SALT LAKE CITY — The injury bug continues for the University of Utah in fall camp.
Following Utah’s first scrimmage of the season Saturday, head coach Kyle Whittingham announced that starting running back Armand Shyne sustained an injury over the last couple days and would be out for “a long time.” Whittingham did not discuss the extent of any injuries, but said that Shyne’s injury was not season ending.
Replacing Shyne is sophomore Zack Moss, who was pushing Shyne for the starting job this fall, according to Whittingham.
“He’s as strong as a bull,” Whittingham said of Moss. “He’s got speed and it’s his time.”
Moss is an established back and Utah shouldn’t see much of a drop-off in terms of talent; however, the depth at running back may be an issue.
“It’s getting thinner,” Whittingham said. “Obviously it’s a big blow, but we’ve still got capable guys. We’re obviously very high on Zack.”
Behind Moss are sophomore Devonta’e Henry-Cole — who had a breakout spring — followed by freshman T.J. Green and senior Jordan Howard.
Utah has been banged up by injuries this fall, most notably with safety Chase Hansen, who has yet to play this fall, and center Lo Falemaka, who sustained an injury to his leg the first week of fall camp. Both are making progress, but there is still no timetable for their returns, Whittingham said Thursday.
No separation has become apparent for the quarterbacks, and Whittingham said this year’s competition has been one of the best he’s seen since the program joined the Pac-12.
“We have three guys that we think we can win with. I don’t know if we’ve had that ever in the Pac-12,” he said.
Whittingham said the quarterback run game will be a “big component” of this year’s offense, and a quarterback who can demonstrate some escapability will be a huge advantage in running the offense. He added that sophomore quarterback Tyler Huntley has a “big advantage” in that area; however, senior Troy Williams is more than capable of extending plays.
“He (Williams) was limited last year, so we didn’t get the full effect of what his capabilities are mobility wise and running the ball,” Whittingham said. “We’re confident that we’ve got three guys that we think can get in there and win games for us.”
Offensive coordinator Troy Taylor said the offense as a whole had one of its best practices of fall camp Saturday. He said receivers didn’t drop any passes and the quarterbacks “played well up front.” Although it was a scrimmage, none of the ones and twos were involved in live work, but each performed well, Taylor said.
Taylor said the offense has learned about 80 percent of its plays, and everything is coming together. On Thursday, Taylor said once the offense is near 100 percent of the install, the coaches would start making decisions on starters.
Notes: Taylor said the offensive line is coming along well and that things are “settling more” in relation to finding the team’s starting five.