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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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Whittingham optimistic Wilson will play against USC

Utah coach Kyle Whittingham sounded hopeful quarterback Travis Wilson would play against USC when asked of Wilson's status during Tuesday's Pac-12 teleconference.

"We hope to have him, that is to be determined, but I am optimistic," Whittingham said. "I hope I am not being overly optimistic, but I will say that he will play. That is my guess right now. It's early in the week and we will see how things progress."

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Wilson hurt his hand during Saturday's loss against Arizona, a game in which he threw two interceptions and completed just 3-of-9 passing for 15 yards and a touchdown before he was replaced by Adam Schulz.

Although Schulz and freshman Conner Manning both will get snaps in practice this week, Whittingham said on Monday if Wilson was out only a week, Schulz would play against USC so the Utes wouldn't have to burn Manning's redshirt year for just one game.

The Utes have a bye following the USC game with their next contest being against ASU on Nov. 9.

That schedule, going by Whittingham's comments, likely would give Wilson enough time to heal if he does have to miss the USC game.

Whittingham also reiterated that the Utes simply weren't ready to play against Arizona. He said he discussed the situation with Utah co-offensive coordinator Dennis Erickson, who said the same thing happened to his teams.

"I wish I had an answer," he said. "If I had an answer I wouldn't let it happen."

Whittingham also emphasized the loss wasn't all on Utah and gave credit to the Wildcats.

"They are a darn good football team and deserved to win and Ka'Deem Carey did a number on us," he said.

- Lya Wodraska

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