Utah makes COVID shift again, heads to Washington
COVID-19 has been the most difficult opponent on Utah’s schedule.
After another shift this week, the Utes will head to Seattle and play Saturday against an unbeaten Washington team.
Itinerary changes have been constant for Utah.
The Utes’ first two games — against Arizona and UCLA — were canceled due to virus spread in the program. It was learned Tuesday that Arizona State would need to call off this week’s game with Utah scheduled at Tempe, Ariz., because of lingering COVID-19 issues with the Sun Devils.
The Pac-12 announced the Utah-Washington matchup shortly after the Utes’ game with ASU was canceled. The Huskies became available when their Apple Cup rivalry game this weekend with Washington State was canceled because of COVID-19 striking the Cougars’ program.
Utah is coming off a season-opening 33-17 loss at home to No. 20 USC last week. Washington (2-0) will play its third game at home after beating Oregon State 27-21 on Nov. 14 and Arizona 44-27 last week at Husky Stadium.
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham announced Tuesday that redshirt sophomore quarterback Cameron Rising, who won the starting job in fall camp, is out for the rest of the season with a shoulder injury suffered in the second quarter against USC.
South Carolina graduate transfer Jake Bentley, who went 16 for 28 for 171 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions in place of Rising, is slated to start against Washington.
“Obviously a disappointing loss in Week 1, but the biggest loss, Cam Rising is done for the season, at least that is what has been indicated to me,” Whittingham said. “Barring a miracle, he’s not going to be with us, and we move forward, Jake Bentley is our guy. We’ll continue to get ready and go through the season.”
Washington redshirt freshman quarterback Dylan Morris was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week for his performance against Arizona. He completed 15 of 25 pass attempts for 230 yards with no interceptions and two touchdowns.
He threw his first career touchdown pass on the Huskies’ first drive, completing a 65-yard pass to Puka Nacua. Morris has yet to turn the ball over and has suffered just one sack, when he ran out of bounds for a 1-yard loss.
“So how about our guy Dylan Morris here? He’s just played his second college football game, his second start, and all he does is go over 50 percent on third down (8 of 15), 100 percent on fourth down (2 of 2), no turnovers, again, two games in a row and technically no sacks,” Washington coach Jimmy Lake said.
“I’m so excited for Dylan. He’s operating our offense. He’s executing. He’s a great leader for us. I’m excited to see his game continue to improve.”
The Utes defeated the Huskies 33-28 last season at Husky Stadium.
Several top performers in that game, including Washington quarterback Jacob Eason and Utah running back Zack Moss, are now in the NFL.
–Field Level Media