Utah football notes: Utes hope to keep opponents in dark
The Utah Utes know that in today's high-tech world, it's hard to keep secrets. But that isn't preventing them from trying.
Coach Kyle Whittingham has decided to close most of today's scrimmage to the public and media in an effort to give opponents as few hints as possible about what the Utes have in store for them this season.
"The less information that is out there, particularly detailed stuff about formations and things like that, the better," he said. "Why would we want to give our opponents more of an advantage than we have, as far as information goes?"
Whittingham acknowledged he made the decision in part because he knows how much interest there is in the quarterback battle and doesn't want Corbin Louks , Terrance Cain and Jordan Wynn to feel more pressure than they already do.
"The less distractions the better at this point," he said.
Like rival Brigham Young, the Utes also are attempting to prohibit any "instantaneous reports" from practice by members of the media, in hopes they can better control what information reaches opponents, although Whittingham said there is no such thing as secrets anymore.
"With the print media, Internet, talk radio, it's virtually impossible," he said. "You know you are on display, and that is the nature of the beast."
Some coaches have embraced new technology rather than ignore it, as many, including Florida's Urban Meyer , USC's Pete Carroll , Stanford's Jim Harbaugh and Washington's Steve Sarkisian , frequently contribute to the Twitter social networking site. But Whittingham has gone the other direction and given up his Twitter account.
"I'm an old-fashioned guy," he said. "I write a lot of handwritten notes, that is my deal. I write a bunch of those every day. Good, bad or indifferent, that is how I operate."
The Utes hope to run 100 plays in the scrimmage, with an emphasis on taking care of the ball, Whittingham said. In addition to the quarterback battle, the back-up running back competition between Eddie Wide , Sausan Shakerin and Ray Stowers will be emphasized. The right guard position, where Walter Watts and Zane Taylor have spent much of the first week, also will be under scrutiny.
Many proven players, including Matt Asiata , Stevenson Sylvester and Koa Misi , won't get many snaps.
"It makes no sense to put them in harm's way," Whittingham said.
Offensive lineman Zane Beadles was named to the preseason watch list for the Outland Trophy, which goes to the top interior lineman. He was also named to the preseason All-MWC team and is on the watch list for the Rotary Lombardi Award.