Utah’s backfield could be depleted when the No. 19 Utes host Washington State this Saturday at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City.
It’s possible Utah will be without quarterback Tyler Huntley or running back Zack Moss after both players were banged up Friday in a loss to USC – the first of the season for the Utes.
Huntley, a dual-threat senior QB, finished Friday’s game with the Trojans, but was limping late with what the Salt Lake Tribune suggested was a possible foot injury. He finished 22-of-30 passing with 210 yards and one touchdown, rushing 18 times for 60 yards.
Moss didn’t finish the game, however, and didn’t even make it to the second quarter after leaving the field with a shoulder injury. The senior returned to Utah’s sideline wearing a bag of ice taped to his injured shoulder. Moss rushed just six times for 20 yards before exiting.
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham did not elaborate on either injury during his weekly news conference Monday, telling reporters, “We just hope everyone’s there. Why would you ever tip your hand to the opponent? That would make no sense at all. And until college football has an injury-report rule or whatever, we just won’t do it.”
Together, Huntley and Moss combined for 194 rushing yards and three touchdowns on the ground when the Utes visited Pullman last season. This year, they’ve already combined for 1,371 all-purpose yards and 10 Utah touchdowns.
Whittingham and the Utes have experience without both players on the field. Huntley and Moss sustained season-ending injuries in 2018 that caused them to miss the last five games of the year, including the Pac-12 championship game against Washington.
If Huntley doesn’t play against the Cougars, Utah would likely turn to Jason Shelley, who backed up the starter last season. Moss’ backup in 2018 was Armand Shyne, but the running back grad transferred to Texas Tech and Devin Brumfield and Devonta’e Henry-Cole have been getting second-string reps this fall.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Cougs newsletter
Get the latest Cougs headlines delivered to your inbox as they happen.