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Whittingham Impressed With Huntley’s ‘Complete Dedication’

Utah Utes quarterback Tyler Huntley (1) looks for a receiver as Utah and UCLA play a college football game in Salt Lake City at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Everything is rolling in the right direction for Utah right now after they picked up their sixth straight win on Saturday over UCLA. A big reason why the Utes are playing well is because of the play of quarterback Tyler Huntley.

In their 49-3 win over UCLA on Saturday, Huntley completed 14 of his 18 pass attempts for 335 yards and 2 touchdowns through the air, while also running in a score. Utes head coach Kyle Whittingham was asked what “wowed” him about Huntley and his seasons stats never came up.

“His complete dedication and his complete emersion into the details of what he is doing,” Whittingham said during his weekly press conference. “His preparation is outstanding. When we are in the locker room pregame he is still in his book, preparing right up before kickoff, looking for that last little advantage.”

On the season, Huntley has thrown for 2,397 yards on 155-of-209 attempts, completing 74.2 percent of his passes for 13 touchdowns and one interception. After all of the action in college football on Saturday, Huntley is now second in the nation in completion percentage at 74.2 percent. Only LSU’s Joe Burrow has a higher pass completion percentage at 78.6 percent. As a starter, Huntley is 21-8 for the Utes in his career. He is currently tied with Alex Smith for third in school history for wins as a quarterback. Smith had a 21-1 record as the starting quarterback at Utah.

Two years ago as a sophomore, Huntley had to outperform senior Troy Williams in fall camp to take the job from him and he was able to take the starting spot from Williams. Whittingham believes that it has helped Huntley become a better quarterback when he was competing for the starting job as a sophomore.

“It is a process and when he won the job way back when, there was going to be growing pains,” Whittingham said. “Any time you are the new quarterback I don’t care what the situation is, there are going to be growing pains. So I guess the answer is yes. There is a period of adjustment and getting use to the speed of the game and the complexity of the college game. It is much more complex than the high school game so it just takes time to really feel comfortable. But then the game starts to slow down for you when you start to gain experience. That is when you start to become really effective.”

Utah will play their final road game of the regular season on Saturday against the Arizona Wildcats. The game will kickoff at 8 p.m. and will be broadcast on FS1.

The Crimson Corner podcast is the one-stop for all things University of Utah Athletics hosted by Utah insider Trevor Allen. Ute fans will find interviews with current players, coaches, and staff alongside expert analysis of every game, story and angle coming out of the University of Utah.

You can download and listen to the podcast, here.