Offense still has a lot to prove
I have a couple of notes and thoughts on various topics for you this afternoon, starting with football. Normally the Red-White game is more of a fan affair than a real practice, but after Monday's poor showing, we might see the offense drilled more than usual. Neither Utah coach Kyle Whittingham nor offensive coordinator Norm Chow were happy with the offense on Monday. Chow in particular was borderline irate/disgusted, pointing out a couple of times the Utes have to practice with more intensity and have to get better if they want to compete in the Pac-12. He has definitely brought a sense of urgency to the team, perhaps maybe because he knows just what kind of tests the Utes are in for in the coming months. Sticking with the offense, with a new quarterback, Jon Hays, coming aboard from Butte College, the battle for the No. 2 spot won't be settled until the fall. Right now I'd put Tyler Shreve ahead of Griff Robles, although Whittingham said there is no separation. My hunch is the No. 2 spot could come down to Shreve and Hays, who passed for 1,746 yards as a sophomore at Butte College. He was headed for Nebraska-Omaha but that school decided to drop football as part of its move to Division I, making him available to the Utes. I wouldn't be surprised if Robles, who is 6-4, 230, ultimately ends up playing another position. The Utes had success moving Chad Manis from quarterback to linebacker and DeVonte Christopher to receiver. Who knows, if things don't work out for Robles at quarterback, he could help the Utes elsewhere. Switching to gymnastics, the Utes are off to the NCAA Championships, which start Friday in Cleveland. The Utes will be underdogs to get out of the preliminaries, but the team has been great under pressure. Perhaps if one of the favorites in its session (which includes Florida, Oregon State, Alabama, Kent State and Nebraska) falters the Utes can make it to the Super Six. Utah already has lost one war with Florida today, with the announcement that 2009 World Championships all-around winner Bridget Sloan has signed with the Gators. She visited the Utes earlier in the year and was impressed with the Utah program, but had also been wowed on her visit to the Gators. Finally in basketball, the Utes have released their camp dates. Details are here.