Utah football: Late kickoffs are price Utes pay for TV coverage
Corvallis, Ore. • While acknowledging that late kickoffs can be hard on fans, Utah athletic director Chris Hill said Saturday that less-than-perfect kickoffs are just part of the deal that comes with being in a major conference where TV dictates when teams play.
The Utes have had a series of late kickoffs this year, with 8:30 p.m. being the latest.
Utah's home game against Cal will kick off at 7:45 p.m.
"We'd all like kickoffs to be at 2 p.m. on Saturdays, but we know that's not always possible," Hill said.
The benefit of late kickoffs has been the TV coverage, such as Saturday's national game on ESPN2.
However, the Utah-Cal game will be shown only regionally because the Pac-12 Networks are broadcasting the Oregon State-Washington game at the same time.
The limited broadcast of the Utah-Cal game is the first time a game hasn't been available nationally on the Pac-12's primary network.
Quade Chappuis, who started at safety while Brian Blechen was suspended for the first three games, didn't make the trip for the Oregon State game.
Chappuis, who did not play in Utah's loss at UCLA, has 23 tackles and a forced fumble this year.
Taking his place on the depth chart for Saturday's game was Charles Henderson, a redshirt freshman receiver who primarily returns punts and is ranked 28th nationally, averaging 10.56 yards per return. Fullback Max Moala, who has not played in the last two games, did not make the trip either.
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham does not discuss injuries unless they are season-ending.
The Utes have tickets available for their three remaining home games thanks to returns from visiting teams. Currently there are about 100 available for Saturday's game against Cal, 650 for sale for the Nov. 3 game against Washington State and 800 available for the Nov. 17 game against Arizona.