With three weeks of spring ball down, and with two more to go, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham is feeling good about how his team is performing so far.
The Utes held a 130-play scrimmage last Friday — he said it might have been as many as 170 plays including special teams reps — and they’ll hold another scrimmage next Saturday ahead of the spring game at Rice-Eccles Stadium on April 17.
“We’ve got two weeks left — six opportunities to get out on the field and one of those being, of course, the spring game. And another major scrimmage next Saturday,” Whittingham said. “I feel like we’ve made a lot of progress. We still have a lot of work to do, obviously … We have a laundry list of what we need to improve on. But I would say we’re in a really good spot where we’re at. Sixty percent finished now with these last six practices. That’s where we’re at.”
The spring game will feature a limited capacity of up to 6,500 fans. Kickoff is set for noon and will be televised live on the Pac-12 Network.
The capacity was established through consultation with, and approval from, campus and local public health authorities in compliance with Pac-12 policy.
Spectators must wear a mask at all times inside Rice-Eccles Stadium, maintain physical distance and sit in groups limited to those who share the same household.
Tickets went on sale Friday, April 2, and may be purchased for $10, or in a bundle of four tickets for $22, either online or by phone at 801-581-8849. Tickets will be distributed digitally to provide a touch-free admission experience. Student tickets will be available the day of the game at the stadium.
Whittingham said every healthy player was given reps in last Friday’s scrimmage, even veterans like defensive linemen Mika Tafua and Maxs Tupai, linebacker Devin Lloyd, and wide receiver Britain Covey.
“It’s a situation where every single guy that’s been practicing and is healthy got an opportunity and got a chance to have reps,” Whittingham said. “Obviously some a lot more than others. But we wanted to make sure that everybody got an opportunity to show what they could do … I would expect next week more of the same. In the spring game you might see more guys with limited action or no action. That’s the plan going forward.”
With so many players having been granted an extra year of eligibility due to the pandemic, Whittingham said his spring roster has never been this large.
“We have a lot of guys — just about 120. We’ve never had this many people on the roster and this many practicing in the spring,” he said. “Typically, it’s 80-90 guys. But with COVID that backlogged everything, these scrimmages are going to be longer because of just that. We’ve used a format for several years now for the spring game. We’re going to have to extend that a little bit to create more rep opportunities for all these guys.”