial than more work on the practice field.

"This team works hard and they left a lot on the field," he said. "I don't worry about them in that respect."

Thanks to technology, the Utes still can get a jump on preparing for the Bruins. Every player has an iPad so he can watch practice film, game film or study for classes whenever he wants.

"It's a huge tool for them," Whittingham said.

Seeing positives

Whittingham was encouraged by the effort along the offensive line while watching film of the loss to USC. The Utes, who had given up 11 sacks in their first four games, gave up just one to the Trojans.

Going with an offense that didn't require Jon Hays to stay in the pocket as long as he had in previous games helped, but so too did the line's play, Whittingham said.

Senior Miles Mason in particular was improved at right guard.

"They took a step forward," Whittingham said. "They've been working hard, and it paid off."

Good mix

John White rushed just 13 times for 68 yards against USC, but he averaged 5.2 yards a carry. Even with that average, Whittingham said he was happy with the ratio of passes to runs. The Utes rushed 22 times and attempted 38 passes.

"We didn't run that many plays," he said. "But when we did run, it was effective."

lwodraska@sltrib.com