SALT LAKE CITY — Safety Marcus Williams and linebacker Sunia Tauteoli weren’t on the Utah depth chart that was released Monday. Both starters left the Utes’ 19-14 win at Oregon State last Saturday with undisclosed injuries.
“Not season-ending and so that’s the good news,” said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham. “At this point and time, we don’t believe they’re season-ending injuries.”
Marcus Williams and Tauteoli have played prominent roles on a unit that ranks second in the Pac-12 in scoring defense (18.3 ppg) and third in total defense (342 ypg). Tauteoli is tied with safety Chase Hansen for the most tackles on the team with 43. Marcus Williams is third with 32 and first in interceptions with three.
It’s the latest in a series of injuries that have befallen the 18th-ranked Utes as they prepare for Saturday’s game against UCLA at the Rose Bowl.
“In all my years here, there’s never been a year like this,” Whittingham said. “But it is what it is."
DO IT AGAIN: Senior Cory Butler-Byrd and the Utes are hoping this week’s trip to the Rose Bowl won’t be their only one this season. They would like to play in Pasadena again, on Jan. 2.
“For sure. Everybody wants to go back to the Rose Bowl,” Butler-Byrd said. “Give me a little rose to give to my fiancee or something.”
Butler, though, noted that they’re not looking that far ahead right now.
“Being inside of the Pac-12 you’ve always got to go week-by-week,” he said. “But I mean at the end of the day that’s our goal is to get to the Pac-12 championship game and then to the Rose Bowl.”
NO REDSHIRT: Freshman running back Devonta’e Henry-Cole acknowledged it was a little hard to come out of a planned redshirt year in the seventh game of the season. However, Henry-Cole said he’d do whatever it takes to help the team.
“I was nervous at first but after that first play I just wanted to keep running,” he continued. I was ready.”
Henry-Cole carried the ball once for 2 yards in his collegiate debut last Saturday at Oregon State.
EXTRA POINTS: Utah’s home game against Washington on Oct. 29 will kick off at 1:30 p.m. and be broadcast on FS1. The Utes have opened Pac-12 play with a 3-1 record for the third consecutive season. Jordan Fogal, a junior, tops the depth chart at free safety this week in place of Williams. Sophomore Cody Barton is listed as the starter at Mac linebacker, replacing Tauteoli. The latest depth chart also includes several starters who have missed action in recent weeks — wide receiver Tim Patrick, tight end Harrison Handley and center Lo Falemaka.