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Matt Piper and Kyle Goon
Matt Piper and Kyle Goon cover University of Utah sports teams for The Salt Lake Tribune. Matt Piper is on twitter at @matthew_piper, Kyle Goon is on twitter at @kylegoon

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Offense wins the day with Utes

Utah's defense had the big plays at the end of Thursday's practices, thanks in part to two fumbles by the offense, but the offense still won the day, said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham.

"The score of the drill was in the defense's favor, but the offense had the better day," he said.

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The offense has fallen under some criticism lately, but it is improving, the coach said. It helped that the Utes had John White back on the field and backup quarterback Jon Hays is improving.

"We are close to getting over the hump," Whittngham said. "We did some things well in practice. We drove the ball well. The scrimmage situation red zone we still have to clean some things up. We are not proficient in it offensively. We are still making errors down there and errors in the red zone are magnified so that is something we have to clean up."

Quarterback Jon Hays and running back Karl Williams were among those singled out by Whittingham for their efforts.

"Karl has come out of nowhere and is doing a nice job," Whittingham said. "He is making the most of his reps."

As for Hays, both the quarterback and offensive coordinator Norm Chow said they are making the best of a Wynn-less situation, with Hays getting a lot more work with the starters than he normally would. The extra time is helping him improve.

"I told him there would come a time this season he would have to win a game for us, when that is we don't know," Chow said.


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