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Taking a close look at Utah's offense heading into opener

Published September 4, 2012 4:39 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

Less than a day away from Utah's opener, we've dissected and discussed just about all we can of Utah's football team in the preseason. But still, there is more. Over the next two days we'll break down the movers, shakers and disappointments heading into the opener. Today, let's talk offense. Quarterback - Obviously, all eyes will be on Jordan Wynn to see how he handles his first game since Oct. 1, 2011. He has looked good in the preseason, but how will he react after getting hit? He says he'll be fine, we'll all get to see for ourselves if that is true. Watch for Travis Wilson to get into the game as well. There seemed to be a slight power struggle in the preseason. Passing coordinator Aaron Roderick seemed cool on the notion Travis Wilson could be used in any sort of wildcat passage while Whittingham was all for it. Apparently Whittingham won out and Wilson has a special set of plays. Whittingham said Wilson will play as the game allows. If it's a blowout early we could see a lot of the freshman. Receivers - Guys I want to see step up: Reggie Dunn and Anthony Denham. Both have fallen off the depth chart after fall camp. Dunn's fall is puzzling since he is an experienced player who has played in every game the last two years. Have the other players gotten that much better? Denham is a player whose career has been hampered by injuries, now that he is healthy it's time for him to show why he was a 4-star recruit. Guys to watch - Geoff Norwood and Sean Fitzgerald. Roderick likes the way Fitzgerald plays, when the guy is healthy. If he can stay out of the trainer's office Fitzgerald could be a steady contributor. Norwood is an interesting addition. The walk-on is just 5-8, but coaches talked him up in camp. Course, they used to talk up another little receiver, 5-7 Griff McNabb. He always looked good in camp too but had a hard time getting into the receivers rotation when it mattered and transferred to SUU in June.Running Backs - John White is solid, we all know that, but the guy who is intriguing to me is Jarrell Oliver. He looked great in camp and could be just the kind of change-up guy the Utes need to help White. As for junior college transfer Kelvin York, he had trouble with his blitz pickups, a disappointing development for a guy the Utes were so excited about signing. Perhaps he can earn his way back into the rotation, but right now Oliver certainly looks like the better option.Tight ends - Be prepared to see a lot of these guys. Whittingham said there are some schemes in which all five are on the field. Wynn mentioned such schemes too so I imagine the Utes might break them out this week. David Rolf, a converted defensive end, is the listed starter, but Jake Murphy, Westlee Tonga and Dallin Rogers, who is listed as the H-back, have looked good too. The one question mark is Kendrick Moeai. The senior missed spring ball with a shoulder injury and seemed to get lost in the rise of the other tight ends in fall camp. At 6-5, 252-pounds he is an imposing force on the field, it'll be interesting to see if he can be one.

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