Tyler Shreve threw for 122 yards and a touchdown in the Red-White Game.
April 16, 2011
SALT LAKE CITY - True freshman quarterback Tyler Shreve threw for the only touchdown as the Red team defeated the White team, 7-0, in the Utah Spring Game on Saturday afternoon at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
The largest crowd ever of over 15,000 was in attendance as Utah prepares to enter the Pac-12 Conference this fall. New Pac-12 logos were sewn into the Rice-Eccles Stadium turf this past week and were on display for the first time.
"We had about 60 to 70 percent of our starters out today, so we got a good look at a lot of our young guys," said Ute head coach Kyle Whittingham. "I thought we moved the ball O.K., but just didn't score except for the one time. I saw a lot of guys flying around on defense. I thought Harvey Langi ran the ball hard. I was proud of the offensive line; we had seven linemen who had to play the whole game on both sides."
The Red team dominated the first half, outgaining the White squad 158 to 34 yards, and finally reached the end zone on its third possession. A 12-play drive was capped off by a 15-yard pass from Shreve to Dexter Ransom on post pattern with 3:12 left before halftime.
Shreve, battling sophomore Griff Robles for the back-up quarterback job this spring, connected on 9 of 20 passes for 122 yards and threw one interception. Robles directed the White offense, completing 11 of 23 throws for 74 yards with one pick.
Junior starting quarterback Jordan Wynn did not play in any of the spring scrimmages after having off-season shoulder surgery.
Ransom was the game's top receiver, making four catches for 57 yards. Teammate Luke Matthews, who has moved back to receiver after spending some time at fullback in the spring, made three grabs for 41 yards.
Langi, a true freshman, led the ground attack, gaining 63 yards on 10 carries for the Red team. Junior running back John White IV led the White squad with six carries for 36 yards. He also made three catches for 25 yards.
"It's tough to make a definitive call on the offense," Whittingham pointed out. "We didn't have Jordan [Wynn], who we expect to run it with a lot more proficiency than what we had this spring. I saw some good things. The running backs, I believe, are encouraging. I think we're going to have a nice set of receivers--although DeVonte [Christopher] and Dres [Anderson] didn't play today. On the offensive line, we're still looking for a guard."
The Red squad had some missed opportunities to score in the first half. In the first series it drove to the White 17-yard line on 11 plays. However, Nick Marsh's 35-yard field goal try went wide left.
On the Red's second possession, its 12-play drive ended when Shreve's pass over the middle was tipped by linebacker Dave Fagergren and intercepted by Joseph Smith at the 5-yard line with seven and a half minutes left in the second quarter.
The White team had a great chance to score on the first drive of the second half. White had a 10-yard run to the 16 yard line when Karl Williams jarred the ball loose. However, the ball bounded forward and was recovered by Griff McNabb at the 5-yard line, setting up a first-and-goal. The White drove to the 3-yard line, but on fourth down Robles' pass to the end zone was batted down by junior defensive end David Rolf.
Rolf, a Salt Lake City native who transferred from Michigan State, had two pass breakups, a nine-yard sack and a tackle for loss. Williams, in addition to his forced fumble, also recorded an 11-yard sack.
Sophomore linebacker Trevor Reilly led the White defense with 2.5 sacks for 41 yards, and also deflected a pass.
The game consisted of four 10-minute quarters. The clock was stopped in the first half and ran continuously in the second half. With the loss, the White team has to clean the Smith Athletics Center on Monday.
"We came out of the game healthy, and came out of the whole spring very healthy," Whittingham said. "I feel good about our progress. We've got a long ways to go. This summer's going to be critical for our development. Our progress has got to continue through the summer if we're going to have a good football team."
Utah opens its 2011 season on Thursday, Sept. 1 against Montana State in Rice-Eccles Stadium. The Utes' first Pac-12 game is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 10 against USC in Los Angeles.
Percy Taumoelau (So., OL) was the only player injured in the game. He was helped off the field with a knee injury in the first quarter but came back to play ... Several former Ute players were in attendance. Jordan Gross, Stevenson Sylvester and Eric Weddle were introduced to the crowd at the end of the first quarter. Robert Johnson, Paul Kruger and Sione Pouha were introduced at the end of the third quarter.