Knowing he is going up against one of the best defenses in the Pac-12 did little to ease quarterback Jordan Wynn's frustrations Thursday.
Penalties and turnovers marred what was otherwise a solid effort by the offense in his opinion.
Wynn was 8 of 16 for 123 yards and three touchdowns, but threw an interception that was snagged by corner Mo Lee. The Utes also had two fumbles that were recovered by defensive lineman Tenny Palepoi.
"There were a lot of positives and nothing to hang our heads about, but at the same time we have to get rid of that bad football," he said.
The Utes always put an emphasis on taking care of the ball, but are harping on it even more this year since they struggled in 2011, losing 13 fumbles. Only UCLA, with 17, had more in the Pac-12.
"We put the ball on the ground too much, that was the biggest negative of the day," offensive coordinator Brian Johnson said. "That is the No. 1 job of the offense, to take care of the football and not turn it over."
Veteran Jon Hays might have the inside edge in the competition to become Wynn's backup, but freshman Travis Wilson continues to impress the coaches, too.
He was 6 of 7 for 65 yards passing and rushed five times for 22 yards.
After the scrimmage, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham hinted the Utes might use Wilson in a wildcat formation.
"His ability to run the ball, that appears to be a strength of his," Whittingham said. "He moves much better than most 6-6, 6-7 guys move. There might be a wildcat opportunity for him so we'll see how that evolves."
The Utes used backup quarterback Griff Robles in a wildcat role in 2011. Robles transferred to Dixie State during the offseason.
This and that
The Utes didn't sustain any injuries in the scrimmage. â¦ Utah's next scrimmage is Tuesday. The Utes plan to have an idea of who will be on their travel squad based on that scrimmage, Whittingham said.