11/25/15 - (P) - Tom Hackett, Sr, 5-11, 195 2015 RAY GUY AWARD FINALIST: Tom Hackett, Utah...Hackett, Utah’s second Ray Guy Award finalist along with Louie Sakoda in 2008, became the first Ray Guy Award winner in Pac-12 history last season. Utah leads the nation in net punting (43.44) behind Hackett, whose 47.4 punt average (48 punts, 2,274 yards) leads the Pac-12 and is fourth in the nation. His 17 punts of 50+ yards also leads the Pac-12. He has placed 21 punts inside the 20-yard line (42.8-percent of his punts), with 11 inside the 10-yard line and two inside the 5-yard line. Hackett has two of the six longest punts in the country this season (76 yards vs. Oregon and 74 yards vs. Michigan). Hackett, a 2014 consensus All-American and two-time first-team All-Pac-12 punter from Australia, had never played a down of American football before walking on to the Utah team in 2013. He has started every game the past three seasons after sharing the starting job as a freshman. - Utah Football
11/20/15 - (RB) - Devontae Booker, rSr, 5-11, 212 Utah running back Devontae Booker will miss the final two games of the regular season and perhaps the Utes' postseason after having knee surgery Thursday. Booker's father, Ronnie Booker, confirmed his son suffered a torn meniscus and bone bruise in his left knee last week against Arizona. The hope is that Booker will at least be able to participate in the Senior Bowl on Jan. 30. "It's unfortunate," Ronnie Booker said. No. 18 Utah hosts UCLA on Saturday in a must-win for the team to remain in contention for a Pac-12 championship. The Utes need to win their final two games and have USC lose to either UCLA or Oregon to win the South division and earn a berth in the Dec. 5 title game. Ronnie Booker said they hope Utah can win the conference and have a January bowl game that would give Devontae more time to heal and possibly participate. "He was disappointed," Ronnie Booker said. "He said, 'Well, dad, it happens.'" "He said, 'Well, dad, all I'm thinking about now is getting the surgery done so I can start getting back to rehab and getting back right. That's what's on my mind now.'" - AP Sports
11/10/15 - (SS) - Chase Hansen, rFr, 6-2, 216 Utes lose S Hansen to leg injury...Utah freshman safety Chase Hansen will be sidelined for the remainder of the season after injuring his leg on the final play of Saturday's win against Washington, coach Kyle Whittingham confirmed Monday. Hansen, who was making his first start, played a significant role in the Utes' 34-23 win over the Huskies. He compiled a game-high 11 tackles, forced a fumble and broke up a pass. "It's a shame. He played lights out in this game and was really just phenomenal with his play," Whittingham said. "So, it's a setback for us. But it's next man up." Hansen was four-star quarterback recruit. He just started practicing at safety about a month ago. Whittingham did not reveal details of the injury, but it is possible Hansen will need surgery. Whittingham did say Hansen should be 100 percent by next year. - The Sports Xchange
11/09/15 - (OLB) - Gionni Paul, rSr, 5-10, 225 NOV 9 WALTER CAMP NATIONAL FBS DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: GIONNI PAUL, UTAH, Senior, Linebacker, Winter Haven, FL/Kathleen...Gionni Paul recorded nine tackles, two quarterback sacks, one interception and recovered a fumble and returned it 54 yards for a touchdown as 13th-ranked Utah defeated Washington, 34-23 Paul’s all-around play on defense helped the Utes improve to 8-1, 5-1 in the Pac-12. Notes: Gionni Paul is the third Utah player to earn Walter Camp National Player of the Week honors since 2004, joining former Ute DB Eric Weddle (Sept. 24, 2006) and DE Derrick Shelby (Oct. 16, 2011). - The Walter Camp Football Foundation
11/08/15 - (OLB) - Gionni Paul, rSr, 5-10, 225 Utah finally forced some more turnovers to remain in control of the Pac-12 South Division race with three weeks left in the regular season. Don't count out the No. 13 Utes just yet from getting back into the College Football Playoff conversation. Gionni Paul returned a fumble 54 yards for a touchdown, set up another score with an interception and No. 13 Utah held off Washington 34-23 on Saturday night. Utah (8-1, 5-1, No. 12 CFP) leaned on big plays from its defense to overcome an inconsistent night offensively against the Huskies (4-5, 2-4). After going two weeks without forcing a turnover, the Utes forced three in the first half and made that stand up against Washington's second-half rally. "Going in we knew we were going to be facing a good defense. We wanted to prove which defense was better," Paul said. Part of Utah's success this season has been the ability to create turnovers. But that aspect disappeared in its lone loss at USC and again last week in a tougher-than-expected victory over Oregon State. That prowess for causing chaos was back against Washington, including the Utes' third defensive touchdown of the season. - AP Sports
11/03/15 - (QB) - Travis Wilson, Sr, 6-7, 233 The magic number is down to four for No. 13 Utah. Four more wins and the Utes will play in their first Pac-12 title game since joining the conference in 2011. The Utah defense ruled the day again, helping the Utes beat Oregon State 27-12 on Saturday night. Utah (7-1, 4-1) holds a game lead in the Pac-12 South over UCLA (6-2, 3-2) with four games remaining, including the Bruins on Nov. 21.
