Despite Bubba Poole’s 111-yard rushing performance against Stanford, coach Kyle Whittingham kept open the possibility that Utah’s other backs could still get significant playing time in future games.
“We’re treating it with the same mindset of going with the hot back, who is making the big runs and gains and sticking with that guy,” he said.
Whittingham also said playing time will continue to be determined by how the backs practice in the week leading up to the game.
Poole, who has started the last four games, ranks seventh in the Pac-12 in rushing yards (441) and is ninth in all-purpose yards (126.0).
The Utes also like the way Lucky Radley is running, with the back adding 31 yards on four carries against Stanford.
The Utes also have Kelvin York and Karl Williams available. York, who is more of a power back, didn’t play against Stanford while Williams had five receptions for 20 yards.
“We have had plenty of years with Eddie Wide, Matt Asiata, Darryl Mack, where there is a 1-2 punch,” Whittingham said. “Running back by committee isn’t a bad thing as long as we are getting production and right now we are getting good production.”
More honors for Phillips
Utah kicker Andy Phillips was named to ESPN.com’s Midseason All-America team. Phillips has yet to miss this season, going 11 for 11 on field goals and 27 for 27 on extra points. He had two field goals in Utah’s upset of No. 5 Stanford on Saturday.
Whittingham said he believes Phillips’ experience as a skier made him mentally tough enough to handle the pressure of kicking.
“Downhill skiers have to be courageous and tough and handle pressure and all those things, and Andy was subjected to that on the slopes,” he said.
Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez said one of the things he has noticed in Utah’s offense is the ability to use the entire field, from sideline to sideline.
“They are throwing a lot of screens, any down, any distance and anywhere on the field,” he said. “They are getting you spread out from sideline to sideline.”