Utah football: Utes without running back John White vs. BYU
Utah running back John White talked a big game this week, saying he was ready to "pound the Cougars," but the senior didn't get a chance to back up his words.
White didn't start Saturday's game due to an ankle injury he suffered against Utah State.
White finished that game rushing 27 times for 96 yards.
White's absence wasn't a total surprise since Utah coach Kyle Whittingham was coy in his reports to media members this week when asked about White's health.
During Monday's news conference, Whittingham said he would no longer discuss injuries unless they were season-ending.
White was absent from Tuesday's practice to attend to some academic issues, Utah's coaches said.
The running back was made available to media members following Wednesday's practice, when he said he was ready to go. However, he was never seen taking any reps.
Saturday marked the first time an injury has prevented White from starting a game.
White started all 13 games last year, although he did miss the second half against Colorado with an ankle injury.
The Utes were concerned White may not have the durability to make it through a season with a lot of carries, but he proved them wrong, finishing the year with 316 carries for 1,519 yards, averaging 24 carries a game.
He rushed 24 times for 119 yards in Utah's season-opening win over Northern Colorado.
Freshman offensive lineman JeremiahPoutasi, senior linebacker BooAndersen and freshman linebacker LT Filiaga all earned their first starts Saturday.
Poutasi, slated to be Sam Brenner's backup at left tackle, started at right guard in place of junior Vyncent Jones.
Brenner was moved from right guard to left tackle during Utah's loss at Utah State when senior Miles Mason was ineffective and JordanWynn was sacked three times.
Give and take
Utah's first punt was by Tom Hackett, a walk-on from Australia, who excels at sky punting. His punt went 39 yards, pinning BYU on the 5-yard line. A bad snap on BYU's first play went into the end zone, where JoeKruger wrapped up quarterback RileyNelson.
However, the Cougars got a break when Kruger was penalized for grabbing Nelson's face mask.
Kicking woes continue
Coleman Petersen, who missed from 52 yards out at Utah State, had a 37-yard attempt blocked in the first quarter Saturday. Petersen entered Saturday's game 2-of-4 this season.
This and that
Saturday's late kickoff is the first of two in a row for the Utes, whose game at Arizona State next week has been set for an 8 p.m. kickoff...Saturday's game was only the second time the Utes have hosted BYU as a Homecoming opponent. Utah beat the Cougars 30-21 as a Homecoming opponent in 1968...Scouts from the New York Jets, Baltimore Ravens, Oakland Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars were in attendance Saturday.