With Utah’s passing game having just an average day, former fullback Karl Williams seized the opportunity to be the bright spot in Utah’s scrimmage Saturday at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Williams rushed 10 times for 101 yards and two touchdowns to lead the offense, while Kelvin York, who is penciled in as the starter, had seven carries for 35 yards and a touchdown.
James Poole added five carries for 26 yards and Lucky Radley had 12 carries for 58 yards to add to the productive running attack.
“Karl Williams was the bright spot — all the running backs were good,” Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said. “Karl is a north and south runner who isn’t real flashy, but all he does is get positive yards.”
The senior hopes those positive yards will help him continue to move up the depth chart. Right now, he is in a battle with Radley and Poole to be York’s backup.
“My goal is to keep losing some weight and keep doing what I’ve been doing and have days like this,” he said. “I hope the coaches make the right decision and keep me in there.”
Utah’s passing game wasn’t quite as productive with too many balls and other offensive mistakes that prompted Whittingham to say the offense “reverted back a little bit.”
“We would have a self-destructive moment, something that would kill the play,” he said. “We have to get over that hump. We ran the ball effectively, but we didn’t get enough chunk yardage plays.”
Even with the mistakes, the Utes say their offense is ahead of where it was this time last year.
“It is night and day,” Whittingham said. “We are very close to becoming a good offense. We just can’t have the self-inflicted mistakes.”
Travis Wilson was 10 for 21 for 71 yards and a touchdown with an interception while Adam Schulz was 7 for 11 for 50 yards and an interception.
Whittingham maintains that the battle between the two quarterbacks remains close. Wilson said he welcomed the competition, even though he wasn’t happy with his effort Saturday.
“Every year there is going to be someone else coming in and competing for the job,” he said. “I’m just trying to be the best I can be.”
Defensively, the Utes were led by linebacker L.T. Filiaga, who had two pass breakups. Linebacker Jared Norris and safety Tyron Morris-Edwards had interceptions.
“Defensively, we missed too many tackles in the secondary,” Whittingham said. “We have to do a better job of wrapping them up and finishing.”
Red vs. White spring game
P Saturday, 1 p.m.
TV • Pac-12 Network
• Karl Williams rushes for 101 yards and two touchdowns, and Kelvin York has 35 yards and a touchdown.
• Quarterback Travis Wilson finishes 10 of 21 for 71 yards and a touchdown. Backup Adam Schulz is 7 for 11.