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Utah Utes football: Receivers keep foes guessing

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Utah's Freddie Brown is tackled by SDSU's T.J. McKay and Russell Allen after making a reception in the Utes' 64-13 win.

Utah’s Freddie Brown is tackled by SDSU’s T.J. McKay and Russell Allen after making a reception in the Utes’ 64-13 win.

Tom Smart, Deseret News

SAN DIEGO — It was a night when the Utes had too many people in too many places for San Diego State.

That's been happening a lot this year.

Whether you're selling cell phones, cars, dishwashers or fielding football teams, it's always best to have a lot of choices.

Utah had eight receivers catch passes, and five passes went for touchdowns as the Utes rolled to a 64-13 win over the Aztecs, Saturday night. Freddie Brown had 11 receptions for two touchdowns and 110 yards to lead the way, but David Reed had two scores of his own.

"I'm happy a lot of guys got a ball tonight," said Brown. "We've just got to keep going."

Throughout the season, covering Ute receivers has been like covering an attack of killer bees.

"We're deep," said quarterback Brian Johnson. "They've all done a great job of stepping up."

Reed finished with four catches for 87 yards, followed by three catches apiece by Brent Casteel, Bradon Godfrey and Jereme Brooks. Reed had one catch for 39 yards — and that wasn't one of the touchdowns. Casteel went for 28 on another play.

For the season, Utah has had 13 players catch passes. Even backup quarterback Corbin Louks has one. Six have more than 200 total yards.

With that many people in the mix, you'd think there could be a little jealousy. But to date, nobody has come out and complained that he's "not getting enough touches." In other words, no one has gone Terrell Owens on coach Kyle Whittingham.

Asked if it's a bit crowded when it comes to receiving, Brown said, "Not at all. This is a very unselfish team. There's so much talent, we're just happy everyone can do what he does."

Utah's versatility at receiver is impressive. So much so that a lot of players are well known, not just a few. Reed, a junior college transfer this year, is averaging 14.8 yards a catch — highest on the team (not counting Louks and Aiona Key, who have just one catch each.)

"It's a luxury," said Reed. "This is a great team with great chemistry, and we've done a good job of distributing the ball."

The first five of Utah's nine touchdowns came on passes. The first was a 2-yarder to Colt Sampson, followed by a 4-yarder to Brown, a 32-yarder to Reed, a 5-yarder to Brown and a 3-yarder to Reed.

By that time the score was 35-7.

"We knew going into the year we would do very well, we have so much talent," said Brown, whose 678 receiving yards and 57 catches both lead the team. "I'm just glad to be part of it."

Added Brown, "We have guys who can catch the ball, guys who can throw the ball and guys who can run the ball. It's been that way all season."

E-mail: rock@desnews.com