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`SECRET’ SCRIMMAGE YIELDS THIS: UTES LOOKING SHARP

SHARE `SECRET’ SCRIMMAGE YIELDS THIS: UTES LOOKING SHARP

It was supposed to be a "secret" scrimmage to keep all those spies from Logan from infiltrating Rice Stadium Wednesday night. All of the gates were locked, but still a couple of hundred people were scattered around the stands to watch what could be Utah's final scrimmage before its opening game against Utah State Aug. 31.

The onlookers were friends and family of the players, but coach Ron McBride needn't have worried even if the whole town of Logan had been occupying the rest of the Rice Stadium seats. It wasn't like the Utes were practicing double-reverse passes or fake field goals or anything like that.In fact, any spies from Aggie-land would have likely gone home from the scrimmage sweating bullets after watching the Utes' powerful running game.

Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala picked up 97 yards on just 11 carries and scored a pair of touchdowns, Omar Bacon rushed for 45 yards on seven carries, while Juan Johnson ran for 26 yards on just three carries. Even recent walk-on Roy Allen showed well against the No. 1 defense with 24 yards on eight carries.

Fuamatu-Ma'afala, who came on strong late last season when he was named WAC freshman of the year, was particularly impressive, bowling over teammates and showing outside speed.

"Chris ran today like we expect him to run" said McBride. "He broke tackles, ran over people and did the things we expect him to do."

Starting quarterback Mike Fouts only took a handful of snaps and didn't throw a single pass as Ute coaches took a hard look at reserve quarterbacks Brandon Jones, Scott Styles and Jonathan Crosswhite.

Styles completed 5 of 10 passes for 41 yards, Jones was 2 of 5 for 26 yards, while Crosswhite was 2 of 4 for 22 yards.

McBride said ideally he'd like to redshirt JC transfer Crosswhite but added that he wanted to get the best No. 2 man to back up Fouts.

Utah's No. 1 defense looked sharp, particularly in goal-line situations. Harold Lusk had a strong outing, intercepting two passes, one for a 62-yard touchdown. Several starters sat out the scrimmage, including receiver Rocky Henry, defensive backs Calbert Beck and Brandon Dart and three of the four starting defensive linemen.

Daniel Pulsipher did well, kicking three field goals from 50, 38 and 36 yards. He missed a 59-yarder.

The Utes conclude two-a-days Friday and get to relax Saturday for Picture Day.