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Utah football: Dunn collects more league honors

Published November 5, 2012 4:06 pm

Utah football • Dunn averaged 74 yards on three returns against Cal.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

Utah kick returner Reggie Dunn picked up Pac-12 honors for the second week in a row after he was named the Special Teams Player of the Week following his performance Saturday in which he logged another 100-yard return.

Dunn's return was his third in two weeks. He is the first player in NCAA history to have two 100-yard kickoff returns in a game and four in his career. He also set the NCAA record for kick return average in a game (74.0 on three returns vs. Cal) and tied the record for kick returns for TDs from any distance in a game with his two against Cal.

Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said Monday the Utes need to get the ball into Dunn's hands more and was surprised Washington State allowed him a chance to return the ball. Whittingham doesn't expect Dunn to get many chances Saturday at Washington.

"They have to certainly think twice about it," he said.

Dunn is averaging 55.4 yards on his returns, which would lead the nation, but he has just seven attempts, which isn't enough to give him the qualifying minimum of 1.2 per game to be eligible for the category.

More White

Whittingham no longer gives injury reports, but it sounds doubtful backup running back Kelvin York will be available for Saturday's game.

York missed the Washington State game with an ankle sprain he suffered against Cal.

Whittingham said White's two back-to-back 100-yard games were a product of Utah's emphasis on the run, although the coach credited White, too.

"We're back to something similar how he was running it last year when he was topping 30 carries at times in some weeks," Whittingham said. "But he's a guy who can handle a certain number for us."

White said he liked the 1-2 punch the Utes had with himself and York, but said he is finding a rhythm now, too.

"If they get the ball to me time after time, I get a feel for the defense," he said.

What to do

Waiting around for a late kickoff, as they'll do Saturday, isn't ideal, but the Utes have found a system that works for them, Whittingham said.

"We try to keep them active with a couple meetings throughout the day to keep them focused then give three hours or so to relax, take a nap and get off their feet," he said. "We still seem to fill the day up pretty good. It's still a long time to wait, but it's not as painful as Thursday or Friday games for them when there is no football for them to watch." —