Utah football: Utes punter Sean Sellwood tops in nation
The one guy who seems to be benefiting from Utah's struggling offense is punter Sean Sellwood.
Sellwood leads the nation in punt average (48.4) and has 48 punts of 50-plus yards in his career, including 12 this year, tying him for second all-time at Utah with Marv Bateman.
He needs two punts to tie Louie Sakoda for the school record (50).
Sellwood, a graduate of Judge Memorial, is keeping a realistic view of his success.
While he is proud of his average, Sellwood said he understands he ideally wouldn't be on the field as often as he is.
The Utes have punted 36 times this season.
"I hate to go back to that Utah State game, but punting 11 times in a game isn't ideal for us," he said. "But it's my job to help the team out as much as I can, so I try to look at it as a positive, not a negative. I kind of relish the opportunities."
Sellwood, who averaged 45 yards a punt last year, said he worked hard in the offseason to improve.
"I worked hard mostly on consistency, hitting balls over and over again. It's paying off. It's cool that way."
While kickers and punters are often thought of being separate from the rest of the team, Sellwood said he feels just as frustrated about Utah's losing streak as his teammates.
"We're not used to losing four games," he said. "A lot of guys are down and very upset and frustrated and irritated. The thing is we have great team chemistry, we're all brothers and we stick together. We'll find our way through the storm and get back on the map, but as of now it is frustrating because we're not doing what we know we can do."
Travis Wilson is the third quarterback to start for the Utes this season, following Jordan Wynn and Jon Hays. The last time the Utes started three quarterbacks in a season was 2000, when T.D. Croshaw started the first two games, Daniel Arcenacaux started the next six, and Lance Rice started the last three.
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said preparing three different quarterbacks hasn't made first-year offensive coordinator Brian Johnson's job easy.
"Hopefully some things are settling down now," he said. "We've had some things that haven't been as easy as it could have been with three different quarterbacks with semi-different skill sets."