Dave Revill and the Utes are now in two-a-day practices.
Aug. 11, 2003
SALT LAKE CITY -
The Utes are in week two of their preseason camp and have finished the NCAA-required five-day acclimation period ... The first day in full pads was Aug. 8 and the first double-day practices were held on Aug. 9 ... This week's double-day practices will fall on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday ... There will be a scrimmage on Tuesday and a single practice on Thursday and Friday ... The scrimmage on Tuesday will be closed to the public.
A newcomer expected to have an immediate impact is long snapper Brady Parkhurst, who is already No. 1 on the depth chart after the first week of camp ... A new walk-on kicker has joined the team and junior college transfer Dennis Pawelek is listed No. 2 on the field goal/PAT depth chart behind Bryan Borreson ... Although he frequently practices with the wide receivers, senior Ben Moa is actually a "flex" tight end, according to Head Coach Urban Meyer. As a "flex", he can shift between 'Y' (tight end) and 'E' (slot receiver) ... Tuesday's scrimmage will be about 90 plays and will be held at either Rice-Eccles Stadium or the Thomas Kearns McCarthey Practice Fields.
Three offensive positions have more than one starter listed on the current depth chart: At quarterback, senior Lance Rice (6-2, 208), junior Brett Elliott (6-3, 211) and sophomore Alex Smith (6-4, 202) are still gunning for the top spot; at running back, senior honor candidates Marty Johnson (5-11, 240) and Brandon Warfield (5-10, 214) are billed as co-starters; and at tight end, both Matt Hansen (6-5, 248, Sr.) and Ben Moa will start, depending on the offensive scheme at the time.
With all-conference defensive end Jason Kaufusi out indefinitely with a shoulder injury, there has been some shuffling on the defensive line. Josh Savage (6-5, 273, Sr.), the projected starter at end, has moved over to open end to fill in for Kaufusi. Lewis Powell (6-3, 290, Sr.), a co-starter at tackle, has replaced Savage at end, leaving Sione Pouha (6-3, 314, Jr.) the starting tackle spot to himself. Junior college transfer Jonathan Fanene (6-4, 307, Jr.) is now backing up Pouha. Linebacker has also seen a few shifts in personnel. Zach Tune (6-3, 238, Jr.), a co-starter at middle linebacker in the spring, is now backing up Corey Dodds (6-2, 225, Jr.) at "stud" linebacker. Zak Nugent (6-1, 226, So.) will now back up Ray Holdcraft (5-11, 248, Sr.) in the middle.
PRACTICE & SCRIMMAGE TIMES
Morning practices for the week of Aug. 11-16 will be held from 9-11 a.m. on Ute Baseball Field. The scrimmage on Tuesday, which is open to media only, will also run from 9-11 a.m. Please note that television photographers may tape only from 9:00-9:15 a.m. at the scrimmage. They may tape the first 30 minutes of all other practices. They may also return for post-scrimmage/practice interviews. The afternoon practices are scheduled for 4:05-5:45 p.m.
Practice/Scrimmage Schedule, Aug. 11-16
Mon., Aug. 11 9:00-11:00 a.m. 24 periods 4:05-5:45 p.m. 20 periods
Tue., Aug. 12 9:00-11:00 a.m. Scrimmage
Wed., Aug. 13 9:00-11:00 a.m. 24 periods 4:05-5:45 p.m. 20 periods
Thu., Aug. 14 9:00-11:00 a.m. 26 periods
Fri., Aug. 15 9:00-11:00 a.m. 26 periods
Sat., Aug. 16 9:00-11:00 a.m. 24 periods 4:05-5:45 p.m. 20 periods
OPEN & CLOSED
All of Utah's practices and scrimmages will be open to the media but closed to the public. Please note that televisions may tape only the first 30 minutes of practice and the first 15 minutes of the scrimmage on Aug. 12.
Interviews for Utah football players and coaches are conducted at the conclusion of practice. During the preseason, this can be after either the morning or afternoon session. Assistant Athletics Director Liz Abel or a sports information designee will attend the practices and arrange for interviews. This week only, please call assistant SID Hope Wagner at 581-3771 to arrange for interviews with players and coaches.
"All of our focus at this time is on Utah State. With a couple of exceptions, the positions have been decided. Players win positions in the spring. Now is the time to prepare for games. The defense is ahead of the offense right now, partially because the offense is still trying to get everything in."
Utah's Aug. 28 game vs. Utah State marks the earliest season-opener in school history for the Utes. The decision to play the game on Thursday, rather than the traditional Saturday kick-off, was made to allow fans an opportunity to take advantage of the Labor Day weekend. Game time is 7 p.m. in Rice-Eccles Stadium.
The 2003 Utes will face one of the tougher schedules in school history. Utah has three quality BCS schools on its schedule: California and Oregon of the Pacific-10 and Texas A&M of the Big 12. Utah's games with Cal and Oregon will be televised live by ESPN and ESPN2, respectively. Things won't ease up in conference play, with the Utes playing perennial league leaders Colorado State, Air Force and Brigham Young on the road.
A NEW ERA
New Utah Head Coach Urban Meyer is widely considered one of the up-and-comers in the college coaching ranks. Meyer, 39, was hired by Utah on Dec. 12, 2002 after leading Bowling Green to a two-year record of 17-6. At BGSU, Meyer went 5-0 against BCS teams, including two wins over ranked opponents, and his team cracked the AP Top 20 after starting the 2002 season with eight straight wins. Named the 2001 Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year as a first-year head coach in 2001, Meyer went 8-3 and 9-3 in his two years at BG. His previous coaching stops included assistantships at Ohio State (graduate assistant), Illinois State, Colorado State and Notre Dame.
KAUFUSI HEADLINES PRESEASON TEAM
Utah senior defensive end Jason Kaufusi was named to the 2003 MWC preseason all-conference team by vote of members of the league's media at the annual MWC Football Preview, held July 27-29 in Las Vegas. Kaufusi, a two-time first-team all-MWC pick was a unanimous preseason pick for the second straight year. Other Utes on the preseason all-conference team were: senior strong safety Dave Revill and senior running back Brandon Warfield. Both Revill and Warfield made the second team last year.
MWC PRESEASON POLL
1. Colorado State (18) 164
2. New Mexico (1) 140
3. Air Force (1) 113
4. Brigham Young (1) 110
5. Utah 73
6. UNLV 67
7. San Diego State 62
8. Wyoming 27