Outside of quarterback, the biggest question mark for Utah in 1995 is the offensive line, which lost four starters, including all-WAC performers Lance Scott and Anthony Brown.
So far, offensive line coaches Don Eck and Tim Davis have been upbeat about what they've seen with their young group of linemen, which consists mostly of freshmen and sophomores."Coming out of spring, I thought we'd have six or seven solid guys, but I think we'll have eight or nine guys who will contribute," said Eck.
That makes a big difference at a position where injuries can hamper a team and create problems for the whole offense. In past years, Davis said, the Utes would have a sharp dropoff after the five starters, which isn't the case now.
The only returning starter is Chris Rae at right tackle, who isn't too worried about losing his mates from last year. "It was a good summer for the offensive line and everybody came back stronger," he said.
Senior Chad Ventriglia has moved into the other tackle spot and provides some needed experience. Nate Sybrowsky, a 6-5 280-pound true freshman from West Jordan, has been one of the biggest surprises of the fall camp and will play a backup tackle spot along with Josh Cochran, a freshman redshirt from Park City.
At center, Darren Walker, a redshirt freshman from Springville is waging a close battle with JC transfer Chad Folk, who was expected to come in and take the starting spot.
Two other local products, Danny Davis (Mountain View) and Barry Sims (Park City) are the likely starters at guard with Todd Jackson, another freshman redshirt from Springville and Eric Stuhr, pushing them.
Coach Davis points out that even though there are a lot of underclassmen on the team, they are a mature bunch with three returned missionaries (Walker Davis, Jackson) and several redshirts.
"It's been real competitive," said Davis. "We'll make some mistakes because we're so young. But we have more flexibility and are more cohesive as a line."
BYU UTAH USU
QUARTERBACK A- C C
RUNNINGBACKS B+ A- B+
RECEIVERS B+ B A
OFFENSIVE LINE B C+ B-