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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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Wilson pushing Hays for starting role, Whittingham says

In searching for some ways to make Utah's offense more dynamic, the Utah Utes plan to use freshman quarterback Travis Wilson more in the coming weeks.

Wilson, who led the Utes on an 11-play, 63-yard scoring drive in the final seconds against USC, did well enough on that drive and in practice recently that he is closing in on starter Jon Hays, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said Tuesday.

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"Yeah sure, he is pushing him, absolutely, no doubt about it," Whittingham said.

Whittingham's comments are similar to ones he has made about the freshman ever since fall camp, but Wilson's improvement, plus poor offensive production and the Utes' decision to add in more of the spread offense are all creating more opportunities for the freshman to play.

"He has made strides every week," Whittingham said. "How much he plays this week is still being determined but we are pleased with what he has done with his opportunities."

Wilson, whose early appearances were limited to runs, said he is eager to get a shot at more series like the one he had against USC.

"I had to wait my turn and but knew they'd soon have a game plan to get more more throws," he said. "I'm excited to get in there and see what happens."

The changes to the offense have required extra work, but Wilson said he and the Utes are comfortable with the changes.

"I'm thankful for more reps now," he said. "I'm excited and hope I can contribute in any way I can."

- Lya Wodraska

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