"Were you impressed by that," Utah coach Kyle Whittingham asked the media at the start of his press conference. "... Bottom line is that we're 7-1 and we're headed to Seattle with sole possession of first place in the Pac-12 South. "I'm very interested in the College Playoff Rankings. That's what it's all about. The other rankings are just window dressing for the fans and the media. We very, very interested to see where we're at." Utah led 14-0 after its first two possessions and cruised from there. Devontae Booker rushed for 121 yards and a touchdown, and Travis Wilson completed 14 of 17 passes for 198 yards and a touchdown and ran for 56 yards and a score. Wilson broke the Utah record for starts by a quarterback with 34, and tied Alex Smith for second place in school history with 21 wins as a starter. - AP Sports
10/27/15 - (RB) - Devontae Booker, rSr, 5-11, 212 OCT 26 PAC-12 OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Utah Running back Devontae Booker, a senior running back from Sacramento, Calif., led Utah with 267 all-purpose yards in the 30-24 win over California. His 267 yards from scrimmage are the most by a player in the NCAA against a ranked team this year. Booker rushed for a season-high 222 yards with two touchdowns on 34 carries, averaging 6.5 yards per carry and also had four receptions for 45 yards. Booker’s 34 carries are the most in a game in the Conference this season. He scored Utah’s first touchdown on a 40-yard run with 1:18 left in the first quarter, and his four-yard touchdown in the second quarter gave the Utes a 24-10 lead. Also nominated for Offensive Player of the Week: Mike Bercovici, QB, ASU; Royce Freeman, RB, ORE; Myles Gaskin, TB, WASH; Luke Falk, QB, WSU. - Pac-12 Football
10/27/15 - (P) - Tom Hackett, Sr, 5-11, 195 OCT 26 PAC-12 SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Utah punter Tom Hackett, a senior punter from Melbourne, Australia, earned his second league weekly accolade of the season after he averaged 50.8 yards on four punts for 203 yards in the 30-24 win over California. He placed two punts inside the 10-yard line. Cal had one punt return for no yards, and its average starting field position following a punt was the 15-yard line. Hackett’s final punt of the game for 51 yards was downed at the five-yard line with 4:52 remaining, forcing Cal to start its final drive deep in its own territory. Also nominated for Special Teams Player of the Week: Zane Gonzales, PK, ASU; Nick Porebski, OSU; Korey Durkee, P, WASH. - Pac-12 Football
10/26/15 - (WR) - Tim Patrick, Sr, 6-4, 205 Utah coach Kyle Whittingham says senior receiver Tim Patrick is out for the rest of the season and is seeking another year of eligibility. Patrick made one appearance this season trying to return from a leg injury that ended his 2014 season. The coaching staff thought Patrick would return last week for the 13th-ranked Utes after a couple good days of practice, but the 6-foot-5, 205-pound Patrick suffered a setback. The NCAA must grant medical redshirts for an extra year of eligibility. Whittingham said, "Now we're to the point we think he's going to be best served to try to get this waiver." Patrick walked onto the team in 2014 and quickly earned a scholarship. He started four games that season, played in nine and caught 16 passes for 177 yards. - AP Sports
10/20/15 - (TE) - Siale Fakailoatonga, Jr, 6-4, 254 Utah starting tight end Siale Fakailoatonga is out for the season after being injured in the 34-18 win against Arizona State on Saturday. Coach Kyle Whittingham made the announcement Monday but did not elaborate on the injury. The third-ranked Utes (6-0), the last undefeated team in the Pac-12, play at USC on Saturday. Fakailoatonga started the last five games after Evan Moeai was lost for season in the opener. He had 12 receptions for 120 yards, ranking fourth on the team in both categories. Sophomore Harrison Handley moves to the top of the depth chart and freshman Caleb Repp is listed as the backup. Handley has two touchdowns on nine receptions this season. - AP Sports
