Utes Embracing Shelley In Starting Role
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – With starting quarterback Tyler Huntley likely sidelined for the rest of season with a broken collarbone, the Utes are turning to backup Jason Shelley to lead them the rest of the way.
Huntley suffered his injury in the Utes’ disastrous loss at Arizona State last Saturday. Postgame, head coach Kyle Whittingham wasted no time stating the unfortunate news.
This week, in his Monday press conference, Whittingham still lamented the loss of Huntley but stated his confidence in Shelley and his game ahead of the matchup with Oregon.
“He is a lot like Tyler in that he is a dual threat. He has a very calm demeanor about him. Nothing really gets him flustered, he is cool under pressure. He ran this type of offense in high school very efficiently and did a great job. This is his element, the spread offense. We are excited to see what he can do. We will have a full week of getting him the No. 1 reps and see what happens. We have a lot of confidence in him,” said Whittingham.
Utes Must Rally Around Shelley
Whittingham continued to state how important it is for the whole team to support Shelley.
“First of all, the team has to rally around him and embrace him. It is not just about the quarterback, everyone around him has to be better,” said Whittingham.
Shelley Needs To Stay Healthy
With his team now quite thin on quarterbacks, one thing on the mind of Whittingham is how to keep Shelley healthy and out of situations that cause injury.
“You have to play to his strengths and tailor the offense to what he does best. We are still going to have a quarterback run game element to our offense, that is not going to change because that is who we are. He has to be smart when he does carry the ball to get out of harm’s way and not take direct shots. If you are going to run the spread offense, the QB run game has to be in the equation.”
The Utes and Shelley will take on the Ducks Saturday at 3:30. The game will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Network.