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Matt Piper and Kyle Goon
Matt Piper and Kyle Goon cover University of Utah sports teams for The Salt Lake Tribune. Matt Piper is on twitter at @matthew_piper, Kyle Goon is on twitter at @kylegoon

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Utes' Kruger sidelined for bowl game

Utah's defense won't be at full strength against Georgia Tech as junior starting tackle Dave Kruger is out for the game due to an infection in his leg, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said today.

Kruger has started 10 games this year and had 22 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and one sack.

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"Nobody is more competitive than Dave Kruger, he loves football and comes out every day and practices hard so it's tough on him," Whitingham said. "But he'll be back and hopefully he'll have a great senior year."

The depth the Utes have along their defensive line has been a strength this season and now with Kruger out, Whittingham is calling on senior Tevita Finau, senior James Aiono and junior Star Lotulelei to make up for Kruger's absence.

The 6-3, 305-pound Aiono will start in Kruger's spot.

Whittingham didn't give any details on the nature of Kruger's infection, only that it started a week ago.

"I don't understand the whole thing medically," he said.

As for Wednesday's practice, Whittingham said it was just an average day, noting the Utes might have hit a bit of a wall in their long bowl prep.

"We've been practicing a lot of days and you have to guard against complacency," he said. "We rely on the seniors and captains to make sure we are doing things the right way."

- Lya Wodraska



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