10/19/15 - (QB) - Travis Wilson, Sr, 6-7, 233 Fourth-ranked Utah is a legitimate contender for its first Pac-12 title and a berth in the College Football Playoffs when quarterback Travis Wilson plays well. The Utes become one-dimensional when he doesn't. Utah fans were thrilled to see "Good Travis" on the field Saturday night when the Utes held off Arizona State 34-18 to remain the lone undefeated team in the conference. "We were not going to be denied," said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham, who called his players 'Warriors.' "They were focused and on a mission. They were not going to be denied in that fourth quarter. "We have a plan to win and that's part of the equation."
The win broke an 11-game losing streak to Arizona State. Washington is now the lone team Utah has yet to beat since joining the Pac-12 in 2011. Utah (6-0, 3-0) went into halftime with a 14-10 lead as both teams struggled to generate much offense. Wilson found his stride on the two scoring drives, completing 11 of 12 passes with two touchdowns. He completed 7 of 12 passes on the other five drives that all resulted in punts. - AP Sports
09/28/15 - (QB) - Travis Wilson, Sr, 6-7, 233 Oregon running back Royce Freeman said he was in shock as the No. 13 Ducks' loss to Utah snowballed into a rout. The mood in the locker room afterward was understandably quiet. "A lot of guys questioning a lot of things that went on, on the field, and just wondering where we went wrong and what we need to correct," Freeman said. Utah quarterback Travis Wilson returned from a shoulder sprain and threw for 227 yards and four touchdowns, and ran for another, in the No. 18 Utes' 62-20 victory on Saturday night. A lanky senior, Wilson completed 18-of-30 passes, hitting nine receivers, a week after sitting out Utah's victory over Fresno State.
Oregon hadn't lost as badly at home since falling 54-0 to Washington in 1977. Utah's 62 points were the most the team has scored against a Pac-12 opponent since joining the league in 2011, and also the most the Ducks have ever allowed in Eugene. "Everything that could have gone wrong went wrong," Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said. Vernon Adams Jr. started at quarterback for Oregon (2-2) despite a broken index finger that kept him out of the Ducks' victory last weekend over Georgia State, but he didn't last long and was replaced by backup Jeff Lockie in the second quarter. - AP Sports
09/22/15 - (CB) - Cory Butler-Byrd, Jr, 5-10, 175 SEPT 21 PAC-12 SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Utah DB Cory Butler-Byrd, a junior defensive back from Compton, Calif., scored a touchdown on a 98-yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter of the 45-24 win over Fresno State. His 98-yard kick return is the longest in the Pac-12 this season, ninth-longest in the NCAA and 12th-longest in school history. Butler-Byrd additionally contributed four tackles and assisted on a tackle for loss on defense. Also nominated for Special Teams Player of the Week: Casey Skowron, PK, ARIZ; Matt Haack, P, ASU; Diego Gonzalez, PK, COLO; Aidan Schneider, PK, ORE; Nick Porebski, P, OSU; Conrad Ukropina, PK, STAN; Devin Fuller, WR, UCLA; Tristan Vizcaino, PK, WASH. - Pac-12 Football
09/20/15 - (RB) - Devontae Booker, rSr, 5-11, 212 Devontae Booker and Utah's defense and special teams made sure the 21st-ranked Utes didn't miss injured starting quarterback Travis Wilson in their first road game of the season. Booker ran for 156 yards and two touchdowns, and Utah had two scores on special teams and one on defense in a 45-24 victory over Fresno on Saturday night. The Utes (3-0) remained perfect heading into their Pac-12 opener at No. 12 Oregon next weekend. "We got the nonconference sweep," said backup quarterback Kendal Thompson, who made the start ahead while Wilson sat out with a sprained left shoulder. "The main stat is the win-loss column."
Despite the dominance the Utes showed against Fresno State, coach Kyle Whittingham knows they'll need to play a cleaner game to contend against the Ducks. "There was some good, there was some bad, we got sloppy at the end, which was unfortunate," Whittingham said. "So some give and take there." Booker had some extra incentive against a Bulldogs team that initially recruited him out of high school but later pulled its scholarship offer. "It was devastating when they did that," Booker said. "Heartbreaking . I was extremely motivated, knowing I was going to come out here and get a lot of touches. - AP Sports
09/14/15 - (OLB) - Gionni Paul, rSr, 5-10, 225 SEPT 14 PAC-12 DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Utah LB Gionni Paul, a senior linebacker from Winter Haven, Fla., made two key impact fourth-quarter plays for Utah in the 24-14 win over Utah State. Paul recovered a fumble on the Utah 25-yard line, and then made a game-clinching interception at the Utah 7-yard line with three minutes remaining. He finished the game with seven tackles (1.0 TFL), a fumble recovery and an interception. Paul’s tackle-for-loss helped the Utah defense force three-straight three-and-outs to start the second half. Also nominated for Defensive Player of the Week: Christian Sam, LB, ASU; Darius Allensworth, CAL; Chidobe Awuzie, CB; COLO; Rommel Mageo, LB, OSU; Blake Martinez, ILB, STAN; Kenny Young, LB, UCLA. - Pac-12 Football
09/14/15 - (RB) - Devontae Booker, rSr, 5-11, 212 UTAH (2-0, 0-0)...Game: Utah 24, Utah State 14. With starting quarterback Travis Wilson injured, backup Kendal Thompson came off the bench to lead two second-half scoring drives as the Utes held off a pesky Utah State team. Wilson, who left the game with a sprained left shoulder in the second quarter, was 9-of-12 passing for 76 yards. Devontae Booker carries the bulk of the load on offense, running 31 times for 120 yards. Thompson's 2-yard run midway through the third quarter broke a 14-14 tie.
Takeaway: The Utes can grind with the best of them. After withstanding a physical Michigan attack in the opener, Utah came out tough against the Aggies with offensive at a premium. The Utes forced Utah State into three consecutive three-and-outs right after halftime and picked off Chuckie Keeton twice, including at the Utah 7 late in the game. Freshman receiver Britain Covey is an intriguing addition to an offense that needs help on the perimeter; he leads the team with 11 catches; he also set up a field goal against Utah State with a 30-yard punt return. Next: at Fresno State, Sept. 19. - The Sports Xchange
09/14/15 - (QB) - Travis Wilson, Sr, 6-7, 233 Utah quarterback Travis Wilson, who left Friday's game against Utah State in the first half with a sprained left (non-throwing) shoulder, is expected back for the game at Oregon on Sept. 26, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. - The Sports Xchange
09/12/15 - (QB) - Travis Wilson, Sr, 6-7, 233 Backup quarterback Kendal Thompson filled in for injured starter Travis Wilson and led No. 24 Utah on a pair of second-half scoring drives to secure a 24-14 victory over Utah State on Friday night. Wilson threw for 76 yards on 9-of-12 passing and added 49 yards and a touchdown on five carries before leaving the game in the second quarter with a shoulder injury. Running back Devontae Booker added 120 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries for Utah (2-0). Quarterback Chuckie Keeton threw for 256 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 22-of-35 passing for the Aggies (1-1). Keeton also threw a pair of interceptions -- including one late in the fourth quarter that stalled a potential comeback. Utah State fell to its in-state rival for the 14thtime in the last 15 meetings in the series.
