Utah football notebook: Luke Matthews getting hang of moving around

Published: Friday, Oct. 14 2011 6:40 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — As Utah's second-leading receiver returning from last year, Luke Matthews expected to have a big season. However it didn't work out as well when he was moved from wide receiver to a new spot on the team as the "F" back, or fullback, in Norm Chow's new offense.

While adjusting to his new role, Matthews injured his shoulder in the second game at USC and had to sit out of the BYU game. However, Matthews is back and getting more involved in the offense each game.

In the last two weeks, the junior from Phoenix has caught four passes for 55 yards and seems to be a player quarterback Jon Hays looks for. He's looking for even more action this week when the Utes take on Pittsburgh.

"I'm a lot better. My shoulder is back all the way," Matthews said. "They want me to do even more than last week, so I'm excited about that. It means more catches."

Although he is 6-foot-1, 205 pounds, Matthews usually lines up behind the quarterback as a fullback. Sometimes he slides out to a slot or as a wide receiver and sometimes he stays in to block for the quarterback.

"I'm moving around all over the field, so it's hard to pinpoint since I'm moving everywhere," Matthews says. "I love that I get to do a different things."

Matthews hasn't received a handoff to go up the middle, but says, "Hopefully I'll get one this year."

Matthews is a team captain and says he's trying to help keep the team motivated through some trying times. He's positive about the team having a good season from here out.

"Everybody's still motivated and still on the same page," he says. "They know we have a great offense and a great D, it's just little things that are hurting us. This team has always been one than can bounce back and everybody is ready to play on Saturday and get it done."

NO OFFENSE: While the Utah defense has been solid for the most part this year and ranks high in the Pac-12 and nationally in several categories, the offense is a different story.

For the past three weeks, the Ute offense has ranked last in the Pac-12 in total offense. The Utes are averaging just 346.8 yards per game, which puts them 92nd in the nation in total offense.

The Utes are also 11th in the league in passing offense and pass efficiency offense and 10th in scoring offense, which is 85th in the country.

On the other hand, Utah is No. 2 in the Pac-12 in rushing offense and 19th nationally, third in scoring defense, fourth in pass efficiency defense and fifth in total defense.

email: sor@desnews.com

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