Utah quarterback Travis Wilson had a rough weekend, but his woes had nothing to do with the six interceptions he threw in the loss to UCLA.
The sophomore remained bedridden with an illness that started Wednesday night, according to Utah coach Kyle Whittingham.
"It’s just something he hasn’t been able to get over," Whittingham said.
Wilson couldn’t make it to Monday’s weekly press conference and Whittingham wasn’t sure how the sickness would affect Wilson’s ability to practice this week.
"We’re concerned, but hopefully we’re out in front of it now," Whittingham said.
This week isn’t exactly the best time for Utah to be without a quarterback who isn’t 100 percent.
The Utes face a very good defense in No. 5 Stanford on Saturday, with the Cardinal ranked 49th in total defense (372.6 yards) and 36th in scoring (21.2).
Wilson has thrown nine interceptions in Utah’s two Pac-12 losses combined, but Whittingham said the quarterback wasn’t the only one to fault for the turnovers.
Some of the balls have been tipped, he said, and Utah’s protection needs to improve, particularly from the running backs, he said.
"We have to continue to improve," he said.
Utah kicker Andy Phillips has been solid for the Utes this year, going 9-of-9 on field goals and 24-of-24 on PATs. The one area he needs to improve is kickoffs, Whittingham said.
Phillips has 26 kickoffs with just five touchbacks and is averaging 62.9 yards per kickoff.
A concern for the Utes is Stanford receiver Ty Montgomery, who is third nationally averaging 33.5 yards per return.
He returned the opening kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown in Stanford’s 31-28 won over Washington on Saturday and finished with 204 return yards.
"He is a real weapon for them," Whittingham said. "We have to figure out a way to keep the ball out of his hands and the kickoffs are not where they need to be. We need more hang time and more depth."
Tickets remain for Saturday’s game...Linebacker LT Filiaga has moved to defensive end...Utah has not played a home game on Oct. 12 since 1974.
Copyright 2013 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.