With Wilson sidelined, Thompson helped the Utes break a 14-14 tie with a 2-yard run with 6:35 left in the third quarter. Kicker Andy Phillips tacked on a 30-yard field goal to make it 24-14 early in the fourth quarter. Wide receiver Britain Covey set up the field goal with a 30-yard punt return to the Utah State 39-yard line. The Aggies could not answer. After driving his team down to the Utah 24, Keeton lost the ball on a sack, and linebacker Gionni Paul recovered the fumble at the Utes' 30 with 8:14 remaining. Keeton marched Utah State down to the Utah 11 on the Aggies' next drive, but threw an interception to Paul in the end zone with 2:58 left. - The Sports Xchange
09/12/15 - (RB) - Devontae Booker, rSr, 5-11, 212 Utah entered the season with a star running back, a staunch defense and a pair of dependable kickers. The need was consistent, efficient play at quarterback. The No. 24 Utes got exactly that from senior starter Travis Wilson - for five quarters. Devontae Booker ran for 120 yards and a touchdown and the Utes beat Utah State 24-14 on Friday night in a victory marred by Wilson's left shoulder injury. "That's the nature of the game," Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said. "A guy goes down and the next guy's got to step up. I asked Kendall to just move the football team and take care of the football. "We'll get more information tomorrow, but Travis is pretty sore right now."
The Utes (2-0) lost Wilson in the second quarter. He returned to the sideline with ice on his non-throwing shoulder and his arm in a sling. He was injured at the end of a 38-yard run that set up Booker's touchdown that gave Utah a 14-7 lead. Utah defensive lineman Hunter Dimick also went down with a leg injury in the second quarter. He earned a Pac-12 honorable mention in 2014 after posting 10 sacks and is one of the leaders of the defense. Whittingham wouldn't give specifics about the injuries, but said neither was season-ending. - AP Sports
09/10/15 - (CB) - Justin Thomas, rJr, 5-08, 178 Sept 8 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week: Utah defensive back Justin Thomas, a junior from Orange, Texas, helped Utah take down Michigan at home, 24-17. Thomas made a momentum-shifting, 55-yard interception off the Michigan quarterback for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, effectively ending the Wolverines’ drive. Along with Thomas’ first-career interception, the junior defensive back made four tackles on the night with one coming solo. With the win, Utah is now 3-1 all time against Michigan. Also nominated for Defensive Player of the Week: Devonte Downs, LB, CAL; Derek McCartney, DE/OLB, COLO, Rommel Mageo, LB, OSU; Blake Martinez, LB, STAN, Kenny Clark, DL, UCLA, Chris Hawkins, S, USC. - Pac-12 Football
09/09/15 - (CB) - Dominique Hatfield, Jr, 5-10, 172 Utah coach Kyle Whittingham reinstated suspended Dominique Hatfield on Monday, saying the cornerback served enough punishment. Whittingham said at a news conference he conferred with athletic director Chris Hill. Hatfield was dismissed from the team, but not the school, in July after he was charged with aggravated robbery and theft. Those charges were dropped, but Hatfield was charged with misdemeanor assault in August stemming from a fight during a party. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge, and a hearing is set for Sept. 21. "It was our belief, in fairness, that he was deserving of being reinstated," Whittingham said. Hatfield's attorney, Greg Skordas, said of his client: "He was very, very happy. It's been a long time coming."
Whittingham said Hatfield, who started 10 games last season, will play again as soon as he's ready. The junior from Los Angeles finished last season with 38 tackles, one interception and nine pass breakups. He was expected to start in 2015. "If he's ready this week, he'll play," Whittingham said. "If he's not ready for three weeks, he'll wait three weeks." Hatfield was charged with misdemeanor assault in August stemming from a fight during a summer party. A man told police he was attacked by four or five people during a party on July 5 and identified Hatfield as one of the men, authorities said. - AP Sports
09/04/15 - (QB) - Travis Wilson, Sr, 6-7, 233 Quarterback Travis Wilson was 24-of-33 for 208 yards and added 53 yards and a touchdown on the ground to lead Utah to a 24-17 victory over Michigan in the season opener for both teams Thursday in Salt Lake City. Devontae Booker added 69 yards and a touchdown for the Utes, who beat the Wolverines for the second straight year and notched their third consecutive victory in the series. Quarterback Jake Rudock was 27-of-43 for 279 yards and a pair of touchdowns in his Michigan debut. The senior also threw three interceptions - including one in the fourth quarter that led to a game clinching touchdown for Utah.
