SALT LAKE CITY — Nothing has changed on the injury front for the 19th-ranked Utah Utes. At his weekly press conference Monday, head coach Kyle Whittingham repeated what he said following the Utes’ 30-24 victory at Arizona. He did, however, add a couple of words of emphasis.
“No season-ending injuries,” Whittingham said. “Thank goodness.”
Starting quarterback Tyler Huntley and several other players, including defensive end Kylie Fitts, suffered undisclosed injuries in Tucson. The Utes have a bye this week before hosting Stanford on Oct. 7.
“There’s no season-ending injuries, like I said, so we’re going to be optimistic and hope that everybody’s ready in two weeks,” Whittingham said. “Maybe that’s wishful thinking, but we’ll have to see what happens.”
Whittingham acknowledged that some guys got pretty beat up in the Arizona game and this will be a good time for a bye week for players to heal. The travel squad won’t see the field this week, he continued, just a couple of weight-room sessions and some much-needed time off.
Huntley, a sophomore who has started all four games this season, appeared to suffer a shoulder injury on a sack in the second quarter. He did not return after completing 8 of 9 passes for 98 yards and a touchdown.
Senior captain Troy Williams stepped in and guided the Utes to three scoring drives, capping one with a 1-yard touchdown run.
“Troy came in and did exactly what I thought he would do and what I would expect out of him,” Whittingham said. “He’s a professional. He handles himself the right way.”
Whittingham praised Williams for his continued work ethic, focus and concentration following the disappointment of not being named the starter this season.
“I knew that when his number was called that he would be ready and it was very apparent that was the situation,” Whittingham said.
Williams was 9 for 18 passing for 131 yards in place of Huntley. The quarterbacks supported one another during the switch in Tucson.
“He was telling ‘just put the game away and go home with the win,’” Williams said.
Utah improved to 4-0 with the victory in its Pac-12 opener. The Utes have eight conference games remaining.7 comments on this story
Since Whittingham only discusses season-ending injuries, there’s no timetable for Huntley’s return.
“I’m not really sure what it is or how major it is,” Williams said of Huntley’s injury. “But hopefully he can come back soon. Hopefully he’ll be OK.”
Running back Zack Moss, who played high school ball with Huntley in Florida, wouldn’t be surprised if his long-time teammate made it back quickly. He said Huntley is handling things well.
“He’s good, man. He’s a tough guy,” Moss said. “He wants to play even with his injury. That’s just how he is.”