Utah didn't lose quite as much of its BCS-team the year after the Sugar Bowl as it did the year after the Fiesta Bowl. But the Utes are still trying to plug holes and fill some big shoes: the biggest being graduating QB Brian Johnson's, PK Louie Sakoda's, and DE Paul Kruger's.
Whittingham tries 5:30AM practice to keep the '09 Utes' minds off their '08 success; The QB battle likely isn't big enough for RSFr DeVonte Christopher as much-touted JUCO transfer Terrance Cain and returning QB Corbin Louks appear to have taken the battle to themselves. R.J. Sanford and Brandon Burton hope to replace the Utes' tremendous CBs; Matt Asiata doesn't expect to split carries with anyone in '09; one starter the Utes didn't lose to graduation is LB Stevenson Sylvester. Whittingham hopes hitting will grow up some young players. One younger player who is emerging is WR Aiona Key; another is featherweight true freshman QB Jordan Wynn, who's good work in the high-scoring spring game may keep the Utes' QB battle a three-way fight into fall.
After the Utes' second scrimmage, the offense still looks shaky, and Louks and Cain remain "about even" (Whittingham's estimation). None of the Utes' kickers are anywhere near Louie Sakoda's reliability, however.