Utah football: Wide's status grows
Fort Collins, Colo. » Throwing to the tailback is often the last option in Utah's passing game. Considering how Eddie Wide is the pretty much the Utes' only available runner these days, it was fitting that his status as a receiver also grew Saturday night.
Having never caught a pass in his Ute career, the junior made six receptions, including the winning catch in a 24-17 defeat of Colorado State.
Just this once, offensive coordinator Dave Schramm made Wide the primary receiver on a first-and-goal play from the CSU 8-yard line.
Wide caught Terrance Cain's pass in the right flat and crashed into the corner of the end zone with 3:40 remaining.
Wide's turn as the receiving focus followed his tying touchdown on a 1-yard run in the fourth quarter. He rushed for 102 yards on 17 carries and added 25 receiving yards in a workload that almost resembled Matt Asiata's, even though Wide did not have a carry during a second quarter when the Utes hardly had the ball.
Wide officially became the Utes' starter Saturday after Asiata was lost for the season with a knee injury in their previous game. And with original third-stringer Sausan Shakerin already sidelined and converted receiver Shaky Smithson injuring his ankle Saturday, Wide became even more vital. He was spelled briefly by Trevor Moss.
"We have to be creative ... we'll just keep piecing it together and see what happens," said Ute coach Kyle Whittingham, "but for right now, Eddie's the guy."
Wide's biggest play came on Utah's tying drive, as he caught a pass and barely gained the 6 yards needed on a third-down play from the CSU 20.
Eddie Wide was the only natural running back who carried the ball for Utah against CSU, supported by quarterback Terrance Cain and three receivers: