SALT LAKE CITY — “Sack Lake City” has been shutout for two straight games. Utah is in the midst of quite a drought, as a matter of fact, when it comes to bringing down a quarterback. The Utes haven’t done so since getting two in a 30-24 win at Arizona on Sept. 22. They were blanked in losses to Stanford (23-20) and USC (28-27).
"We just aren't doing a good job of getting to the quarterback. The pressure dose is the same. We are about a mid-30-percent pressure team, that is what we are about every year. So, there is nothing that has changed as far as dialing up the pressures,” said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham. “We never make excuses, but we have two really good pass rushers in Kylie Fitts and Bradlee Anae and they really supply that edge pressure. We had them for a period of time in that game, but we have to find a way to get sacks.”
Whittingham added that nothing is different with the calls and there is nothing the opposition is doing differently with their protections.
The Utes, he continued, will just keep working on things.
"We have pass rush drills that we work on and we will continue to develop the younger guys in the system. They need to step up when other guys go down,” Whittingham said. “We need to be better at blitzes. We had a lot of mental mistakes on defense in this past game and quite a few of them were in blitzes. The blitzes weren't clean enough with hitting the right gaps and executing them the right way.”
WISHNOWSKY HONORED: Utah punter Mitch Wishnowsky is the Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week. The reigning Ray Guy Award winner averaged 46.8 yards on six punts against USC. He placed three punts inside the 12-yard line and had kicks cover distances of 56 and 60 yards. Wishnowsky leads the Pac-12 in net punting and is second in the nation. He’s had only one punt returned (minus-1 yard) all season long.
HALL OF FAMERS: Former Utah standouts Steve Smith Sr., and Jordan Gross, who were longtime teammates and Pro Bowl honorees with the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, will be introduced at halftime Saturday to commemorate their induction into the Crimson Club Hall of Fame. Other inductees include Staci Burt (soccer), Jo Evans (softball), Kent Crawford (tennis) and Chris Shelton (baseball).
EXTRA POINTS: The Utes and kicker Matt Gay lead the nation in field goals made with 16 . . . Utah soccer players Julianne Mathias and Hailey Skolmoski will receive the Bennion Center Student-Athletes in Service Award at the game . . . Hannah Flippen (softball) is being honored with the Occie Evans Award as the top senior female athlete on a team sport . . . Freshman Noah Rodriguez-Trammell made his debut as Utah’s long snapper in the USC game . . . The Oct. 28 game at Oregon will kick off at 3:45 p.m. (MT) and be broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks.