Eugene, Ore. • Sophomore quarterback Tyler Huntley looked more like the dual-threat playmaker he’d been billed as in his second week back from a shoulder injury.
One week after throwing four interceptions and and no touchdowns in one of the Utes’ worst offensive performances in years, Huntley bounced back to account for 222 yards of total offense and a touchdown pass through three quarters.
His third-quarter touchdown pass — deflection caught by right tackle Darrin Paulo — marked the first touchdown catch of Paulo’s career as well as the first for Huntley since Sep. 22 at Arizona.
Huntley, who missed games against Stanford and USC, showed the improvisational ability the coaching staff raved about during preseason with a 46-yard pass on the run to Darren Carrington II in the closing minutes of the first half. That pass, the longest play of the first half for the Utes, set up a Matt Gay 34-yard field goal.
Huntley’s 33-yard run on the opening drive of the second half set up the Utes’ first touchdown of the game.
Starting strong safety Chase Hansen and senior starting linebacker Sunia Tauteoli returned to the Utes starting lineup after both were sidelined last week against Arizona State. They had three tackles apiece in the first half.
Hansen, last year’s leading tackler, came out of the USC game two weeks ago with a shoulder injury. Tauteoli missed last week’s game with an undisclosed illness/injury.
Their absences were magnified in the first half by the fact that safety Corrion Ballard and linebacker Donovan Thompson were ineligible until after the break to play due to targeting penalties last week.
Right guard Jordan Agasiva did not play after leaving last week’s game in the fourth quarter with an apparent foot/ankle injury. The junior who joined the Utes this season after two yeas at Pima CC in Arizona, had started every game.
Junior lineman Alani Havili-Katoa started at right guard in Agasiva’s place. A former defensive tackle who converted to the offensive side this past offseason, Havili-Katoa had played in six games this season.
Mariota in the house
Former Oregon quarterback and current Tennesse Titans starter Marcus Mariota was at Saturday’s game. Mariota, the second overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft, is a former teammate of Carrington.