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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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Christopher's struggles continue

Utah quarterback Travis Wilson connected with six different receivers Saturday. One notable name missing? Senior DeVonte Christopher.

Christopher didn't get a rep as a receiver, making it the second game in a row and the third this season he hasn't had a catch.

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After the game Saturday, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham was asked about Christopher's decreasing role and the coach seemed to use the question as an opportunity to challenge the senior.

Whittingham said the Utes haven't given up on Christopher, but that other receivers including Luke Matthews, Dres Anderson, Anthony Denham and Kenneth Scott are doing what they need to do to get in the game.

"Reps are earned, not given," he said. "Those guys earned the reps."

Earlier this week Christopher said he is struggling due to the inconsistencies of the offensive coordinators. While the turnover can't have helped, it's obvious the Utes aren't going to coddle Christopher, even if he was the team's leading receiver the last two seasons.

Can he get back into the rotation? Christopher certainly has the talent to do it, but whether he has the desire and attitude remains to be seen.

Christopher came to the Utes as a quarterback, accepted the role of becoming a receiver and worked his way into being an all-conference candidate.

If Christopher can't respond, it will be a disappointing finish to what otherwise has been a very good career.

Whittingham did credit other seniors for their efforts in keeping the team together during the losing streak.

Saturday after the game he pointed receiver Luke Matthews, center Tevita Stevens and defensive linemen Star Lotulelei and Dave Kruger have made.

"We have a good group of seniors," he said. "No one was going to let things spiral and it was a credit to the coaches and players who had a positive upbeat attitude. There is no other way to operate."

- 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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