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Status of Zack Moss not revealed as Utes prepare to host Washington State

Running back was injured in last week’s loss at USC.

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Utah running back Zack Moss (2) heads upfield during the Utah-BYU football game at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019.

Steve Griffin, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — There’s no update on the health of Utah running back Zack Moss. No update, that is, other than to note that he apparently didn’t suffer a season-ending injury in Friday’s 30-23 loss at USC. 

However, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham declined to comment on his status for Saturday’s home game against Washington State.

“We don’t ever talk about status for the games. We just hope everyone is there. So we hope everyone is ready,” Whittingham said. “Why would you ever tip your hand to the opponent? That would make no sense at all and until college football has an injury report rule or whatever, we just won’t do it because it just doesn’t make any sense.”

Whittingham acknowledged that last week’s game was physical.

“We took our bumps and bruises and have got some guys banged up,” Whittingham continued. “But that’s for us to know and deal with, and try to get the best guys out there on Saturday.”

While apologizing for his answer, Whittingham reaffirmed team policy to only comment on season-ending injuries. He said Moss did not suffer such an injury.

FS1, which broadcast the game, reported that Moss hurt the AC joint in his left shoulder. The senior, who was limited to just 20 yards on six carries, watched the balance of the contest wearing a sling and an ice pack.

With Moss seeing limited action, Utah wound up with seven others making contributions on the ground. Running back Devin Brumfield and quarterback Tyler Huntley led the way with 63 and 60 yards, respectively. Devonta’e Henry-Cole (31 yards), Jaylen Dixon (30 yards), Derrick Vickers (26 yards), Britain Covey (13 yards) and Jordan Wilmore (4 yards) rounded out a cast that rushed for 247 yards overall.

“We got a lot out of Devin Brumfield in that game, and he is technically not the 2 guy because Jordan Wilmore is the No. 2 back. Devin got hot there for a minute,” Whittingham said. “He is further ahead than the other backs in blitz pickup and pass protection, so he got more of the reps and did a really nice job. He ran hard and caught the ball well out of the backfield. I thought they did very well in Zack’s absence.”

Moss, who still tops this week’s depth chart, has 393 yards rushing this season — averaging 98.2 yards per game and 6.2 yards per carry. He’s second in the Pac-12 with four rushing touchdowns. Overall, Moss is the second-leading rusher in team history. His 3,044 yards trail only Eddie Johnson’s school-record mark of 3,219.

“In my opinion he is the best back in the Pac-12 and I’ll stand by that,” said Whittingham, who noted that not having Moss for more than six carries against USC was challenging. “When you have a weapon like that taken away, it is certainly going to have an impact.”

Whittingham, though, repeated earlier comments that there are no excuses.

“You just have to have the next guy come in and pick up the slack as best he can. You have to modify your calls and your plan accordingly.”

EXTRA POINTS: This is Utah’s 99th homecoming game. ... The Utes are one of just 14 teams in the nation to not throw an interception this season. ... Utah is second in the nation in rushing defense (52 ypg) and defensive touchdowns (2). ... A 60th consecutive sellout is expected to be announced at Rice-Eccles Stadium. ... The Utes are 34-40 in conference games since joining the Pac-12 in 2011. 

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Washington State (3-1, 0-1) at No. 19 Utah (3-1, 0-1)

Rice-Eccles Stadium

Saturday, 8 p.m.

TV: FS1

Radio: ESPN 700AM