In searching for some ways to make Utah’s offense more dynamic, the Utah Utes plan to use freshman quarterback Travis Wilson more in the coming weeks.
Wilson, who led the Utes on an 11-play, 63-yard scoring drive in the final seconds against USC, did well enough on that drive and in practice recently that he is closing in on starter Jon Hays, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said Tuesday.
“Yeah sure, he is pushing him, absolutely, no doubt about it,” Whittingham said.
Whittingham’s comments are similar to ones he has made about the freshman ever since fall camp, but Wilson’s improvement, plus poor offensive production and the Utes’ decision to add in more of the spread offense are all creating more opportunities for the freshman to play.
“He has made strides every week,” Whittingham said. “How much he plays this week is still being determined but we are pleased with what he has done with his opportunities.”
Wilson, whose early appearances were limited to runs, said he is eager to get a shot at more series like the one he had against USC.
“I had to wait my turn and but knew they’d soon have a game plan to get more throws,” he said. “I’m excited to get in there and see what happens.”
The changes to the offense have required extra work, but Wilson said he and the Utes are comfortable with the changes.
“I’m thankful for more reps now,” he said. “I’m excited and hope I can contribute in any way I can.”
Back depth chart
In addition to Wilson, Whittingham said the Utes need to get the ball more to backup running back Kelvin York, who has rushed 25 times for 127 yards this season.
York had just three carries for 15 yards against USC.
“He is another guy we have to get more touches,” Whittingham said. “He has established himself as the clear No. 2 guy.”
Freshman Jarrell Oliver, who was ahead of York, didn’t play against the Trojans.
Washington State has returned 650 tickets for the Nov. 3 game in Rice-Eccles Stadium. The bleacher seats are on sale now for $50 each through Utah’s ticket office at (801) 581-UTIX or www.utahutes.com