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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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Coaches ask for consistency in scheduling conference games

The Pac-12 held a teleconference today in a review of spring football. The two common themes were injuries and the coaches' wish of having some consistency in scheduling conference games.

The coaches believe it is important all conferences have the same number of conference games and a league championship game as college football incorporates a playoff system.

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"If we are going to have a playoff, we should have some sort of stabilizing rules so it is consistent with every single team," noted Cal coach Sonny Dykes.

He also admitted he doesn't know how such a schedule could be created.

Kurt Kragthorpe, our Pac-12 blogger, will hit on that topic this week.

Like the Utes, many teams had numerous players miss the majority of spring ball with injuries. USC coach Lane Kiffin said the Trojans had 20 players who couldn't participate in the spring game because of injuries. Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez said his team didn't hit as much because of injuries as the coaches tried to use contact to teach, but cut back on the tackling in scrimmages.

"We just didn't have the bodies," he said.

As for the Utes, several key defenders missed spring ball, including defensive ends Trevor Reilly, Nate Orchard and Jason Whittingham and corner Wykie Freeman.

Utah coach Kyle Whittingham though believes the defense will be good, particularly the defensive line.

He likes how senior tackles Tenny Palepoi (6-2, 300) and LT Tuipulotu (6-1, 305) have developed into not only strong players but good leaders.

Most importantly, he likes the depth the Utes have there now, particularly with the way freshman Stevie Tu'ikolovatu (6-1, 320) stood out in spring ball.

"He came out of nowhere," Whittingham said when I spoke to him a week ago. "He was on a mission the last couple years but came in and was amazing. He was a definite bright spot."

- Lya Wodraska



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