SALT LAKE CITY — Saturday's game is extra special for Utah wide receiver Dres Anderson. The freshman from Riverside, Calif., used to be a big fan of UCLA. His father, Flipper, and his uncle Paco Craig, played for the Bruins before moving on to the NFL.
"It's going to be crazy because growing up they were my favorite school and that's who I was rooting for," Anderson said. "Now I'm going against them. But I'm just seeing it as another game and I'm just going to do what I can do."
That advice, Dres noted, came from his Dad, who will be decked out in red with a Utah hat on his head.
"It's kind of awkward, but it's cool," Dres said. "He wants the Utes to win. He's going for me all the way."
Flipper has been to most of his son's games. Dres appreciates the support and acknowledged it's great to play in the same conference that his father and uncle did. He's hopeful it'll be a path to the NFL as well.
"I'm in the conference I've wanted to play in my whole life," Dres said. "It's just been a fun time."
Although Dres was recruited by UCLA, he opted to sign with Utah instead — noting it's a great school with a family atmosphere that embraced him on his recruiting visit. Dres said he was "feeling it" after the Utes defeated Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. The move to the Pac-12 after a redshirt year, he noted, was the best thing that could have happened.
Anderson enters Saturday's game as Utah's third-leading receiver with 21 catches for 308 yards and three touchdowns.
"Dres has played a lot of good football for us this year and his best days are certainly ahead of him," said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham.
After acknowledging that Dres is excited for the game, Whittingham pointed out that he also has a connection to the elder Anderson — dating back to when his father, Fred Whittingham, was a coach for the Los Angeles Rams.
"I used to watch Flipper all the time back in the day," Whittingham said.
Upon hearing that Anderson will be wearing red on Saturday, the coach delivered a one-word response: "Fantastic."
WAZZOU KICKOFF: The Utah-Washington State game on Nov. 19 will kickoff at 3 p.m. (MT). No television coverage is planned at this time. KJZZ, however, has applied for a waiver to broadcast it.
Stay tuned (pun intended, as far as you know).
PENN STATE AND PATERNO: Whittingham didn't have much to say about the controversy at Penn State and Joe Paterno.
"No. I have no comments on that. It's not a good situation," he explained. "I just know what I read like everyone else and it's not good."
Whittingham declined any additional comment on the matter.
NEW RECRUIT: Utah has received a recruiting commitment from Marc Pouvave, a 6-foot-4, 340-pound offensive lineman from Southwestern Community College in Chula Vista, Calif. Pouvave earned all-conference honors last season.
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