Wednesday's afternoon session of practice saw the Utes putting in quite a bit more 11-on-11 work. The coaches made the decision to go in shorts and no pads because the team has had a dozen or so practices in a row in pads.
In light of not being in pads, it is difficult to really gauge performances fairly, but the team clearly responded well to a lighter practice. Advantage went to the offense on Wednesday afternoon, with Terrance Cain flourishing with his long game, completing several deep balls. The question remains, can he do the same with pads on?
• The answer is; no one knows. As stated, Cain has not thrown the long ball much, but it is a function of not looking downfield. Cain's vision seemed to be down field all evening, searching for big play opportunities. Cain hooked up with Jereme Brooks, Kendrick Moeai,Brad Clifford and Elijah Wesson for long passes. Another positive was that many of the passes were thrown under pressure, indicating that Cain is improving in that aspect; one in which he has struggled with previously. For the first time in camp, one quarterback clearly outperformed the other, but can Cain be consistent?
• The defense, namely the secondary was beaten on long passes repeatedly, including a couple by Jordan Wynn, who mostly suffered with inaccuracy overall but was also victim to dropped passes by receivers.
• Matt Asiata showed off good hands, catching several passes from both quarterbacks, and then turning the plays into big ones with impressive yards after the catch.
• Lei Talamaivao had a sack against Cain and freshman defensive tackle Latu Heimuli beat his man and had the quarterbacks under pressure all day, and again batted down three passes at the line of scrimmage. Heimuli also had one particularly impressive play in which he nearly ran Cain down on a roll out play.
• Kenape Eliapo also got in on the action, applying heavy pressure and getting off his blocks easily all day.