Utah’s Huntley passes, runs, catches for TDs in rout


SALT LAKE CITY — Tyler Huntley is flash­ing his familiar gap-toothed smile a lot more of­ten these days.

“Man, that was pretty tight,” Huntley said with a wide grin af­ter he threw for two touch­downs, ran for an­other and caught a 58-yard TD pass, lead­ing Utah past Ari­zona 42-10 on Fri­day night.

In an ef­fort to keep Huntley healthy, Utah coaches talked all fall camp about lim­it­ing his hits and mak­ing him more of a passer. Af­ter losses to Washington and Washington State where the Utah of­fense sput­tered, the Utes com­mit­ted to the run­ning game and has let Huntley free­lance again with his legs and arm.

On a play that typ­i­fied the game, Huntley handed the ball to Zack Moss, who tossed it to Bri­tain Covey com­ing the other di­rec­tion. Covey, a ti­tle-win­ning high school quar­ter­back who is now Utah’s lead­ing re­ceiver, threw a per­fect spi­ral to Huntley for 58-yard touch­down.

In postgame in­ter­views, Huntley made sure ev­ery­one knew there was no

Utah 42 Ari­zona 10

quar­ter­back with Covey.

“I’m def­i­nitely quar­ter­back and that isn’t even a ques­tion,” Huntley said af­ter his triple-threat per­for­mance.

Utah (4-2, 2-2 Pac-12) led 35-0 less than two min­utes into the sec­ond half.

Chase Hansen sacked Khalil Tate by the an­kle late in the first quar­ter and the Wild­cats’ QB was vis­i­bly limp­ing af­ter that point. Ja­marye Joiner re­placed Tate for two se­ries be­fore giv­ing way to Rhett Ro­driguez, who threw for 226 yards and a 42-yard fourth-quar­ter touch­down to Cedric Peter­son for Ari­zona (3-4, 2-2).

“Run­ning was out of the ques­tion and even drop­ping back and hand­ing it off (was hard),” Ari­zona coach Kevin Sum­lin said about Tate. “I saw a player that could barely move, so we had to make a change.” con­tro­versy

Huntley, who went 14 of 19 for 201 yards, lobbed a pass to Sam­son Nacua for an 8-yard touch­down that capped a 15-play, 75-yard open­ing drive, mark­ing the long­est pos­ses­sion of the sea­son for Utah.

“We’ve talked a lot about start­ing fast and start­ing phys­i­cal. I think we’ve re­ally found an iden­tity as a team and it’s ob­vi­ous to see,” Covey said.

In ad­di­tion to 64 yards rush­ing, Huntley com­pleted his long­est pass of the sea­son (68 yards) down the right side­line to De­mari Simp­kins in stride for the Utes’ third touch­down.

Utah’s bal­anced at­tack pro­duced 230 yards rush­ing to com­pli­ment 265 yards through the air. Mean­while, Ari­zona was held to 72 yards on the ground, 130 un­der its av­er­age, as the Wild­cats be­came oned­i­men­sional.


Be­fore leav­ing the game in the first quar­ter, Tate was 1-of-4 pass­ing for three yards and had just three yards rush­ing. Pegged as a Heis­man Tro­phy hope­ful, Tate has been deal­ing with a sprained left an­kle since the sec­ond game of the sea­son at Hous­ton. Af­ter run­ning for 1,411 yards last sea­son, Tate has been held to 112 yards rush­ing in seven games.


De­spite lead­ing 35-10 in the fourth quar­ter, Mitch Wish­nowsky faked a punt and ran 28 yards for a first down. Utah coach Kyle Whit­ting­ham has said sev­eral times this sea­son that the Aus­tralian punter has the green light to run any­time he sees an open­ing. Thomas Reid III got a per­sonal foul on the tackle and there was push­ing and shov­ing be­tween the frus­trated Wild­cats and the ju­bi­lant Utes along the Ari­zona side­line. “That wasn’t a called play,” Whit­ting­ham said. “It’s just part of our rugby punt pack­age.”


UTAH QUAR­TER­BACK TYLER HUNTLEY (1) car­ries the ball against Ari­zona dur­ing the first half of an NCAA col­lege foot­ball game Fri­day in Salt Lake City.

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