Mike Liti rushed for 75 yards to lead all runners.
April 10, 2004
SALT LAKE CITY -
A strong, cold wind made throwing conditions difficult in Utah's second football scrimmage of the spring, Saturday, so the offense turned to running back Mike Liti and defensive back-quarterback Fano Tagovailoa. Liti responded with 75 yards and Tagovailoa rushed for the only touchdown of the day (excluding situational drills).
Liti averaged 5.8 yards per carry, with a long run of 15 yards. Tagovailoa, a mid-year junior college transfer, continued to impress the coaches with his athleticism. The defensive back subbed in at quarterback several times, breaking loose for a 63-yard touchdown run near the end of the 70-play scrimmage. For the first time in a scrimmage, he also looked to throw, and though he was 0-2, showed a strong arm.
First-string quarterback Alex Smith completed 1-4 passes for nine yards. Backup Adam Madsen got most of the playing time against a mixture of No. 1 and No. 2 string defenders and was 3-7 for 38 yards. Brigham Au was 0-2 for the third string.
Several projected starters or key backups sat out of the scrimmage for various reasons, including running back Joe Johnson, whose sprained ankle may keep him out for the rest of the spring. Also questionable to return this spring is receiver Jerome Wright. Wright went down with a knee injury on the kickoff return drills, but his injury is not believed to be serious. New junior college defensive back Tim Harris left the field with a concussion.
The defense, especially, sat out a lot of stars, including Steve Fifita, Corey Dodds, Eric Weddle and Morgan Scalley. Other defenders watching from the sidelines were Tommy Hackenbruck, Jonathan Fanene, Kyle Brady and Kawika Casco. Sitting out for the offense were Steve Dahl, Marty Johnson, Justin Walker and Marty Johnson.
In addition to normal scrimmage conditions, lots of attention was placed on third-down situational drills and red zone work. During the third down segment, receiver Steve Savoy broke loose for three long receptions, tight end Jon Clark caught a long ball and Wright picked up some distance on a reverse. In red zone play, John Madsen caught a touchdown pass from Smith.
Defensively, Martail Burnett, Pate Moleni and Bryce Scanlon recorded sacks and Scanlon recovered a fumble. Tackles for loss came from Jess Tassainer, Burnett and Tony Castaldi. Harris, Tassainer, Shaun Harper and Ryan Smith each had a pass breakup.