Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Utes running back Kelvin York (13) is stopped by Utah State defenders as the University of Utah hosts Utah State, college football Thursday, August 29, 2013 at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City.
Utah football: Injuries force Utes to make adjustments (video)

Scott, Blechen and Kelvin York’s absence forcing changes

First Published Aug 30 2013 12:48 pm • Last Updated Aug 30 2013 11:31 pm

There were moments when the Utah Utes looked like the team they thought they could be in Thursday’s 30-26 win over the Aggies. There just weren’t enough of those moments.

"There were a lot of positives in the game," Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said. "But there are just a lot of things, with our schedule in front of us, that we have to get better at."

At a glance

Weber State at Utah

Sept. 7, noon

TV » Pac-12 Network

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Luckily for the Utes, they host Weber State in a game that should help them tune up for the more difficult stretch that features Oregon State and BYU.

The Utes had a light workout planned for Friday and are taking the weekend off before resuming preparations on Monday.

The most pressing areas to address are holes in the lineups due to injuries.

The Utes lost starting receiver Kenneth Scott for the season with a lower leg injury and running back Kelvin York didn’t return in the second half with an undisclosed injury after rushing 10 times for 30 yards in the first half.

Also missing was linebacker Brian Blechen, who had surgery earlier this week in hopes of easing the tendinitis in his knees. Blechen could return in several weeks — or could be redshirted. Whittingham said the Utes will wait to decide what to do with Blechen.

In the meantime, senior Trevor Reilly will continue to play both defensive end and linebacker, a necessity that leaves the Utes thinner at those positions.

"Trevor is going to continue to move around and play various positions," Whittingham said. "But in this day and age and with the tempo, you have to have a two deep defensively. That is something we have to work on."

Senior Thretton Palamo will continue to get much of the playing time at right end in Reilly’s place, but the Utes also expect to have sophomore Jason Whittingham, the coach’s nephew, in the lineup soon as well.

story continues below
story continues below

Whittingham injured his hand during fall camp and had to have surgery. While he doesn’t discuss injuries, Kyle Whittingham said during camp that the defensive end should be ready for the Weber State game.

"We’re anxiously awaiting his return," the coach said Friday.

The running back role is in flux, too, with York’s uncertain status.

The Utes finished with just 148 yards rushing, with James Poole rushing 12 times for 47 yards and Karl Williams rushing 12 times for 45 yards.

"We were nowhere near productive enough in the run game and not efficient enough," Whittingham said. "It has to get better. We averaged 3.4 yards a carry and that isn’t good enough, so we have to take a look at that and see which direction we want to go."

Utah co-offensive coordinator Dennis Erickson liked the way both Poole and Williams developed in the fall, with Poole being a more elusive runner while Williams is more physical.

Williams fumbled Thursday night in the third quarter, then redeemed himself by recovering an onside kick that sparked Utah’s rally from a 23-17 deficit.

All the lineup changes, plus the usual tweaks after an opening performance, means the Utes have a long to-do list as they prepare for Weber State.

"We’ve got a lot of things to improve upon," Whittingham said. "We’re an average team right now and we have to get better."


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.