Utah Utes football: Ute kicker Coleman Petersen stays cool in the cold
PULLMAN, Wash. — Utah kicker Coleman Petersen is one cool cat. Snow and cold temperatures didn't hamper him in the least in Saturday's 30-27 overtime win at Washington State. He calmly connected on three field goal attempts and three PATs.
When asked about kicking in the wintery weather, the junior said it wasn't too bad after he cleared a spot. Petersen also downplayed his game-winning 38-yard kick.
"It's great," he said. "But it's better just to get the win and try to get in a better bowl game."
Kicking was a question mark for Utah going into the season. Petersen, however, has put those concerns to rest. He leads the pac-12 in field goals made with 17.
"It's proven to be a strength now," said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham.
WINTER WONDERLAND: Several of the Utes were shirtless while throwing the football around at Martin Stadium well before kickoff. Temperatures were in the high 20s with snow flurries.
Senior Derrick Shelby was not one of them
"Never, never," he said. "You'll never see me out there like that."
Shelby, who is from Houston, is not a big fan of snow
"Any time you see white stuff on the ground, for me, it's never a fun time," he said while noting that winning made it more tolerable.
Wide receiver DeVonte Christopher, who grew up in Las Vegas, took a determined approach to the weather conditions.
"You've got to embrace it. Once you embrace it, you're good," he said. "Once you just get it through your head that you're out here in the snow and you're going to play, you're good to go. But man, I'm not going to lie. It is cold out here."
NOT SO FAST: Utah is hosting a Colorado team Friday that has lost 23 consecutive road games. That doesn't mean, though, that the Utes have already chalked up a victory. The situation is quite the opposite. As usual, they're taking a "first-things-first" and "one-game-at-a-time" approach.And many of them have the "rally 'staches" to prove it.
"We've just got to try to take care of business," Whittingham said. "And then see what hand we're dealt as far as the bowl game."
RECEIVING CORPS: Utah didn't throw a lot of passes Saturday. Quarterback Jon Hays attempted only 18 throws. By comparison, running back John White IV had 42 carries.
The Utes, however, picked up seven first downs on the ground and an equal number via the air against Washington State.
"We don't get many opportunities, but when we do we've got to make that play. That's our motto," said Christopher, who teamed with quarterback Jon Hays on a couple of pivotal third-down plays. "When the ball comes your way, you've got to be able to make that play."
The receivers, he explained, were reminded about that all week by position coach Aaron Roderick.
TITLE GAME TICKETS: The Utah ticket office will start taking pre-orders from Crimson Club members for the inaugural Pac-12 Championship Game on Monday. The Utes are still in contention to represent the South Division in the Dec. 2 title game. North Division champion Oregon or Stanford will host the finale. For more information check out: www.utahtickets.com. Utah also has approximately 400 tickets available for Friday's home game against Colorado.
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