Utah football notebook: Utes puzzle over penalties, vow to fix them

Spenser Heaps,

Utah Utes wide receiver Raelon Singleton (11) pulls in a pass during the game against the Brigham Young Cougars at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017.

SALT LAKE CITY — No one wants to eliminate Utah’s holding penalties more than receivers coach Guy Holliday.

The bulk of the calls against the Utes through two games have come against receivers.

“We’re aggressive,” Holliday said after practice Tuesday. “We coach aggressiveness. We just got to get our hand placement. I like their aggression. I think I need to understand the rules a little better sometimes. We’ve been called for two pass interference calls, and I’m still trying to figure out where they are. But that’s life, and we’ll fix it.”

While they diagnose the issue, they’re not changing what they ask of the players, including their effort.

“We’re not going to take away the aggression,” he said. “Teams know when they come play us, we’re a physical football team. That’s who I am, that’s who I want my players to be. We’ve just got to fix our technique some.”

Holliday said that what coaches are asking of players, including receivers, hasn’t changed in Troy Taylor’s new offense.

“We’ve just been caught with bad hand placement,” he said.

The Pac-12 told coaches before the season began that there would be an emphasis on eliminating pass interference committed by offensive players. Utah has been called for pass interference twice, and Holliday said he’s at a loss as to why.

“They told us that pass interference, particularly on the offense, was going to be emphasized,” he said. “I’m just at a loss of words, let’s just say that. … The official made the right call because it’s his call to make. So we’ll figure out something else to do.”

FAN FAVORITE

Nickel back Boobie Hobbs has become something of a fan favorite. The senior had an interception against BYU, and when he came off the field Tuesday, Little League players from Park City began yelling and calling to him.

Hobbs grinned, walked toward the elementary school-age players and then signed autographs alongside…

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