Utes' receiving corps looking for help
One of the strengths of the Utah Utes this year was supposed to be the depth of the receiving corps. Well, it's time to see if that depth really exists.
With top receiver DeVonte Christopher questionable for Saturday's game at Pitt with an ankle injury and freshman Charles Henderson lost for the season with a knee injury just when he was starting to contribute, the Utes need some more players to contribute in the passing game.
The problem is that outside of Christopher and Dres Anderson, there aren't any receivers who are catching a lot of balls.
Starter Reggie Dunn has just seven catches for 85 yards, but none of the backups has more than one reception.
Senior Dexter Ransom has fallen off the depth chart while another promising transfer, Anthony Denham, is expected to be redshirted after a hamstring injury put him behind schedule during camp.
So will newly anointed starting quarterback Jon Hays have anyone to throw the ball to Saturday?
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said yes, but the up-and-comers just haven't gotten their chance.
"The guys are working hard," Whittingham said. "They've got a great work ethic, but it is a process, like we've mentioned."
Part of the reason fewer are getting catches is due to the variety in Norm Chow's offense.
Probably for the first time ever, Utah's tight ends are much more involved in the receiving game.
Dallin Rogers, Luke Matthews and Kendrick Moeai all have six catches or more, and freshman Jake Murphy was earning more and more time before a knee injury sidelined him for the Washington game.
Matthews, who was moved from receiver to fullback in Chow's offense this year, believes the Utes have the personnel to make up for Christopher's absence if he can't play Saturday.
"Each week it seems like someone else steps up depending on the situation," he said. "We're all stepping up and making plays."
This week could be the time for Kenneth Scott to make himself known. Scott, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound freshman, had his first career catch against Arizona State and is earning more and more playing time, receivers coach Aaron Roderick said.
"He has gotten better each week so no matter what, you are going to start seeing more of him," he said.