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Britain Covey sensed something different about Utah’s preseason football camp this month when he unwittingly wore a blue shirt in the Eccles Football Center.
The junior receiver's color choice didn't go unnoticed in the building, with the Utes' visit to BYU scheduled Aug. 29. Having the rivalry game as the season opener reminds Covey of his freshman year of 2015, when Michigan visited Rice-Eccles Stadium.
“Definitely, very similar to the buildup to Michigan,” Covey said. “There is definitely an intensity that you can feel, especially as we start coming closer.”
Covey keeps hoping to play in Provo, amid his rehabilitation from knee surgery. Covey and other receivers apparently have looked good in camp, based on coach Kyle Whittingham’s report this week.
I could have saved this subject until mid-September, when Idaho State comes to town. But the anticipation of how Andy Ludwig will perform as Utah’s offensive coordinator led me to retrace his steps in the profession, intersecting with Whittingham at ISU in 1989 (the historical photo is worth a look).
Utah is opening the season on the road for the first time since 2008, but going to BYU on a Thursday is a traditional starting point. The rest of college football’s first weekend of 2019 will be fun. From the Pac-12′s standpoint, Oregon’s neutral-site meeting with Auburn is huge.
Utah’s young running backs are making a good impression this month. Here’s a look at the depth at that position, while defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley worries about having sufficient reserves to support his No. 1 group.
Scalley also hopes the NCAA’s higher standards for targeting penalties will help keep his top performers on the field.
Tribune columnist Gordon Monson profiled safety Julian Blackmon, with his Utah-based background.
Whittingham has named Andrew Strauch and Nels Haltom as the two finalists for the kicking job. Here’s a look at the three contestants as of last weekend, when this story was published.
Christopher Kamrani of The Athletic looked into freshman running back Jordan Wilmore’s emergence (ATH).
Jon Wilner notes that Arizona State will start freshman quarterback Jayden Daniels, a Ute recruiting target (MERC).
Joe Coles of the Deseret News updated the progress of linebacker Devin Lloyd (DNEWS).
• Utah’s women’s soccer team will become the first group of Ute athletes to compete in the 2019-20 school year. The Utes will open the season Aug. 22 at Clemson. The team’s home opener at the new soccer/lacrosse venue on campus is Aug. 30 vs. Utah State. Utah is picked eighth in the Pac-12.
• Utah’s women’s volleyball team is picked fifth in the Pac-12, a favorable spot in a highly competitive conference. Ute junior Dani Drews made the preseason All-Pac-12 team. Nationally, the Utes just missed the Top 25 of the coaches poll. The Utes will host an Aug. 30-31 tournament, bringing No. 7 Kentucky, Cal Poly and Saint Mary’s to the Huntsman Center.
• Ute gymnast MyKayla Skinner, who’s deferring her senior year to pursue a U.S. Olympic team berth, took the first step toward that goal by being named to the U.S. Senior National Team after the U.S. Championships last weekend in Kansas City.
Grace McCallum, who has committed to Utah, also was named to the team.
• Utah’s Fan Fest, involving athletes from all 19 teams, is scheduled Saturday (6-8 p.m.) at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Admission is free.