The Utes held the Wolverines to 119 total yards and six first downs in the first half. Andy Phillips made a 30-yard field goal to put Utah ahead 3-0 in the first quarter and Kenny Allen answered from 29 yards out to even the score at 3-3 early in the second. The Utes quickly jumped back in front 10-3 when Booker punched the ball in from 1 yard out with 10:33 left before halftime. Utah extended its lead to 17-3 in the third quarter after Wilson capped off 10-play, 74-yard drive with a 14 yard scamper up the middle. Michigan scored its first touchdown after Rudock connected with Jake Butt on a 19-yard throw, making it 17-10 with 46 seconds left in the quarter. - The Sports Xchange
08/11/15 - (CB) - Dominique Hatfield, Jr, 5-10, 172 Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said Monday suspended cornerback Dominique Hatfield is "going to be allowed to stay in school," but has not yet been cleared to return to the team. School spokesperson Liz Abel, however, said Hatfield was never kicked out of school in the first place and remains on scholarship. Hatfield's lawyer, Greg Skordas, was surprised by the university's statement and believed his client had been suspended from the university. "If that's what they're saying, that's great. I'm not going to argue with them," Skordas said after a chuckle.
Hatfield was dismissed from the team last month after he was charged with aggravated robbery and theft. Those charges were dropped, but the investigation is ongoing. Hatfield was also charged with misdemeanor assault last week stemming from a fight during a party. Skordas thought Hatfield was suspended from school and had lost his scholarship, but was thrilled with the news when informed by The Associated Press. "My understanding doesn't matter because the school is the school," Skordas said. "They're the ones that make the rules. Not me. I'm fine with that. That's great. That's the best news I've heard all day. "I can't speak for Dominique. I assumed he was (suspended from school), but I'm obviously wrong." Whittingham didn't rule out Hatfield's return to roster, but indicated the legal issues would need to be resolved first. - AP Sports
07/20/15 - (CB) - Dominique Hatfield, Jr, 5-10, 172 Prosecutors dismissed criminal charges Thursday against a University of Utah football player recently kicked off the team, but they are leaving open the possibility of refiling altered charges. New evidence suggests Dominique Hatfield was not the person who robbed a man at knifepoint who planned to buy an Xbox game console, said Salt Lake District Attorney chief deputy Blake Nakamura. But Nakamura said they still suspect Hatfield may have been aware of or involved in the scheme. Surveillance footage shows him in the area of the robbery, he said. Nakamura said they also still believe Hatfield tried to sell stolen cellphones to the same victim in a second interaction at the same car wash on June 30. The 20-year-old Hatfield was arrested that day and charged with aggravated robbery and theft. Hatfield's attorney Greg Skordas said it was clear from surveillance footage that Hatfield wasn't involved in the robbery. He commended prosecutors for taking a step back to reassess the case. Asked about the prosecution's belief that Hatfield is still guilty of theft, Skordas said if they had the evidence, they could have kept that charge. - AP Sports
07/20/15 - (CB) - Dominique Hatfield, Jr, 5-10, 172 Utah cornerback Dominique Hatfield has been charged with aggravated robbery and theft by prosecutors who say he robbed a man at knifepoint who planned to buy an Xbox game console from him. Charging documents show that Hatfield denied involvement in the robbery but acknowledged grabbing cellphones left around at parties by people who had been drinking. He said he then sold them on KSL.com. Hatfield was arrested when he returned to the car wash where the robbery occurred after the victim's wife posed as an interested buyer and set up a meeting to purchase two iPhones advertised online. University spokeswoman Liz Abel said coach Kyle Whittingham was not available but will address the situation when he returns. The 20-year-old Hatfield is a junior from Los Angeles who started 10 games in 2014. - AP Sports