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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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Coaching connections hot topic at practice

As to be expected, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham fielded as many questions about coaching against Gary Andersen, his former defensive coordinator, as he did about playing the Aggies when he met with members of the media following Monday's practice.

Whittingham said the two have remained friends and speak to each other on a weekly basis. He credited Andersen's recruiting efforts for improving the Aggies.

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"He is an excellent coach and recruited well, that is the bottom line," Whittingham said. "They have athleticism and speed and have improved dramatically."

As for the preparations for the Aggies, Whittingham didn't see much in reviewing film of the season opener that needs to be changed for Friday's game.

The only area in which the Utes lacked were big plays, he said.

"Everything else was pretty clean," he said.

Tight end Westlee Tonga, who suffered a concussion, should be cleared to re-join the team in practice by Tuesday or Wednesday.

Former Utah lineman John Cullen, who was waived by the San Diego Chargers in August, has joined the Utes as a student assistant. He should have his degree in sociology this semester, Whittingham said.


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