Head to Head: The Daily Wildcat


University of Utah junior quarterback Tyler Huntley (1) rushed with the ball in an NCAA Football game vs. the University of Arizona at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, UT on Friday October 12, 2018.(Photo by Curtis Lin | Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Sammy Mora, Sports Editor

As the No. 7 University of Utah football team (9-1, 6-1 Pac-12) hits the road one last time during the regular season I sat down with Amit Syal, the sports editor of the Daily Wildcat of the University of Arizona to talk about this week’s matchup between the Utes and Wildcats.

This interview took place via email on Nov. 18, 2019.


Sammy Mora: What is UA going to need to do to slow down the Utah offense this week? 

Amit Syal: The Wildcats need to find a way to stop Utah’s quarterback Tyler Huntley. They have to rush at least five players on the quarterback each time to have an impact. Also, they need to force at least a couple of turnovers to have a shot at winning their last home game. The Wildcats have had 4 turnovers throughout the seven conference games this year. To have any shot at winning this game, Arizona’s defense has to step up and force multiple turnovers.


SM: Both Khalil Tate and J.J. Taylor have been banged up this season, how has them not playing hurt the team?

AS: Personally, I think that Taylor being injured had more of an impact on UA. Because Grant Gunnell is playing well recently, Tate’s injury didn’t have too much of an impact on the Wildcats. Gunnell has stepped up and played well for the Wildcats recently, perhaps even better than the experienced senior Tate whenever he’s in the game. But Taylor has always been a force to be reckoned with on the offensive side.


SM: Which quarterback (Tate or Gunnell) gives the Wildcats a better chance at winning?

AS: I think that Gunnell gives a way better shot for the Wildcats to win this game. They need to stick with one quarterback and stop rotating quarterbacks. That quarterback needs to be Gunnell, no questions asked. Tate has looked so inexperienced and tough to manage in these past few games.


SM: UA is on a five game losing streak. What has gone wrong in those five games?

AS: Everything has gone wrong for Arizona in these past five games. They have been switching quarterbacks and in addition, our defense has looked abysmal. I don’t think much will change in the last two games of the year, so you can expect the trend to continue.


SM: Is there a specific position battle you are looking forward to seeing on Saturday?

AS: Not a specific position battle, but I’m looking forward to seeing if Arizona’s offense line can handle Utah’s defensive line. That should be interesting to watch.


SM: What is your score prediction for Saturday?

AS: If Tate plays, I’m going with the Utes 49-14. If Gunnell plays, I’m going with the Utes 35-21.


The Utes and Wildcats are set to face off Saturday at 8 pm.


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