Utah quarterback Travis Wilson seemed looser and more relaxed as he met with media members during Utah’s news conference on Monday.
He admitted getting the Utah State win behind him and playing well under pressure has given him a nice shot of confidence.
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Wilson was 17 for 28 for 302 yards and two touchdowns in the win, matching the passing effort of Utah State quarterback Chuckie Keeton, who was 31 for 40 for 314 yards and two touchdowns.
Wilson knew people were going to compare the two quarterbacks and felt pressure to deliver a big game to prove he could lead the Utes.
"I knew after playing like I did last year that I needed to step up and make some good throws and decisions, and I think I did," he said.
While Utah’s third-quarter onside kick was seen by many as the play of the game, Wilson said the turning point for him came a few minutes earlier when he hit Dres Anderson for a 56-yard gain on third-and-14.
Creating more plays such as that one is crucial for the Utes this year, Wilson said.
"When I saw opportunities like that, I wanted to make the most of them," he said. "We didn’t do that last year and I want to make sure we do this year."
If Thursday’s game was any indication, Wilson has not only the arm but also the confidence to deliver for the Utes.
Tired of tempo
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said he is getting tired of hearing all the talk about tempo in the college game, including the Utes’ performance.
"It’s starting to get irritating," he said.
He noted that of the eight teams that had 88 or more snaps this weekend, seven lost.
Whittingham said the pace of a game doesn’t matter if you aren’t executing well.
"If you go too fast it can have a negative effect," he said. "We snapped it 74, 75 times and I feel that is just about right for us."
The Utes actually snapped it 72 times, while the Aggies had 79 snaps.
The Utes made a few tweaks on their depth chart this week, with Jacoby Hale listed as a possible starter at linebacker along with Trevor Reilly since Brian Blechen remains out with knee issues. … Sean Fitzgerald is slotted to start in place of receiver Kenneth Scott, who is out for the year with an ankle injury. … Junior Joseph Smith is listed as a co-starter at nickel along with freshman Justin Thomas.
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