Spring ball ends with Red-White game

A few great plays were buried by the sloppiness of the offense in Saturday’s Red and White Spring Game, which pitted the U football team against itself. It also marked the last time the coaches and the team would be practicing together until the fall.

The Red team, which seemed to have many of the team’s offensive starters, was crushed by the White team 25-7. In the first half, the Red offense was absolutely atrocious.

Starting quarterback Alex Smith wore a yellow jersey for the entire game, which allowed the opposing defense to take him down by just touching him. This really limited his play.

The Red team came out of the gates looking for a big play, but Smith overthrew wide receiver Steven Savoy on several deep routes.

“He overthrew me but that’s OK. We will correct that when the season starts and will start hitting those throws,” Savoy said. “Alex has had a good spring practice and will be really good by the fall.”

In the first half, however, Smith was just 4 of 19 passing and the offense could not get anything going.

“I was forcing the ball in the first half just looking for the big play, but we came back and played well in the second half,” Smith said.

While the Red team struggled in the first half, the White team capitalized and running back Joe Johnson took in a shovel pass for the first touchdown of the game.

In the second half, Smith calmed down and led the team down the field, throwing a fade pass to John Madsen to cut the lead to 13-7.

Smith’s numbers did not improve too much in the second half, but much of that was due to dropped passes from his receivers.

Two of his passes were tipped into the air and intercepted.

The White team sealed the victory when backup quarterback Adam Madsen fired a pass to Jerome Wright to make the score 19-7.

As a whole, there were may mistakes made on offense, but some of the players really stood out as up-and-coming players.

Fano Tagovailoa, who played defensive back and quarterback in the last scrimmage, played at wide receiver for most of the game and had his ups and downs.

Tagovailoa made some nice plays after catching the ball, but he also dropped three easy passes in the first half.

“It’s tough for him since he is playing at four positions, but he is a playmaker,” Smith said.

Thomas Huff, who was out for some of spring with a knee injury, played in the game and utilized his 6-foot, 4-inch frame on a 32 yard jump-ball reception from Adam Madsen.

The Utes also sent him on a fade in the end zone, but many of the passes were underthrown.

“Our receivers go anywhere from 5-foot-11 to 6-foot-5, so we have a lot of versatility and can do a lot of things,” Savoy said.

But the receivers dropped many balls in the game.

“That’s the difference between playing on the practice field and playing in the arena,” head coach Urban Meyer said. “Guys got to learn how to go out there and make plays.”

John Madsen was Smith’s main threat in the game, but he also had his ups and downs.

“It ranged from me dropping balls to catching touchdowns, so I just have to get more consistent,” John Madsen said.

Smith only looked for Savoy on the deep route, and then Savoy did not play after the first half.

“I was running some other routes, but we were trying to get the big play down,” Savoy said. “I had one other catch, but Alex was called down on that play.” Smith finished the game completing only 19 of 42 passes.

Other surprises included sophomore transfer running back Orlando Medlock, who ran for a game-high 55 yards on 10 carries.

Marty Johnson did not play in the game even though he was dressed with the White team.

On the defensive side, Meyer was happy with the performance, even though everyone did not play.

“Defense is going to be good at Utah every year,” Meyer said. “We didn’t even have our five best players on defense playing and we did well.”

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