Running game impressive in Utes scrimmage

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Sports) - Karl Williams led the rushing attack with 101 yards and two touchdowns in the Utes second spring scrimmage.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Sports) - Karl Williams’ transformation from fullback to running back paid off on Saturday, when he paced Utah’s offense in an 80-play scrimmage in Rice-Eccles Stadium. Williams, a one-time walk-on who has spent most of his Utah career blocking for others or playing on special teams, rushed 10 times for 101 yards and two touchdowns.

After the scrimmage, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham reserved praise for Williams and the run game in general.

“Karl did a really nice job running north-south and really all of our running backs played well—James Poole, Lucky Radley and Kelvin York,” said Whittingham. “Our blocking for the run game was good and so was our pass protection. We did not get enough chunk yardage plays today and our quarterbacks were not as effective as they need to be. It didn’t help that we dropped some passes.”

Whittingham was glad to see York—the projected starter at running back—at full tilt. York has been limited all spring with an injury and just returned to full practice three days ago. He carried the ball seven times for 35 yards and a touchdown. Radley had 12 rushes for 58 yards and Poole had 26 yards on nine carries.

Whittingham was disappointed that true freshman quarterback Brandon Cox was sidelined for the scrimmage, saying the early high school graduate had “made great strides and was really coming on” before getting injured. Utah’s other two quarterbacks suffered off days with starter Travis Wilson completing just 10-of-21 passes for 71 yards and an interception. Wilson did find a wide-open Sean Fitzgerald for a 7-yard touchdown pass. Backup QB Adam Schulz was 7-of-11 for 50 yards and an interception.

The Utes annual Red-White scrimmage is scheduled for April 20th.

Both Wilson and Fitzgerald connected on two-point conversion passes during red zone drills; Wilson’s to Kenneth Scott and Schulz’s to Fitzgerald.

For the most part Utah’s defense carried the day, although Whittingham expressed concern over the tackling. “The defense made some plays and it’s starting to shape up, even down at least four to five for sure starters. We have to tackle better, though. We were in the right position, but we have got to wrap them up.”

Tyron Morris-Edwards and Jared Norris made interceptions and LT Filiaga broke up two passes. V.J. Fehoko contributed a 7-yard sack.

The kickers had a good day. Andy Phillips was 5-of-6 with a long field goal of 42 yards and Jamie Sutcliffe went 4-of-5, also with a long of 42 yards.
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