Huntley, Carrington shine in Utes 37-16 victory

Tyler Huntley throws for 227 yards and accounts for three touchdowns


SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) - Utah quarterback Tyler Huntley threw for 227 yards, rushed for 70 and accounted for three touchdowns, as the Utes overwhelmed FCS North Dakota 37-16 in the season opener for both teams Thursday night.

Utah debuted its new fast-paced, pass-first, spread offense with first-year offensive coordinator Troy Taylor and the difference was apparent from the start.

"Oh no, no nerves," Huntley said with a smile. "We all just had to adjust at the beginning and then we started playing from there.

"During practice (Darren Carrington and I) had a lot of plays set up where we were connecting together. We just came out and performed today."

Huntley had his mistakes with some bad decisions and some errant throws, but he repeatedly made plays with his arms and legs and posted career-highs in passing and rushing yards. Running back Zack Moss finished with a career-high 128 yards rushing and a touchdown on 22 carries. Oregon transfer Darren Carrington had 10 receptions for 127 yards and a touchdown.

Carrington didn't know he would have this much of an impact in his first game as Ute.

"Man, I didn't," Carrington said. "But the punches were just rolling. Coach Taylor was coming to me and it felt great. I just want to take full advantage of every opportunity I get to step back on this field because you never know when it could be gone."

"I liked the play-calling," Whittingham said. "Thought the play selection was very good, was very balanced. That's Troy's deal. He's a guy that's going to take what the defense gives him. Our O-line pushed them around a bit in the run game."

The Utes scheme is designed to throw early and often, but Taylor has insisted the run game will be a big component. Utah ran for 272 yards.

"It was a pretty good game," Huntley said. "We've got a lot of mistakes to clean up and be ready for BYU.

The Utes committed 11 penalties for 139 yards, and they know they have to clean that up before next week's rivalry game against the Cougars in Provo.

"Offensively it was kind of a mixed bag," Whittingham said. "We did some good things, but far too many penalties. Far too many penalties as a team, but most of those coming on the offense. We moved the ball, 500 yards, and we were pretty balanced."

North Dakota quarterback Keaton Studsrud threw for 175 yards and a touchdown. The run game was bottled up for 51 yards. The Utes forced one turnover, an interception by former Layton High star Julian Blackmon.

Utah will try to beat BYU for a 7th straight time next Saturday at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Kickoff time is slated for 8:15 p.m.

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