SALT LAKE CITY — What red-zone problems?
Just a hunch, but here’s guessing Utah coach Kyle Whittingham will not lament his team’s lack of production within his opponent's 20-yard line in upcoming interviews.
“We just have to make plays down there and as coaches put our players in better positions to make plays,” Whittingham said leading up to this UCLA-Utah showdown, echoing a season-long frustration about red-zone production. “It is driving me nuts and it has been driving me nuts for quite some time.”
The Utes did some more driving in Friday’s game, but time and time again they ended up in the end zone.
Utah was a perfect 5-for-5 from the red zone in its 48-17 win over UCLA at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
That included two passing touchdowns, two rushing scores, and a Matt Gay field goal, to boot.
That was a significant improvement over the Utes' 1-for-4 success rate in last Saturday's 41-20 loss at Oregon. It was also a pleasant development considering Utah came into this game having only scored touchdowns on 46 percent of its red-zone trips (and only scoring on 85 percent from the red zone overall).
Friday's red-zone scores:
• Zack Moss touchdown runs from 3 and 20 yards out
• Tyler Huntley touchdown passes to Cody Ippolito (2 yards) and Troy McCormick (13 yards)
• Matt Gay 25-yard field goal
IN MEMORIAM: After a devastating week on campus, the Ute athletic program unified with fans before kickoff to observe a moment of silence in honor of Chinese student ChenWei Guo, who was murdered earlier this week.
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott also paid his respects.
“I want to start,” Scott said, “by expressing condolences and sympathies to everyone that’s suffering on campus with the loss of ChenWei (Guo).”
SCOUT CAMP: Coveted QB Josh Rosen (concussion) did not make the trip for UCLA, which had to disappoint the slew of NFL talent scouts in attendance. The Redskins, Vikings, Buccaneers, Broncos, Bills, Lions, Panthers, Chargers, Jets, Colts, Giants and Cowboys all requested credentials for this matchup.