Troy Williams

Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Utah’s surprise QB announcement tabs Tyler Huntley as starter

2 Comments

Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham made one of the more surprising decisions on Monday. Instead of naming the senior captain as his starting quarterback, Whittingham chose sophomore Tyler Huntley to be the team’s starting quarterback in Week 1 against North Dakota.

The decision to go with Huntley means Troy Williams will be reduced to backup duty. Alabama transfer Cooper Bateman will also be sitting down on the depth chart, which is another mild surprise from Salt Lake City.

Williams was Utah’s quarterback last season when the Utes made a push for the Pac-12 South Division before falling just short of the Pac-12 championship game. Williams passed for 2,757 yards and 15 touchdowns. Williams also rushed for 235 yards and five touchdowns for the Utes.

As a freshman, Huntley appeared in six games and attempted just seven passes for 60 total yards. It would seem Huntley has done a lot to impress the coaches to earn the starting nod over an experienced starter and the transfer option. His improvement in the offseason and athleticism are said to be fueling his rise as a quarterback, so we’ll see how that pays off on the field once the games begin.

Utah offense looks to find more balance in 2016

Chris Samuels/The Deseret News via AP
Leave a comment

The strength of Utah the past couple of seasons has come on defense and in the running game. That recipe may not be too much different this fall, but the Utes are looking to balance things out offensively and get the passing game to pick up some of the slack. Following Utah’s spring game on Saturday, head coach Kyle Whittingham noted the offense could have a slightly different look this upcoming season.

“It’s not a 30-carry a game Devontae Booker situation,” Whittingham said, referring to the bulk of the offense placed in the hands of Utah’s leading rusher a year ago. “We’re going to spread the ball around a little bit more.”

Utah’s spring game showed more wrinkles from the passing game as the Utes look to replace Travis Wilson. Junior Brandon Cox, JUCO transfer Troy Williams (a former four-star recruit at Washington) and freshman Tyler Huntley continue to make their case for the starting nod, although Williams is believed to be the eventual pick. Williams has missed a big chunk of the spring due to injury, giving the others some extra snaps in the spring. Finding stability at the quarterback situation will be essential, at least until Utah finds a running back ready to step up and take on the leading role the way Booker previously did. For now, it appears Joe Williams may be the most likely to take on the bulk of the rushing attempts in the fall. He is certainly thinking and talking like the job is his to lose.

“Going into this spring ball, that was my mentality,” Williams said. “I’ve got the mentality that it’s my job and I’m not going to let anyone take it.”

Running backs coach Dennis Erickson said Williams and Troy McCormick will each see playing time in the fall, and both could be on the field at the same time.

Utah’s running game ranked fourth in the Pac-12 last season with 183 rushing yards per game and an average of 43.92 rushing attempts per game. Devontae Booker was responsible for 26.8 rushing attempts per game and 126.1 rushing yards per game. Quarterback Travis Wilson was the team’s second-leading rusher as well.

Report: Cyler Miles doesn’t plan on playing for UW Huskies in 2015

2 Comments

Earlier today Washington confirmed that starting quarterback Cyler Miles had taken what was described as a “voluntary leave of absence” as he “is dealing with some things in his life that are more important than football.”

Now, it appears that leave of absence may be permanent.

Citing a source with knowledge of the situation, the Seattle Times is reporting that “Miles does not plan to play for the Huskies during the 2015 season.” What Miles’ intentions for the moment when it comes to his football future are not yet known, the source told the Times that he’s keeping all of his options open.

Presumably those options include, in particular, a transfer. Should the redshirt sophomore opt to take that route, he would, barring a successful appeal for a hardship waiver, likely be forced to sit out the 2015 season if he landed at an FBS school. That would leave the Colorado product with one more season of eligibility in 2016.

He could also transfer to an FCS and gain immediate eligibility, which would leave him with two more on-field seasons.

After missing the 2014 opener because of a suspension related to an offseason incident, Miles started 12 of the next 13 games for the Huskies. Should Miles’ leave of absence turn into a departure, it would leave UW with three options at the quarterback position: Jake BrowningK.J. Carta-Samuels and Jeff Lindquist.  Lindquist, a redshirt junior, started the 2014 opener in place of Miles, while Carta-Samuels, a four-star 2014 recruit who took a redshirt as a true freshman, and Browning, a four-star member of this year’s class who is an early enrollee, have never thrown a pass at the collegiate level.

