Scott G Winterton,
Utah Utes quarterback Tyler Huntley (1) hands the ball off too Utah Utes running back Zack Moss (2) as Utah and Washington State play a College football game at Rice Eccles Stadium at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017.

SALT LAKE CITY — Washington coach Chris Petersen had high praise for Utah at his weekly press conference. The Utes and 15th-ranked Huskies square off Saturday (8:30 p.m., ESPN) in Seattle.

“I think Utah is a tough team. I know that program,” Petersen said. “Last year, that was the toughest game we had outside playing Alabama.”

Washington edged Utah 31-24 at Rice-Eccles Stadium in 2016.

“They play really good defense. They’re super stingy,” Petersen said. “They’re in like all the top categories in our conference, everything on defense. So they’re going to make it hard for us on offense for sure.”

Petersen went on to note that the Huskies may not have faced a quarterback that creates plays like Tyler Huntley. The Utes, he added, also have a receiver in Darren Carrington II who may be the best in the Pac-12.

“This is a dangerous team without question,” Petersen said.

Utah’s last trip to Husky Stadium proved successful. The Utes prevailed 34-24 for their only win in a series that Washington now leads 9-1.

NOT CHANGING: Utah coach Kyle Whittingham made it clear nothing is changing up on the hill as far as approach the next couple of weeks.

"I don't believe in that. There are some coaches that will change things when you are out of the running for a championship and make it fun for them, I call bullcrap on that,” he said. "You stay true to what you believe. You stick to the process, keep working hard. You don't go out there and start playing keep away or tag or any of that nonsense.”

Whittingham explained that the Utes will continue to worth through their problems.

That is our M.O.,” he said. “That is my M.O., and that is how we operate."

EXTRA POINTS: Utah is winless in three tries against the Pac-12 North this season, losing to Oregon, Stanford and Washington State. … Sophomore offensive lineman Paul Toala, who made his first start last week, is from Burien, Washington. Linebackers coach Justin Ena is from Shelton, Washington.


Twitter: @DirkFacer