Brett Ratliff's damage came via passing in Saturday's scrimmage.
April 15, 2006
SALT LAKE CITY -
Brett Ratliff and the No. 1 offense were too much for an injury-depleted Utah defense in the second spring scrimmage for the Utes on Saturday morning in Rice-Eccles Stadium. Ratliff completed 14-of-20 passes for 196 yards and 3 touchdowns and had another pass dropped in the end zone. Other than that miscue, the Ute receivers looked sharp, especially Marquis Wilson, who scored on the scrimmage's first drive and finished with 6 grabs for 110 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Ratliff is in command of the No. 1 offense--at least for now. Returning starter Brian Johnson expects to join the fray in August after recovering from knee surgery. Until then, Ratliff is No. 1, followed by Tommy Grady (4-7 for 55 yards and 1 TD) and Kevin Dunn (2-4 for 18 yards and a score).
"Brett Ratliff was much better today than last week," said head coach Kyle Whittingham. "He probably stood out more than anyone in this scrimmage. The competition at quarterback is very strong, and will get even stiffer when Brian comes back, but Brett is clearly No. 1, Tommy No. 2 and Kevin No. 3 right now."
The lack of starters on the defensive side likely had something to do with the relative ease of the offense in moving the ball. Starting corner Eric Weddle (hamstring) and rover linebacker Joe Jiannoni (mid foot sprain) sat out with injuries, while starting safeties Casey Evans and Steve Tate, and starting tackle Kelly Talavou sat out for precautionary reasons.
While Darryl Poston didn't take all the handoffs this scrimmage due to the return of Darrell Mack and Mike Liti from the injured list, he did solidify his hold on the starting job. Poston rushed five times for 13 yards and caught two passes for 10 yards. Mack, though a bit rusty, led all rushers with 10 carries for 61 yards, including a 29-yard scamper. Liti rushed seven times for 26 yards and a score.