Utah football notes: Utes prepare to face NCAA's top two scorers
Ross D. Franklin, AP
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah coach Kyle Whittingham describes Arizona State’s offense as having a lot of people playing their roles to perfection. The Sun Devils can certainly put points on the board. They’ve had 53 or more in their last three games and put up 62 on USC earlier this season.
“They’re hitting on all cylinders right now offensively,” said Whittingham, who added that there is really no weakness as the Utes prepare for Saturday’s game at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Besides quarterback Taylor Kelly, the Pac-12’s reigning Offensive Player of the Week, ASU’s attacks feature the NCAA’s top two scorers. Running back Marion Grice leads the nation with 13.5 points per game and kicker Zane Gonzalez is second at 11.6.
Whittingham noted that Grice, who averages 162.25 all-purpose yards per game, is a terrific player.
“All he does is score touchdowns,” Whittingham said. “It seems like every fifth or sixth time he touches the ball he’s in the end zone.”
NO WORRIES: Offensive coordinators Dennis Erickson and Brian Johnson aren’t concerned about quarterback Travis Wilson bouncing back from a couple of subpar performances.
They’re confident the sophomore will be able to do so.
“There’s no question about that. He’s healthy now,” Erickson said. “We’ve just got to see what happens. Obviously, we’ve got to have some good things happen. But I’m not worried about Travis.”
Johnson had similar thoughts as Wilson recovers from a banged-up throwing hand.
“He’s battled. He’s a tough kid,” Johnson said. “There’s no question about his physical or mental toughness at all. He’s as tough as they come.”
STAYING FOCUSED: Although Utah senior Trevor Reilly has already been invited to play in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, he’s not giving it much thought right now.
“I’m not even worried about that stuff until after the season,” Reilly said.
NO GRUDGE: Erickson insists there’s nothing special about his first meeting against Arizona State since his dismissal as the Sun Devils’ head coach in 2011.
“No. You want to win every football game,” he said. “It’s not about me.”
“His demeanor this week has been the same as always, and so we can’t tell that it’s any different,” he said.
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