Spring wrap: Utah


2010 Overall record: 10-3

2010 conference record: 7-1 (Mountain West)

Returning starters

Offense: 6, Defense: 5, punter/kicker: punter

Top returners

QB Jordan Wynn, WR DeVonte Christopoher, OT Tony Bergstrom, LB Brian Blechen, LB Chaz Walker

Key losses

RB Matt Asiata, RB Eddie Wide, WR Shakey Smithson, OG Caleb Schlauderaff, DT Sealver Siliga, CB Brandon Burton

2010 statistical leaders (*returning starter)

Rushing: Eddie Wide (717)

Passing: Jordan Wynn* (2,334)

Receiving: DeVonte Christopher* (660)

Tackles: Chaz Walker* (74)

Sacks: Lamar Chapman (6.5)

Interceptions: Brian Blechen* (4)


Sept. 1 Montana State

Sept. 10 at USC

Sept. 17 at BYU

Oct. 1 Washington

Oct. 8 Arizona State

Oct. 15 at Pittsburgh

Oct. 22 at California

Oct. 29 Oregon State

Nov. 5 at Arizona

Nov. 12 UCLA

Nov. 19 at Washington State

Nov. 26 COlorado

Spring answers

1. D-line looks deep: The Utes lost two starters on their defensive line, but by the end of spring it nonetheless looked like a position of strength (tackle Sealver Siliga probably wishes he didn't enter the draft a year early after going undrafted, too). Tackle Star Lotulelei is living up to his name inside, while the Kruger brothers, Dave and Joe, made moves on the outside. Ten players are in the mix for playing time.

2. CBs are OK: The biggest concern entering spring was replacing all four starters in the secondary, but that's not nearly as much of a worry exiting spring. The safeties are young but athletic, while Ryan Lacy and Conroy Black solidified themselves as the starting corners.

3. Good at receiving: The passing game sputtered at times without quarterback Jordan Wynn, but the receiving corps looks solid, led by DeVonte Christopher and Reggie Dunn. Further, Luke Matthews moves back to receiver after playing running back and fullback in the spring. He scored three touchdowns on 18 receptions last year.

Fall questions

1. Who's Wynn's backup? Considering Wynn is coming back from shoulder surgery, the backup QB could -- knock on wood -- become a key player. True freshman Tyler Shreve outplayed sophomore Griff Robles much of spring but neither showed consistency, so the competition is ongoing, and newcomer Jon Hays joins the fray in the fall.

2. What's the pecking order at RB? The Utes are going to be able to replace the one-two punch of Matt Asiata and Eddie Wide with quality runners because Harvey Langi, John White and Thretton Palamo each turned in strong springs. But what's the pecking order? None has played a down of NCAA football. Palamo, a rugby star, was the most intriguing, but he's also the greenest.

3. Chow down? Offensive coordinator Norm Chow bolted UCLA for Salt Lake City and brought a new, pro style offense to replace the Utes traditional spread. It didn't click much this spring, but Wynn's absence is a fair excuse. Still, how long will it take for Wynn to get into the swing of things and for the entire offense to get into sync?