2023 Football

66 days!

Yeah, I’m jumping the gun a little bit, but the days are starting to get shorter and we don’t exactly hallucinate year round like the Provostians.

I’m mildly concerned about the hype since it’s Game 1 and Rising is recovering from ACL surgery, but really, it’s a great time to be a Ute, and we have enough talent and options for Lud to put together a solid game plan on offense.

Defensively, it’s plug and play - I’m not really concerned about any parts of the defense.

On ST I think we’re in a little better position than last year.

I hope He is completely healed, but I also remember RG-3’s “remarkable” recovery from his knee surgery and watching his knee explode on national TV.
What’s the plan if we keep Cam out just a little longer?

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That’s the biggest question going into this camp, by far. (I don’t know what the second biggest question is, though there are a few candidates.)

The good part with Rising is he has complete command of the play book and whatever Lud wants to do, so beside shaking off the rust there’s really no development work to be accomplished.

When you combine that with Rising essentially being like another coach to his teammates, it’s as ideal as things could be in terms of giving the three other QBs quality reps and attention to prepare them for the season… even if it’s Cam that runs out in Game 1.

The spring game both displayed the raw skillsets that Rose & Johnson bring to the table, but also revealed some immaturity in the advanced part of the QB game. Barnes is a known quantity. Some are lukewarm on what he brings, but I think so far he’s only been put in a game as a game manager, and been pretty successful. Any QB who finds out he’s going to start at Pullman and then comes out with a win is a pretty solid QB.

Is there another level to Bryson’s game? I wouldn’t bet against it.

Rose seems to have solid overall skills as a classic drop back QB, a nice arm. He reminds me of a PAC QB who tormented us in the early days: Oregon State’s Sean Mannion, who’s still playing in the league.

Nate Johnson has jump-off-the-TV-screen athleticism, and the spring game showed he throws a nice ball, as well. The unknown is how much he’s absorbed the ability to read defenses, and have a sense of where the opportunities will be in a play. That comes with time.

The spring game is just not a good indicator of advanced football knowledge - the D has one arm tied around their back, the schemes are vanilla, it’s mostly just a display of talent and who has put in the work. And we have the talent in our defensive backfield to turn any mistake into a turnover, so misreads or being off on a throw is obvious for everyone to see.

If Rising’s not ready early in the season, I think Lud might go with a combo situation, which the extra cycles mentioned above makes more possible. We saw just a glimpse of what Johnson can do, and just having him on the field at the same time with another QB would put pressure on any defense that is mixing in inexperienced players early in the season.

Things are often ragged in Week 1 and even Week 2 even with the best teams, so would Lud look to capitalize on that coming out of camp? I think so.


Not as concerned with the QB’s as I am with the O-line and defensive secondary. In the Penn State game, our O line was just plain outsized and outmuscled up front. Yes, schemes and technique can go a long way toward leveling things up. Hopefully the guys put in the work to be ready for the bigger guys.

The secondary got beat up a bit, too. A lot of that was the lack of a rotation back there during the season. Yes, replacing a Clark Phillips is hard, but throwing players onto the field with limited reps can be a problem. A lot of the busted coverages were simply a lack of playing together enough. Hopefully during the season we will get the opportunity to solidify the play back there with our #1’s and #2’s.


Game 1 is always tough when facing someone other than a body-bag team. Facing a traditional SEC powerhouse is especially tough. I didn’t believe the hype about them being bad last year and I don’t care what anyone has to say about them this year either. They will be stacked with elite athletes at every position and Utah had better be ready to rumble.

Virtually no one comes back from ACL surgery straight to pre-injury performance in 9 months. Lud and the O line will have their work cut out for them to keep Rising safe. It would not surprise me at all to see someone other than Rising start that game.

I’d love to send the Gators home with a loss but I would much rather start PAC play with a healthy Rising and send the Trojans off to the rust belt with another disappointing season on our way to a 3rd Rose.


This information is beyond awesome.


It’s hard for me to believe, but I am finding interesting articles about Utah in the Deseret News. Maybe when there’s an Utah beat writer ant the Trib again (this fall, I assume) we’ll see more in that newspaper.


One winning for our rivals in Boulder since they joined the PAC12. Didn’t realize they have been that weak.

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