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Utes must make difficult decisions this week

Published October 27, 2013 3:41 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Utes have some difficult decisions to make this week as they try to stabilize a disintegrating offense. What will end the turnovers? What will get the passing game going again? What will shore up the offensive line and which back should the Utes use? Of all the questions, the most troubling and the one that needs the most immediate answer is what to do at quarterback. Do the Utes stick with Travis Wilson, see what Adam Schulz can do as a starter or give freshman Conner Manning a chance? It's a tough decision, and one the Utes will take some time in deciding. The coaches will study film of Saturday's loss and probably see how the quarterbacks practice this week. Most troubling is the body language of Wilson. The sophomore seemed defeated out on the field against the Wildcats in the second half, although after the game he said he remained determined. But if he is starting to doubt himself, can he be an effective leader? How he practices this week and handles himself as a leader could go a long ways in deciding his future. Personally, I'd hate to see the Utes take Manning out of his redshirt year. I'm not convinced a freshman can step into Pac-12 play and do much better than Wilson. If Manning were to play, I'd expect the Utes to tweak the offense some and make it a little more conservative so he could gain some confidence. The Utes might as well do that for Wilson. I still think he is Utah's best option as a quarterback for the remainder of the season and maybe the next few years to come. He has hit a rough patch no doubt, but I say the coaches should work with him and do what they can to help him battle through it. I'm not sure turning the offense over to a rookie is the answer. - Lya Wodraska