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Utah coach Kyle Whittingham wants to see the receivers be ‘more explosive’

But there’s no problem at tight end, where Brant Kuithe and Dalton Kincaid continue to impress

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Utah Utes wide receiver Devaughn Vele tries to push Florida Gators long snapper Marco Ortiz as Utah and Florida play.

Utah Utes receiver Devaughn Vele carries the ball during a game against Florida in Gainesvillle, Fla., on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022. Utah coach Kyle Whittingham wants to see more production from his wide receivers than he has seen thus far.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

No doubt, Utah’s NFL-caliber tight ends Dalton Kincaid and Brant Kuithe continue to impress. 

In last week’s 73-7 thumping of Southern Utah, Kincaid had seven catches for 107 yards, and Kuithe hauled in three passes for 22 yards.

Even Thomas Yassmin got into the act with a 29-yard TD catch — the first of his career. 

Meanwhile, at the wide receiver position, Money Parks had three catches for 71 yards and Jaylen Dixon had three receptions for 29 yards. 

Still, the coaching staff wants to see more production from the wideouts, particularly Devaughn Vele.

“We said at the onset of the season and in fall camp that if the wideouts can become more explosive, then that should be the final stage of the offense to become more of what we want it to be,” said coach Kyle Whittingham. “They did make some plays. Money Parks was impressive. He ran some good routes and made some nice catches on Saturday. Devaughn Vele still hasn’t really gotten untracked.

“But the tight ends continue to be a focal point of our offense because they’re so productive. You saw the catches Dalton made. Brant is a terrific player. It’s not a situation where the tight ends become secondary because they are so prominent in the offense. But if the wide receivers can be more of a factor then that makes us a lot better.”

What more can the receivers do to make an impact on the offense?

“Get open. Demand the ball,” Whittingham said. “I’m not saying they are getting gloved up, but quarterbacks like to throw to open guys. You’ve got to get open if you want the ball. The tight ends are a tougher matchup right now because they’re so dominant. They’re great blockers as well. Those guys are often mismatched against safeties and linebackers. They’re almost impossible to cover.”

Quarterback Cam Rising loves having Kincaid and Kuithe at his disposal. 

“They make my life easy. I love having those guys,” he said. “It’s always fun throwing to them in the middle and watching them go.”


Utes on the air

San Diego State (1-1) at No. 14 Utah (1-1) 

Saturday, 8 p.m. MDT

Rice-Eccles Stadium 

TV: ESPN2

Radio: ESPN 700