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Utah's York goes against his 'old' team

Published October 2, 2012 3:08 pm

NCAA Football • York provides yards, depth to Ute ground attack.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

There was a time when Kelvin York thought he'd be suiting up for Thursday's game in a USC uniform, not a Utah uniform.

Funny how time, and injuries, can change things.

York originally committed to USC but the Trojans cooled on him after he hurt his knee, causing him to miss most of the 2011 season while he was at Fullerton College.

Passed over by the Trojans, York landed at Utah and hopes he can play a role in beating the Trojans on Thursday.

With John White hindered by an ankle sprain, the junior was Utah's leading rusher against Arizona State with 13 carries for 86 yards. His longest carry went for 32 yards.

"That helped a lot," York said of his carries. "I feel like I played well and I have to play really well on Thursday."

York was expected to have a prominent role this year, but had trouble with his blitz pickups.

Utah coach Kyle Whittingham believes the Utes will turn to him more as the season goes on so they don't have to depend on White as the only producer in the run game.

"We don't think he'll get anything but better and we need that to happen," he said. "He is a talented kid and we saw signs of that against ASU. Hopefully he can pick up where he left off against the Sun Devils."

Like minds

The Utes have maintained their defensive effort against Arizona State wasn't indicative of the team's talent or capabilities this year.

Apparently they aren't the only ones with that thought.

USC coach Lane Kiffin talked up Utah's defense during Tuesday's Pac-12 teleconference.

"They are really good up front," he said. "They have a physical front, two brothers [Joe and Dave Kruger] and Star [Lotulelei] inside so we are going to have our hands full. ASU means nothing, they will be fired up and the crowd will be into it. We have to play really well."

Back at it

Junior Salt, a 6-foot-2, 330-pound defensive tackle who suffered a foot injury in the preseason, has returned to practice, but not on the side of the ball most thought he'd play.

Salt is practicing with the embattled offensive line where he could bring a lot of bulk, and maturity, to a group decimated by injuries.

The original plan was to redshirt Salt because the Utes have so much depth on the defensive line. However, if he picks up the nuances of the offense, the Utes might decide to play him this year.

Whittingham said on Monday the Utes have a handful of players they'd like to redshirt, including backup running back James Poole who joined the Utes late in camp.

LWodraska@sltrib.com