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Cal Football

Bears Prep As If Huntley Will Play On Saturday

October 23, 2019

With questions surrounding, Utah’s senior quarterback, Tyler Huntley’s health in question, the Cal Bears defense is approaching the game prep as if the star quarterback will be on the field. 

“We take them at their word and that’s what you see on film, him making plays,” Defensive Coordinator Tim DeRuyter said to reporters after Wednesday’s practice about Huntley and Utah saying he will tentatively play.

Huntley left last week’s game against Arizona State game twice with a leg injury. Both Drew Lisk and Jason Shelley took reps in the backup position against the Sun Devils. 

“Even dinged up, he’s (Huntley) out there gutting it out,” DeRuyter continued. “You respect him as a competitor, you’re ready to adjust. We know what the strengths and weaknesses — or what we perceive as the strengths and weaknesses — of the other quarterbacks. If they play, you adjust your game-plan accordingly, but right now we’re expecting to play Huntley.”

Huntley is closing in on 1,600 passing yards for the season, completing passes at a clip of 74%. He’s also thrown just one interception to nine touchdowns and has a season passing rating of 180.1 Huntley’s also run for 229 yards and three touchdowns.

“Really efficient offense, which you’d expect with a senior quarterback,” DeRuyter said. “Very, very athletic, making good decisions. He’s a dual-threat quarterback, which really concerns you with the quarterback run game as well as converting on third down.”

But Huntley isn’t the only offensive threat the Utes boast.

“They’ve got a really physical back in (Zack) Moss who’s leading the league,” DeRuyter said. “Tons of weapons on offense and Coach (Andy) Ludwig does a great job of game-planning teams and you’ve got to be ready for everything because they’re going to make you defend the entire field and every receiver and tight end.”

While Moss hasn’t amassed the most rushing yards so far this season (Washington’s Salvon Ahmed has 662 yards and Arizona State’s Eno Benjamin has 633), Moss is leading with 6.59 yards per carry, running for 613 yards on 93 carries for eight touchdowns. 

“He’s a big man,” DeRuyter continued. “He runs through tackles and then you see him go the distance on people. He can open it up and run away from people. So, he can make you miss in the hole with some shake. He can make you miss because he’s just so powerful and built low to the ground. He’s an excellent back and I’m sure he’s going to be an NFL back.”

Head Coach Justin Wilcox piled on the praise.

“He doesn’t go down easy,” Wilcox said of Moss. “He is a physical, physical guy. He runs angry. He’s got good feet. Ultra-productive. He’s a very talented back and we’re going to need to play team defense to get him on the ground.”

Having talented skill players with a strong scheme that is well-executed has lifted Utah’s offense to No. 19 in the SP+ ratings.

“They do a really good job scheme-wise, they do a bunch of fly motion. Andy Ludwig is a really good coach and they’re physical there,” Wilcox said. “They have skill and wideout and those guys are making plays downfield.

“There’s a reason like they’re scoring like they are.” 

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Bears Prep As If Huntley Will Play On Saturday

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