Quantcast

Utah football: Utes want more out of tight ends

Published September 4, 2013 11:32 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Utah coach Kyle Whittingham was unhappy with Utah's lack of production at the tight end spot against the Aggies, an issue that co-offensive coordinator Dennis Erickson said can be solved rather easily.

Jake Murphy had just two catches for 41 yards while Westlee Tonga had none.

"We just have to use them a little bit more, but we were throwing well to our wideouts, that is what happened and it was the flow of the game and how things are going," Erickson said. "We hit Murphy early on when we had an opportunity for a touchdown, but particularly with Kenny [Scott] going down, we do need to get the tight ends more involved this week."

Whittingham said the two have to be involved not only because Scott is out, but because they are such good playmakers.

"They played well through fall camp and we as coaches need to make sure we get opportunities for them."

Nice and clean

The Utes have had three good practices, an encouraging sign that the Utes aren't going to take Weber State lightly, Whittingham said.

Defensive end Trevor Reilly said all the Utes have to do is turn on the tape and see that the Wildcats have good athletes.

"When I was a kid the gap between the schools was a lot farther away but now football has become so big with offseason training and in high school there isn't much of a difference between the bottom half of Division I and the top half of FCS."

Early kickoff time just fine

TV networks love to schedule football games in prime time, but as far as Whittingham is concerned, afternoon kickoffs such as Saturday's against the Wildcats are ideal.

"That is when football should be played, in my opinion," he said. "Obviously that is not the case anymore with TV dictating game times, but we really enjoy playing those noon or early afternoon games."

Unfortunately for the Utes, early kickoffs are becoming rare. The Utes had just three day games in 2012 and went 3-6 in night games last year.

The Utes will kick off against Oregon State and UCLA at 8 p.m. in games televised by FOX Sports 1, while the rest of the kickoff times have yet to be determined.

Still available

Some bleacher seats and standing-room tickets are available for Saturday's game. All allotted 32,000 season tickets have been sold. The Utes have sold out their last 19 games, dating back to the home opener against Pitt in 2010.