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Analysis:Utes’ offense has playmakers, but can they make the plays?


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Rolf has the starting nod, but the gap between the tight ends isn’t much.

After Saturday’s final scrimmage, Whittingham joked the Utes could use all five on the field at the same time.

At a glance

Lessons learned at Utes camp

What we learned » Utah’s group of tight ends could be the program’s best yet. Look for Dallin Rogers, David Rolf and Jake Murphy to all have strong seasons.

What we don’t know » The soreness in Jordan Wynn’s shoulder raises questions about his ability to play through an entire season. He threw a lot of balls in camp, which made it sore, but we don’t know how it will respond to hits.

What to look out for » Utah’s offensive line remains the big question mark on the team. The linebackers are an untried group as well.

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That might not be such a far-fetched thought because the Utes plan to use them as receivers and in two-back sets as well.

Look for Rogers to join returning running back John White in the backfield.

White, who was the workhorse of the offense last year rushing 316 times for 1,519 yards, will get the help he needs from backups Kelvin York and Jarrell Oliver.

Conventional thought would be that York, a junior college transfer, would take most of the backup carries, but Oliver excelled at the end of camp and could emerge as the better back by year’s end.

The big question remains Utah’s offensive line, particularly the tackles. Senior Miles Mason is slotted to start at left tackle and junior Percy Taumoelau is expected to start at right tackle. However, Mason missed much of fall camp with an ankle injury and was joined on the sidelines by several other offensive linemen who were hurt including right guard Sam Brenner, backup center Vyncent Jones and left guard Latu Heimuli.

The coaches insist the line will be fine, but if there is any position to worry about, it has to be the line’s vulnerability.

Defensively, camp didn’t reveal many surprises. The Utes were disappointed to lose backup lineman Junior Salt to a foot injury for the season, but Utah still has a lot of depth along the line.

The linebackers and defensive backs are young and still developing, but players such as sophomore Terrell Reese, freshman Jason Whittingham and sophomore Joe Smith all had good moments in camp and are capable of contributing.


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The defense is solid.

It’s the offense, it seems as always, that has the most to prove going into the season.

lwodraska@sltrib.com" target="_blank">5px;">lwodraska@sltrib.com

Twitter: @LyaWodraska



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