Whitt optimistic Wilson will play Saturday

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

The banged up quarterback is expected to play Saturday - but take everything a coach says with a grain of salt.

Remember prior to the BYU game last season when John White IV openly mocked those who questioned whether he would start against the Cougars? He was supposedly 100% ready to go and there was never any doubt he would dress, take the field, and tear through the BYU defensive line.

A funny thing happened, though - he didn't play. He didn't even dress. He spent the game nursing his injury and, just like that, everything said the week leading up to the game was a lie. White was still injured, and it became even more apparent he was nowhere near the level we anticipated a week later against ASU - he had 14 carries for an abysmal 18 yards.

I mention this because, a year later, Travis Wilson is apparently going to play Saturday. That's what Whittingham believes - saying he's optimistic it will happen. If true, the injury wasn't nearly as severe as it looked against Arizona and sounded Monday during Whittingham's weekly press conference. If Wilson is ready to go, you've got to think Whittingham is confident he'll be fine. But then, he also thought Jordan Wynn would be fine ... and we all know how that turned out.

Is Whittingham trying to head fake USC here, or was Wilson's hand not as bad as we all thought? Should he risk playing Wilson knowing the potential for a re-injury could sideline him even longer?

I'm not going to question Whitt on this. If he believes Wilson is good to go, I believe he is. He's been down this road before and I think he's learned from his mistake - you don't play a quarterback just to play him, injury and all. Utah can survive without Wilson for a game - they probably can't survive if he's gone for the remainder of the season.

Plus, as we saw this past weekend, an injured Wilson is suspect (as are most injured players). He played poorly, and why would the coaching staff risk another bad performance Saturday? I don't think they would.

So, I've got to assume he looks healthy and they're confident he's healthy ... or it's all a ruse and they are hoping the Trojans game-plan against him instead of Adam Schulz.

Either way, with Wilson back under center, I like Utah's chances infinitely better ... especially if he's back to his old self.

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