Troy Williams, who started one game last season, announced his decision to transfer from UW in early January.

Washington QB Cyler Miles issues public apology

1 Comment

Washington quarterback Cyler Miles is not out of Chris Petersen‘s dog house yet, but apologizing in public for his actions off the field this offseason is surely a step in the right direction. Miles read a prepared statement to the media following practice on Wednesday.

“Things happen and I take full responsibility for my actions,” Miles said in his prepared statement. “I messed up big time, and I’m willing to face the consequences and do everything in my power to gain the respect back of Husky fans, my teammates and Coach Pete.”

“I thought it was fair. Like I said, that’s really out of my control. That’s coach Pete’s decision,” Miles said, according to the Associated Press. “But I thought it was a fair consequence by him, and regardless of what it was, I’ve got to take it anyway. I didn’t have a problem with it.”

Miles was involved in an assault incident on the campus of Washington along with former wide receiver Damore’ea Stringfellow. The two were initially suspended, but Miles was later reinstated. Stringfellow sought a transfer to Nebraska, but he ended up at Ole Miss. Bo Pelini was not happy. Miles was most recently suspended by Petersen for the season opener for the Huskies at Hawaii. Miles was not charged for his involvement in the incident.

Miles may miss the first game of the season, but odds are still fairly good he will be the starter for the Huskies before long once he is welcomed back to the team after the first week. Petersen has said already Miles is behind the other quarterback options though, suggesting Miles is going to have to work to earn that starting job.

It is expected Washington will start the season with sophomore Jeff Lindquist or redshirt freshman Troy Williams under center against Hawaii.

Chris Petersen: Cyler Miles is ‘behind’ rest of Huskies’ QBs

Leave a comment

A funny thing happened to Cyler Miles before he could become the future of Washington Huskies football.

It started when former coach Steve Sarkisian left the Huskies to take the USC job, while Boise State’s Chris Petersen was hired to replace him.

Miles was then suspended in February due to an on-campus incident.  The quarterback was reinstated by the team in May after he wasn’t charged in the incident, but he already missed all of spring practice.

Between last season and today, Miles may have fallen too far behind in the quarterback competition to become Keith Price’s heir apparent.

“(Miles is) behind,” Petersen told local media during his pre-camp press conference. “He’s done some things, as much as he can after spring ball, to get caught up. That’s a lot of meeting time, that’s a lot of practice time, that’s a lot of reps. He’s had these concepts, a lot of them. Some of them might be renamed and those sorts of things…that’s such a detailed position it’s going to take him a while to process that. It’s hard. He missed a lot.”

The competition will be a four-horse race between Miles, Jeff Lindquist, K.J. Carta-Samuels and Troy Williams to win the starting quarterback job. Petersen isn’t too worried which quarterback receives the first repetition at the start of camp Monday.

“I don’t even know,” Petersen said. “That’s how important I think it is, or don’t think it is. All these guys are going to get reps. We’ll divide the quarterbacks up two and two — I believe Jeff and Troy will go in the morning; K.J. (Carta-Samuels) and Cyler (Miles) will go in the afternoon. That’s the hard one right there…how do you get your quarterbacks all the reps that they need when you’re trying to look at all these guys. That’s going to be tricky all the way through fall camp. We’re going to continue to evaluate it day by day, to tell you the truth.”

“Certainly that quarterback situation, if there is one position you would like to have stabilized it would be that, but if we don’t know, I think I said this before, even game week hopefully we’ll have that figured out, who that guy is going to be and if it’s both of them then we’re going to have to figure that out. When we know we’ll know. we don’t’ want to set a timetable on that.”

Even if Miles wins the competition, the sophomore won’t be able to contribute to the team Aug. 30 against the Hawai’i Warriors after being suspended for the season-opener. And he’s not guaranteed to start the second game either.

“I hope that’s a problem I have to deal with,” Petersen said. “And that’s an assumption from you guys. You know better than I do. You’ve seen him a lot more than I have. That’s something we’ll deal with down the road. We don’t know. I’m anxious to get him back in the mix and see what he can do. He’s like a freshman. I’m always so anxious to get the freshmen out there. You’ve recruited them, you’ve seen them but you don’t’ know until you go out there and watch them run around. You’re really excited about some and some you’re like ‘I thought he would be a little further along.’ It’s always such an interesting process and for Cyler I feel the same way because he just wasn’t with us. I’m anxious to get him out there and see what he does.”