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Utah football notes: DeVonte Christopher's return could give Utes a lift

Published October 27, 2011 2:22 pm

Utah notes • Receiver's presence could help open things up for Utes' offense.
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The lack of playmakers has hurt Utah's passing game in recent weeks. Hopefully, if all goes well, they'll have their best playmaker on the field Saturday against Oregon State.

Top receiver DeVonte Christopher, who has missed the past two games with an ankle injury, is expected to play Saturday.

He leads the Utes in receptions (23), receiving yards (351) and yards per catch (15.3).

Utah coach Kyle Whittingham hopes Christopher's presence on the field can open some things up for Utah's offense, which is averaging just 13 points against conference opponents.

"We have people loading up the box on us, that's no secret," he said. "They want to take away John White and force us to throw the ball, and when we have DeVonte out there, that gives us one more weapon on the outside to discourage teams from doing that."

Christopher, who didn't travel with the team to Pitt or Cal, said watching the games on TV was hard, but it also gave him an idea where the Utes must improve.

"You get a good sense of the offensive urgency when teams are transitioning to the huddle and things like that you don't necessarily see in the game," he said. "There are definitely some things we can improve on and I know we are going to get it fixed."

Old friends?

Oregon State is one of the Pac-12 teams the Utes are most familiar with since the two played home and home series in 1991-92 and 2007-08. Oregon State leads the series 9-5-1, but the Utes have won three of the past four, including the last two in Salt Lake City.

Utah won the last meeting 31-28 when Louie Sakoda kicked a game-winning 37-yard field goal.

Kickoff set

The Utah-Arizona game will kick off at 5 p.m. MDT on Nov. 5. The game won't be televised since KJZZ's waiver to televise the game was denied. —

Oregon State at Utah

P Saturday, 5 p.m.

TV • Ch. 14