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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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(Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah running back James Poole runs the ball during spring practice Tuesday March 19, 2013.
It's all about the run for Utah's offense

Kelvin York might be the No. 1 back on Utah's depth chart, but by the time the season starts, who is listed as No. 1 could be a moot point.

Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said Tuesday backup James Poole, a 6-foot, 196-pound sophomore, continues to close the gap between himself and the 5-11, 220-pound York.

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Whittingham said both backs will get a lot of carries and likened the two backs to the combo the Utes had in Matt Asiata and Eddie Wide several seasons ago.

Asiata was a powerful back like York whereas Wide was more elusive like Poole.

"He brings a different dimension," Whittingham said of Poole. "He can make guys miss."

Utah co-offensive coordinator Dennis Erickson said he wants an offense that is "50-50" between the run and pass, but said the plan is to have a run first mentality.

"We are going to be able to come in and run the football and then throw it off the stuff we do with the run," Erickson said.

The Utes often lived or died with the run game in the past because of an inconsistent passing game. However, Erickson doesn't anticipate such an issue this year.

The Utes have had several good practices in the passing game, he said.

"Travis (Wilson) is really throwing extremely well," he said.

- Lya Wodraska



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