SALT LAKE CITY — Things just keep getting better and better for the Utes.
Saturday, Utah soundly defeated USC, 41-28, and on Monday afternoon quarterback Tyler Huntley, linebacker Chase Hansen and placekicker Matt Gay each took home Pac-12 Player of the Week honors.
The offensive award was the first of Huntley’s career and much deserved after throwing for 341 yards and four touchdowns against the Trojans (he also had 33 rushing yards and a score).
“Tyler has had some really good games for us, but if I had to narrow it down, that was probably the best game,” head coach Kyle Whittingham said.
Hansen, meanwhile, led the Utes with 11 tackles (3 TFL) and recorded his second interception of the season. He played a major role in limiting the Trojans on third down — USC was 3 of 14 on the money down, including 0 for 10 in the first three quarters. Ten of Hansen’s 11 tackles prevented a Trojan first down.
“Chase had an outstanding game and that interception was as athletic a play as you’ll see a linebacker make,” said Whittingham. “He has been invaluable to our success.”
As for Gay, he finished 2 for 2 on field goals and 5 for 5 on PATs. Gay improved to 6 for 6 this season on field goals attempted from 30 to 39 yards and leads the Pac-12 in scoring per game by a kicker (8.0), and field goals per game (1.43).
The awards sweep marked just the fourth time in Pac-12 history that a team has swept the Player of the Week awards, the first time ever for Utah.
ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS ON TUTTLE: Also brought up in the presser — freshman quarterback Jack Tuttle and his decision to leave the program.
Whittingham released a statement last week in which he said “we wish Jack the best and have no further information to add at this time” and he had little more to add to that Monday.
“No, not right now,” Whittingham said. “Like I said in the release, we wish him the best and we are just focused on the task that we have at hand which is UCLA.”
Middle linebacker and team captain Chase Hansen was also asked about Tuttle’s decision, to which he noted that it came as a surprise to many players.
“It was surprising,” said Hansen. “I don’t know any specifics, but we didn’t expect it.”
No. 23 Utah (5-2, 3-2) at UCLA (2-5, 2-2)
- Rose Bowl — Pasadena, California
- Friday, 8:30 p.m. MDT
- TV: ESPN
- Radio: ESPN 700AM