"You fight and grind to earn a job, and it's an awesome feeling to play and earn a start," he said. "This was a great city. I loved the atmosphere here."
Ganther also played for Buffalo, Washington (2009) and Tennessee (2006-08), finishing with 80 carries for 280 yards and three touchdowns in his career.
Ganther primarily has been working with Utah's running backs.
In the stands
Among those who were pulling for the Utes on Saturday was Jaime Ortiz, who coached quarterback Travis Wilson at San Clemente High School in California.
Ortiz has followed Wilson's progress through the season by watching games on TV or making trips to games when possible.
"It's not often you have a guy starting in the Pac-12 the first year," he said.
The Utes have about 600 tickets available for Saturday's game against Arizona that were returned from Arizona's allotment. Utah has sold out its past 17 home games.
Backup running back Kelvin York (ankle sprain) did not make the trip with the Utes. ... Washington honored 11 seniors before the game. ... For the second game in a row, Utah tight end Jake Murphy successfully completed a two-point conversion play on a direct snap.