Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — There are no plans, whatsoever, for the Utah Utes to use quarterback Adam Schulz as a game manager Saturday at Washington State.
“We want him to go out and make plays,” said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham. “ I thought he made some plays Saturday against Oregon, just too many drops. I think if five or six drops don’t occur, his numbers are pretty good.”
Schulz completed 13-of-30 passes for 181 yards in the Utes’ 44-21 loss to the Ducks.
“The first thing we can do to help Adam is get the running game going,” Whittingham continued. “If you can throw the ball when you want to throw it, instead of when you have to throw it, it’s a lot easier.”
MEMORY LANE: Saturday’s game is a homecoming of sorts for Utah co-offensive coordinator Dennis Erickson. He was Washington State’s head coach from 1987-88, leading the Cougars to a 12-10-1 record and an Aloha Bowl victory over Houston.
“I had some fun wins in those days,” he said, while noting he has a lot of great memories. “I love the place. I like Washington State.”
Erickson has been back to Pullman numerous times in his coaching career. He’s also spent a fair amount of time at nearby Moscow at Idaho — serving as head coach of the Vandals from 1982-85 and 2006, plus an earlier stint as offensive coordinator from 1974-75.
CENTER OF ATTENTION: Whittingham considers Utah center Vyncent Jones a “mainstay” and praised the senior for playing solid football every single week of the season. Jones has played 699 snaps this year and leads the team with 18 knockdowns and is tied for second in pancake blocks with eight.
KEYS TO SUCCESS: Utah defensive end Trevor Reilly said the Utes just have to stay positive despite the adversity of a four-game losing streak and the loss of Travis Wilson.
“Hopefully have guys step up and make more plays. We need to make more plays on defense. The lack of turnovers has really hurt us as a team,” Reilly said. “So we need bigger plays on defense and we obviously need the offense to make some bigger plays.”
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