SALT LAKE CITY — Britain Covey’s quarterback roots are showing. The Utah receiver, who was a star quarterback for Timpview High back in the day, has completed all three passes he’s attempted this season.
“Trick plays have a high percentage of completion,” Covey said. “So, hopefully I can keep that up and maintain that.”
Covey’s throws include scoring strikes to Tyler Huntley (58 yards against Arizona) and Cole Fotheringham (7 yards against UCLA).
“It’s fun to open up the playbook. I think that’s something that every offensive coordinator dreams of and it’s something that every player dreams of. You see the trick plays, you see just a confidence and almost a swagger that comes with it,” said Covey, who added there’s a change of pace in such calls and you see snaps under center or in the shotgun formation. “So it’s just fun to be able to do so many different things.”
Speaking of which, Covey is a jack-of-all-trades for the Utes. Besides his occasional passes, the sophomore leads the team with 48 receptions and 159 punt-return yards. His 809 all-purpose yards rank second.
"He is probably one of the most intelligent players that I have ever coached or been around, so he can be taught all of those various positions whether he is in the backfield or the slot or involved in special plays,” said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham. “He is also very athletic. He isn't the biggest guy, but he has tremendous quickness, he can throw the ball. In the return game, he is excellent. He is a do-all guy for us and is a critical component to what we are doing."
SURPRISING SCORES: Chaos reigned supreme last Saturday in the Pac-12. Upsets included California defeating Washington; Oregon State upending Colorado; and Arizona knocking off Oregon. Then there was Washington State defeating Stanford and Arizona State ending USC’s 19-game home win streak.
"You see upsets every week and teams beating teams that you didn't think would happen,” Whittingham said. “So there are learning lessons there. Our players are tuned into that, and it is something we will talk about."
ON THE LINE: Whittingham noted that offensive line play has been one of the biggest factors in Utah’s current run of four consecutive games with 40 or more points. He credits the line for its consistency and physicality.
_“_Those five guys, even without Lo Falemaka in there, they have been playing well and coming together," Whittingham said.
EXTRA POINTS: Utah leads the nation in red zone defense (54.5 percent) … Running back Zack Moss is second in the Pac-12 and seventh in the nation with 120.5 yards per game … Utah’s tight ends have already more than doubled their reception output from last season, going from 11 in 2017 to 25 at this point … Linebacker Chase Hansen tops the team with 68 tackles. The senior has 14 tackles for loss and four sacks.
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No. 16 Utah (6-2, 4-2)
at Arizona State (4-4, 2-3)
Sun Devil Stadium — Tempe, Ariz.
Saturday, 2 p.m.
TV: Pac-12 Networks
Radio: ESPN 700AM