Utah offensive linemen Jaren Kump (68), Paul Maile (54), Keaton Bills (51) and Braeden Daniels (71) prepare to block in front of quarterback Bryson Barnes (16) during game against Washington State on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022, in Pullman, Wash. Maile was unable to play vs. Stanford due to an injury and same was the case for backup Johnny Maea, which opened the door for third-string center Kolinu’u Faaiu to take his turn.

Young Kwak, Associated Press

Utah’s offense ran all over Stanford last Saturday, to the tune of 279 yards on the ground.

Running back Tavion Thomas rushed for a career-high 180 yards and two touchdowns.

Some may not have realized that the Ute offensive line was playing with its third-string center — redshirt freshman Kolinu’u Faaiu from Edmonds, Washington. 

“They’ve been playing great all season but their level of play just continues to rise and it’s promising to see.” — Utah QB Cam Rising on play of offensive line

Utah’s second-string center, Johnny Maea, suffered an injury in the second quarter against the Cardinal. Starter Paul Maile has been sidelined with an injury. 

Coach Kyle Whittingham is hopeful that either Maile or Maea will be ready for Oregon Saturday (8:30 p.m. MST, ESPN).

Whittingham praised Faaiu’s efforts last week. 

“At center, (Faaiu) came in and didn’t miss a beat. He graded out exceptionally well,” he said. “He answered the bell and was ready to play. … For his first experience as a Power Five football player and first game experience of any extent, very proud of Coli and what he did.”

Whittingham credited offensive line coach Jim Harding. 

“Jim Harding is one of the best O-line coaches in the country at …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News


Utah football: O-line dominated Stanford — with a third-string center

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