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What to look for in today's opener
First Published Aug 30 2012 03:50 pm • Last Updated Aug 30 2012 03:50 pm

A few Utah players are out on the field, warming up for the season opener.

While we are waiting, here are a few things to look for in this game.

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What we want to see

1. Jordan Wynn take a hit - Judging from the limited time we could watch in the preseason, Wynn's throwing motion looked much better than it did a year ago. But has his mind healed too or will he be skittish again? Can he take a hit, get up, dust himself off and keep playing?

2. Someone other than John White carry the ball - With the Utes a decided favorite, this is the perfect time to give the backup backs some carries. I want to see if Jarrell Oliver is as good at finding the holes in a game as he looked during the preseason.

3. Smooth playcalling - Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said he has confidence in Brian Johnson's playcalling because of his experience as a quarterback. Nevertheless, being in the box is different than being on the field. Will Johnson out-think himself?

What we don't want to see


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1. Poor red zone production - If there is an Achilles' heel to Utah's offense other than inexperienced tackles, it is poor red zone production. It was an issue last year and again in fall camp. If the Utes can't pile on the points today, what will happen against some of their future opponents?

2. Inconsistent special teams - From the kickers to the kickoff coverage, Utah had issues with its special teams during camp. Particularly troubling was the lack of effort on the coverage. Whittingham threatened to make some personnel changes as a result, will he have to do so?

3. A poor pass rush - The Utes were inconsistent in getting to the quarterback last year but with athletic players such as Nate Fakahafua, Joe Kruger and Trevor Reilly on the ends that shouldn't be an issue this season, especially today.



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