Offense resurrected

By By Cody Brunner and By Cody Brunner

By Cody Brunner

Corbin Louks subbing in at quarterback. Darrell Mack rushing for more than 100 yards. Tommy Grady throwing three passing touchdowns.

Many Ute fans left Rice-Eccles Stadium on Saturday in a state of bewilderment after the Utah offense used trickery and some brilliant execution to compile 44 points against the Bruins. The Utes had accumulated 19 points total in their first two games before the offensive barrage on Saturday.

“I think the assistant coaches did a fantastic job with the game plan this week in preparation,” said Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham. “We asked them to step up and we said we needed some different guys to go out there.”

One of the biggest head scratchers was the insertion of Louks at quarterback. The freshman, who was previously planning on using his redshirt this season, traded off snaps with Grady. The move gave the Utes a legitimate running threat under center in the absence of Brian Johnson.

“Corbin (Louks) came in and did a great job,” Grady said. “We needed a little bit more of a quarterback run game for this offense and he just came in and gave us a spark.”

Louks’ running ability also set up the pass. The freshman completed two of his three passes for 18 yards and a touchdown.

Another big difference in the Utah offense was the presence of a running game. Prior to the UCLA game, the Utes’ entire running back corps hadn’t reached 100 yards combined. Against the Bruins, junior Darrell Mack broke tackle after tackle on his way to 107 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown. Mack also proved to be a viable threat in the passing game, collecting three catches and two touchdowns.

“Darrell ran what we call violently today,” Whittingham said. “We needed violent runs and Darrell gave us those. He rushed for over 100 yards for I think the first time in a while. I don’t think we had a back last year go over 100 yards so it was very positive for Darrell to step up.”

Mack had also planned on redshirting this season, but an injury to starting running back Matt Asiata caused depth concerns, and the Utes were forced to lift them.

“Injuries happen, and they needed me, and I took that opportunity and made it happen,” Mack said. “There were a lot of ups and downs for me emotionally; sometimes I wasn’t in it. But I talked to my family and everybody and my friends and they helped me to get me where I am right now. It’s been kind of wild.”

Quarterback Tommy Grady took advantage of Mack’s running and threw together his best game to date, completing 17 of his 30 pass attempts for 246 yards and three touchdowns. The senior had struggled to get anything going in Utah’s two previous contests.

“I kept saying last week that it was his first collegiate start,” Whittingham said. “His first start in five years. I don’t know if everybody just expected too much too soon, but what Tommy has done is the product of hard work and good coaching.”

[email protected]

Lennie Mahler

Darrell Mack cuts through the UCLA line. Mack rushed for 107 net yards and scored three touchdowns in Saturday’s upset.