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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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Utah football PM notes — Kyle Whittingham talks Idaho State prep, special teams, more (VIDEO)

Today for PM notes, rather than writing everything up, I thought I'd let Kyle Whittingham do some talking for me.

Check out the video above for Whitt's take on start of scouting Idaho State, TE Siale Fakailoatonga's progress, who is likely to start on special teams and more. But here are a few other notes that didn't get on film:

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Cox leading Manning for No. 3 • Whittingham said this morning that Brandon Cox is third on the depth chart behind Kendal Thompson, explaining it only by saying Cox outplayed Conner Manning. He went into a little more detail on that Monday afternoon.

"Brandon outplayed him during fall camp if you look at the entire body of work," he said. "It's probably similar to Travis and Kendal. It's very close. But you've got to draw a line. And you've got to get your depth chart set, and that's how it's shaking out."

Cox's throwing ability has progressed over the summer to this point, and he's always had a leg up on Manning with his scrambling and athletic ability. But that's not to say that Manning will be buried all year.

"Nothing's set in stone for 12 weeks straight," he said. "We've got to continue to produce and make progress."

Turnovers in focus • A media member asked Whittingham if he would set an over/under line on how many picks the Utes defense will get this year.

Furrowing his brow, he made the following statement: "I think it's going to be over our total of last year. Let's just say that. Let's hope it's more than three."

He elaborated, however, saying the defense has a goal of getting at least 3 takeaways each game. He doesn't care how it happens - fumble recoveries or interceptions are equally acceptable - but by the end of the regular season, the Utes hope that number ends up at 36.

Young earning a role? • While freshman receiver Kenric Young wasn't on the two-deep released Monday morning, he was taking scout team reps with the top units of the offense. This comes on the heels of Saturday's scrimmage, when he had a 38-yard touchdown catch.

Could he have a role on offense? Could he be traveling with the team this year?

It remains to be seen, Whittingham said. They'll use some of the time before Michigan to evaluate if he makes the cut or stays home. While he has speed the team could use, he could also be a redshirt candidate.

"We'll see. It's looking like it," he said. "We don't have to worry about that until the fourth week of the season."


Don't forget to check out our main story here on Travis Wilson getting the nod at starting QB.

— Kyle Goon


Twitter: @kylegoon

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