In an unlikely scenario, backup quarterback freshman Tyler Huntley saw some playing time in the final game of the year as the Utah Utes played in the Foster Farms Bowl on Wednesday, Dec. 28. Along with the Utes winning 26-24 over their opponent, Huntley played put up some favorable numbers.
“I thought Tyler did a nice job,” said head coach Kyle Whittingham. “It wasn’t perfect, but he did some really good things. He is a talent — he had a really good bowl prep and good practices, so he deserved the opportunity to come in and contribute, and he did.
Not playing much during the season, Whittingham decided to put Huntley onto the field for some on-hands experience, and in his first play of the game, Huntley ran the ball for one yard in the first quarter.
Fortunately, Huntley saw more playing time in the second half. After a completed pass to junior Kyle Fulks, the Utes managed to pick up a first down, and as Utah closed in on the endzone, Huntley was put back in after junior Troy Williams resumed his spot as quarterback.
“Tyler was called upon for the most part,” Whittingham said. “He was productive, and he got some mileage on him. He has a big upside on him.”
Sitting firmly on the second-yard line, the Utes struggled to get the ball into the end zone, and with Utah facing a third down, Huntley rushed the ball, and he only gained one yard. Now in an even tougher position, the Utes were facing a fourth-and-goal, but Huntley saw his chance as he rushed the ball for one more yard, and he scored his first touchdown of his career.
“It was nice just getting into the endzone and celebrating with my team,” Huntley said. “It was a great experience to get in here and have a little fun with my seniors one last time. It was a great way to send out the seniors.”
In the third quarter, Huntley was only seen in one play as he ran the ball for four yards, and he did not enter the game again until the fourth quarter when he ran for 14 more yards in two plays during a single drive. In his final two plays of the game, Huntley rushed the ball for two more yards, helping his team to its bowl game victory.
“I did my part to help my team win,” Huntley said. “We played [well]. It was a great way to end the season. We just have to work on getting better for next year.”