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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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Run game key to Utes' success

Back when the Utah Utes signed Kelvin York, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham talked excitedly about how he thought getting the back out of Fullerton College was a steal for the Utes.

York originally committed to USC but opened up his options when the Trojans backed off their recruiting of him after he hurt his knee.

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He landed at Utah and the Utes thought they'd landed the perfect back to complement John White.

Perhaps now, halfway through the season, we'll finally get to see what York can really do with the ball.

Whittingham said this week the carries would be split more evenly between York and White after York ran for 52 yards on 10 carries and White ran for 68 yards on 20 carries against Oregon State.

Whittingham was careful to say the Utes are happy with White's effort but that York's improvement has warranted the change in carries.

Here is a hunch that York, with his bigger build than White, might have an easier time than White when it comes to creating yards.

Regardless of whether it is White or York or both, the Utes need to find some production in the run game if they want to win enough games to become bowl eligible.

The Utes are only averaging 105 yards on the ground, with Washington State (40.57) being the only team ranked lower than the Utes.

Good news for the Utes is their remaining opponents all rank low in rush defense. Cal gives up 161.25 yards, Washington State gives up 175.14 yards, Washington 196.0 yards, Arizona 173.57 yards and Colorado 172.43.

If the Utes can get their run game going, they can take some pressure off freshman quarterback Travis Wilson, better manage the clock and let their defense rest. In other words, life would be very good for the Utes indeed.

If they get the run game going the Utes will go bowling, I believe.

- Lya Wodraska

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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