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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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Is there a quarterback battle brewing at Utah?

It is likely all eyes will be on the quarterbacks during Saturday's scrimmage after coach Kyle Whittingham repeated an earlier declaration that it is a "close battle" between returning starting quarterback Travis Wilson and walk-on Adam Schulz.

Wilson has the experience, but Whittingham said Schulz has improved enough in his overall throwing technique to match Wilson in productivity.

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So is there really a quarterback battle brewing on the hill?

I doubt it. While Schulz has shown a strong arm, Wilson has an edge, a very strong edge, in the experience he gained last year as Jordan Wynn's replacement.

Whittingham has said on many occasions consistency at the quarterback spot is important for the Utes after years of switching players in and out of the position due to Wynn's injuries.

I just don't think the Utes would be very quick to replace Wilson unless he starts to stink things up. So far Wilson hasn't shown an inkling of that, with Whittingham and perhaps more importantly, co-offensive coordinators Brian Johnson and Dennis Erickson both maintaining Wilson has had a very good spring session.

Nope, my hunch is the Utes are merely trying to keep Wilson on his toes and keep him focused on working hard. There is nothing wrong with keeping the pressure on him, particularly since he is a young guy who might be inclined to a false sense of security that he has "made it."

Still, given the injuries Utah has had at the quarterback position, Schulz's development is a very good thing.

Whittingham boasted Thursday the Utes might have two of the quarterbacks in the "upper echelon" of the Pac-12.

Schulz's progression could lead to some special plays for him as the Utes have created for backup quarterbacks in the past. There is nothing wrong with options, even when you have a returning quarterback.

- Lya Wodraska



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