SALT LAKE CITY — Utah quarterback Tyler Huntley is a lot like his head coach when it comes to discussing injuries. Just like Kyle Whittingham, he plays his cards close to the vest.
After missing 2 1/2 games with an apparent shoulder injury, the sophomore returned to action with subpar performances in losses to Arizona State (30-10) and Oregon (41-20). Huntley threw four interceptions against the Sun Devils and directed an offense that converted on just 5 of 18 third and fourth situations in the setback to the Ducks.
Huntley back in a big way in Utah’s 48-17 victory over UCLA last Friday, throwing four touchdown passes and running for 93 yards
The change in production, Huntley insists, isn’t health-related.
“Probably just getting some rust off from not playing,” he said. “Because ever since I came back I’ve been 100 percent.”
As for this week’s game against 19th-ranked Washington State, Huntley expressed confidence.
“We’ve just got to come out and win,” he said. “We’ve just got to come out and do everything that we’ve got to do to get a win and I feel like we’re going to do that.”
Utah (5-4, 2-4) is bowl eligible with a win. The Utes travel to Washington next week before closing out Pac-12 play Nov. 25 at home against Colorado.
MOVIE MAN: Arizona graduate transfer Cody Ippolito said he watches a movie every night.
“Even if I’ve seen it before,” the senior explained. “I think it’s just like a way to have my ‘me’ time, I guess, and just get away from everything.”
Ippolito recorded his first collegiate touchdown last week, teaming with Huntley on a 2-yard scoring strike as a tight end. It’s something the converted linebacker would like to do again.
“Oh, 100 percent,” he said. “That would be so fun.”
SEEKING SACKS: Utah’s lack of sacks this season is hard to explain. The Utes have just 15 through nine games. They had 43 last season.
Defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley said the drop is due to a combination of things.
“But ultimately that’s our job to find a way to get pressure on the quarterback,” he said.
EXTRA POINTS: Senior Darren Carrington II leads the Pac-12 with 92.2 receiving yards per game . . . Utah will honor 70 Chinese coaches participating in a Pac-12 training program in Salt Lake City . . . The Utes are 7-7 all-time against Washington State.