Huntley Could Return For Utah’s Bowl Game

Nov 27, 2018, 2:29 PM
Utah Utes quarterback Tyler Huntley (1) runs in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018. (Desere...
Utah Utes quarterback Tyler Huntley (1) runs in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018. (Deseret News)
(Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – According to Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham, there is “a big chance” that injured quarterback Tyler Huntley could return for the Utes’ bowl game.

“He is getting very close. Depending on the timing of the bowl, there is a strong possibility that he will be ready,” said Whittingham in his Monday press conference.

Huntley Mentoring Shelley

Huntley broke his collarbone in Utah’s 38-20 loss to Arizona State on Nov. 3. In his absence, redshirt freshman Jason Shelley has stepped up and played well, winning games against Oregon, Colorado and BYU.

While Shelley has been the man, Huntley has remained close to the program, helping Shelley along the way.

“Tyler is back with us as far as meetings and he is around constantly,” said Whittingham. ‘He is getting closer to being healthy by the way. He has been a really good mentor for Jason during this time, but also previously when Jason was the No. 2 guy, so Tyler and him are very close.”

Shelley Thriving In Starting Role

What has helped Shelley more than anything has been his calm demeanor, especially under pressure. In three games as the starter, he has yet to throw an interception. Whittingham has taken notice of Shelley’s leadership and poise.

“He has done a great job taking care of the football since becoming the starter, so I think that confidence and that poise is critical in a quarterback,” said Whittingham. “And then I think as a leader, the team really responds to him. He is a guy that has really got the respect of his teammates and that is through his work ethic, how he has performed and just with who he is. He is a professional guy.”

The Utes, with Shelley at quarterback, will next take on the Washington Huskies in the Pac-12 Championship Game Friday at 6 p.m. The game will be broadcast from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. on Fox.


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