SALT LAKE CITY — Although quarterback Tyler Huntley may be cleared for contact on Friday, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said the outcome of a medical decision won’t be shared with the public — at least not right off the bat.
“There’s no reason to. If there was a reason to we would,” Whittingham said. “But no reason to tip our hand, if you don’t have to.”
Huntley, though, noted that he plans to play in the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 31 against Northwestern. However, the junior acknowledged he hasn’t been cleared to play yet.
Whittingham is expecting a medical update on Friday. That said, media availability in Salt Lake City ended Thursday and won’t resume until Dec. 28 in San Diego.
“If he doesn’t clear tomorrow I don’t think there’s another checkpoint where they’re going to look at him again,” Whittingham explained.
When asked for a current percentage on Huntley’s possible availability, Whittingham didn’t exactly clear things up.
“There’s two things I’m good at — being vague and that other thing,” he said.
Huntley hasn’t played since breaking his collarbone in a loss at Arizona State on Nov. 3.
HOLIDAY ROAD: On this week’s Deseret News Ute Insiders podcast, Utah athletic director Mark Harlan updated ticket sales for the Holiday Bowl.
“We’re doing well. We've already surpassed the allotment for tickets in terms of the expectations of the team,” Harlan said. “I’ve set a very lofty goal, right, to try to sell well more than the allotment. So we’re into that space now.”
The initial allotment from the Holiday Bowl was 7,000 tickets. Harlan requested more and earlier this week Utah was creeping into the 9,000-10,000 range of tickets sold. Harlan told his staff he would like to see 12,000-14,000 tickets allocated.
There’s been a surge, he added, as the holidays approach.
Harlan encourages fans to make purchases at utahtickets.com. Can’t make the game? There are options to make charitable donations for others.
“Wherever we end I’m going to celebrate,” Harlan said. “But lofty goals are important here, and they always will be, but again, I encourage people to jump in.”
HE’S BACK: Former Utah offensive coordinator Troy Taylor, who accepted the head coaching job at Sacramento State, is back to help the Utes through the Holiday Bowl. Taylor returned to practice on Thursday.
“As we outlined before, he will call the game. We’ll operate just like we did during the season,” Whittingham said. “He did miss those three practices, but will have been here for 12. And so we feel to give our team and all of us the best chance to win, just continue to operate as we have during the season.”
Whittingham said things are much like the Fiesta Bowl year when Utah had a lot of coaches leave.
In the Deseret News Ute Insiders podcast, Harlan said any talk of Taylor not being wanted at Utah is “tomfoolery.”8 comments on this story
HANSEN’S STATUS: Whittingham said there’s no update on the status of senior linebacker Chase Hansen, who hasn’t been available to the media during bowl preparation while recovering from an undisclosed injury.
Even so, Whittingham did offer some insight in noting that Hansen is a “longshot” to play in the Holiday Bowl.
“I can tell you that,” Whittingham said. “But I’m still holding out hope. They’ve counted him out before, at times, and he’s made it back. So never count out Chase.”