Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Utah football: Utes’ secondary about to be tested again
College football » UCLA’s passing attack expected to pose a bigger threat than BYU’s did.
First Published Sep 26 2013 09:38 pm • Last Updated Sep 26 2013 11:34 pm

Now comes another real test for the Utah secondary.

Sure, the defensive backs performed well against BYU last Saturday. Yes, Utes safety Michael Walker picked up the first interception of the season for Utah against Taysom Hill. But that was against an offense that had issues in the throwing game.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

So the question persists: Is this really an improved secondary, or is this a secondary that simply had the fortune of playing against the Cougars?

"I think we are getting better every day," Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said. "The guys are competing. The guys are getting good reps back there, and they are learning, and that’s the biggest thing."

The Utes will face Brett Hundley and UCLA next Thursday, but that’s just the beginning of the gauntlet. Over the next six weeks, Utah will not only see good quarterbacks. It will see NFL-caliber wide receivers, big tight ends that can run and offensive coordinators who know how to spot a weakness in a defense and exploit it.

The Bruins are just the latest challenge for a defense that’s struggled against wideouts who can make plays down the field this season. Shaq Evans presents matchup issues for anyone because of his size, speed and physical nature.

Whittingham said he’s still putting together a scheme, along with defensive coordinator Kalani Sitake. So he doesn’t know who will start out on Evans.

"They are a challenge, but we’re working to get prepared for them," Walker said. "I think the game we had with BYU gives us some confidence and I think we’re going to come out next week and play well."

Getting work in

story continues below
story continues below

One advantage of the bye week is that extra attention can be paid to the developmental guys. Coaches had the younger players scrimmage at the end of Thursday’s practice. Freshman Troy McCormick was a standout, bursting through the line and running for a long touchdown. Rookie cornerbacks Brandon Cox and Conner Manning received extensive reps as well.

Preparing for the rush

Quarterback Travis Wilson said he’s well aware of UCLA rush linebacker Anthony Barr and the problems he can cause off the edge. Wilson said he’s prepared to have a quick release and that the Bruin defense is fast and aggressive.

"They like to fly around and make plays," Wilson said. "So we have to be ready for that. We’re going to have to prepare well. It’s a very good defense."


Twitter: @tjonessltrib

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.