Jake Murphy X-Factor in Passing Game for Utah Utes in 2013

Russ Isabella – USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Utes are going to try and finally get over the hump and find some success in the Pac 12. Kyle Whittingham is willing try just about anything to get his team on track, including hiring a former coach with plenty of experience in the conference in Dennis Erickson to be his co-offensive coordinator. The plan seems to be to finally get the Utes offense running next season, and the key could be their junior tight end, Jake Murphy.

Murphy was an underrated cog in the Utah offense a season ago during his sophomore campaign, catching 33 passes for 349 yards and four touchdowns. He finished second on the team in receptions and third in yardage, but led all Utah receivers in touchdown receptions. The 6-foot-4, 252-pound Murphy proved to be an excellent security blanket for freshman quarterback Travis Wilson in 2012.

In 2013, he figures to be a key piece in a deep receiving corps for the Utes. Dres Anderson returns as the No. 1 receiver and Kenneth Scott figures to step back in across from him. That pairing will test defenses on the edge, but Murphy will keep them honest down the middle. His presence will test linebackers in coverage and keep safeties from bailing to help the cornerbacks deep down the sideline, hopefully opening up more big plays for Wilson in year two under center.

Utah has found nothing but tough sledding since joining the Pac 12. Can Jake Murphy be the x-factor to the passing game and unlock to the Utes’ offense in 2013?

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