SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah football program is gearing up for a Saturday night showdown against the USC Trojans on Oct. 20 with a kick time of 6 p.m. MT on Pac-12 Networks.
Search #USCvsUTAH for conversation.
The Trojans enter the week ranked first in the Pac-12 South Division (3-1) with Utah sitting at 2-2 in Pac-12 play, including last week's 42-10 win over South team Arizona in Rice-Eccles.
Head coach Kyle Whittingham on planning for USC…
"It has been more of the same as far as what we have been doing each week. We always have a few new components each week for the opponent you are facing, but it is business as usual. You have to keep getting better at what you are doing each week."
The Utes certainly got better last week, going for a season-high 495 yards of total offense, thanks in large part to the versatility of Tyler Huntley
. Huntley is the second quarterback in the Whittingham era to throw, rush and receive for a touchdown in a game (Troy Williams
vs. USC, 2017).
Offensive Coordinator Troy Taylor
On the offensive play in the last two weeks…
"Yeah we are doing well and executing well. We are playing well up front and the wide receivers are making plays. It has been fun to watch."
On what he thinks the difference has been in the last two weeks…
"I think it is a couple of things. I think they have created some confidence, which is a powerful thing. I think they believe in themselves. Confidence comes with having success. I think the guys up front are playing really well. They are protecting Tyler so that he has time to throw the ball. He is making really good decision and the wide receivers are making plays which has been key."
Saturday's game is the 98th
homecoming game in school history and the team will wear throwback uniforms to honor the tradition which is themed #UUThrowback.
Candid Camera: John Penisini
talks to the local media at practice today with three bodyguards (Leki Fotu
, Pita Tonga
and Hauati Pututau
Defensive Coordinator Morgan Scalley
On if he thinks USC is a one-dimensional offense...
"No. Have you seen their wide receivers? I'd throw the ball too. They are very good. But in all seriousness, they have good backs, good linemen and are just choosing to throw the ball a little bit more. With all of the big plays they are getting out of their wideouts I can see why."
On if covering their height and ability at wide receiver will be the challenge this week…
"Teams have been throwing against us and so will they. They have good wide receivers and probably one of the best groups that we have faced all season long. It is a good challenge for our defensive backs. It is all about pass defense efficiency. Teams are going to get their yards throwing the ball. If we are having success stopping the run, they are going to get success somewhere. We just have to be efficient when they are throwing the ball with low completion percentage, making sure we are getting batted balls and just keeping that rating down."
The Week in Awards:
- Tyler Huntley: Davey O'Brien's Great 8, Utah Offensive Player of the Week
- Maxs Tupai: Utah Defensive Player of the Week
- Mitch Wishnowsky: Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week, Utah Special Teams Player of the Week
- Dylan Slavens: Utah Scout Team Player of the Week
- Nygel King: Utah Scout Team Player of the Week
- Ryan To'a: Utah Scout Team Player of the Week