FORT COLLINS — The Utes may be down to one running back, but at least the one they have came up with a huge game in Utah's 24-17 victory over Colorado State Saturday night.
Eddie Wide, taking over for the injured Matt Asiata, scored two touchdowns, rushed for 102 yards and caught six passes for 25 yards, including the winning touchdown, scored with 3:40 left in the game.
"It doesn't surprise me," said coach Kyle Whittingham of Wide's fine effort. "Eddie's a quality back. He did a nice job running, and we had a great effort by the offensive line."
Wide got off to a great start, running for 49 yards on six carries in the first quarter and then didn't get a single carry in the second quarter when the Rams held the ball for 10 minutes. In the third quarter, Wide picked up 15 yards, but he saved his best for last.
On Utah's 17-play 73-yard drive late in the third and early in the fourth quarter, Wide ran just three times, but one was a key 11-yard scamper. And he bulled his way in on 3rd and 1 for the Utes' tying touchdown.
On the next drive, Terrance Cain hit Wide on a rollout to the right and he pranced untouched into the end zone for an 8-yard touchdown, putting the Utes up for good at 24-17. Most of the night he had been the third or fourth receiver for Cain, but on that play he was the primary one.
"I just wanted to get in the end zone and do a checkmate and finish the game off," he said.
With Asiata out for the year, Wide was expected to share duties with Shaky Smithson Saturday, but Smithson went down with an ankle injury late in the first quarter. The Utes apparently have given up on Ray Stowers and put Trevor Moss, who has zero carries for his career, in for a couple of plays, but Wide was really the only real running back the Utes had.
"Now Shaky is out with a sore ankle — we'll see how long," said coach Kyle Whittingham. "We'll have to be creative at the running back spot unless we can get Shak (Sauson Shakerin) back next week. So we'll just keep piecing it together and see what happens. Right now, Eddie's the guy."
Besides Wide's 102 yards on 17 carries, Cain ran for 71 yards on 15 carries.