Utes need victory over USC to stay in Pac-12 South title hunt


SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – After a rough start to the season, the Utes offense is firing on all cylinders right now. They’ve put up 40-plus points in back-to-back games, averaging almost 460 yards of total offense.

“Probably the best we’ve played on offense all year long,” head coach Kyle Whittngham said about Utah’s 42-10 win over Arizona. “We had 500 yards, we probably could have had 600 yards if we hadn’t shut it down in the fourth quarter.”

“We’ve still got work to do,” added quarterback Tyler Huntley, who passed for two touchdown, ran for another and even caught a TD pass. “We feel like we left a lot of points on the field, but we’re moving closer to being the top offense that we thought we would be.”

“It just gives us confidence that we can do what we’re supposed to be doing,” said tight end Brant Kuithe. “We had expectations coming into this season of what we were able to do, and it’s just all clicking right now.”

Next up, a huge showdown with USC. The Trojans are already one game up on the Utes in the Pac-12 South at 3-1, so a victory Saturday night is vital if the Utes want a chance at their ultimate goal of winning their first Pac-12 title.

“As I said a few weeks ago, I didn’t think anyone would be undefeated and that maybe a two-loss team would win it all as far as the South goes,” Whittingham said. “With how things sit right now, we don’t need any help, we just need to be able to focus on us.”

“As of the date, this could be the biggest game of my career,” said senior linebacker Cody Barton. “We hold our own destiny like Coach Whitt said, but we need to win every game if we want to win the South.”

The Utes have beaten the Trojans the last two times they’ve come to Salt Lake, but last year Utah dropped a heartbreaker at the Coliseum when the Utes failed on a 2-point conversion in the final seconds that would have won the game.

“It’s been back and forth, close games, competitive games,” Whittingham said. “It should be an exciting game, great environment and a great atmosphere. We’re hoping our fans come out in force.”

Rice-Eccles Stadium should be rocking. 

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