I am the ultimate pessimist when it comes to Utah athletics. Utah’s defense through 3 games has been as good as advertised. However, I think the Ute offense will need to create at least 30 points in order to beat UCLA and probably most of the PAC 12 opponents. They have not been able to do that so far this year. I don’t know if any of you saw Rising jog on the sideline in the 2nd half, but he was very tentative and I doubt we see him this week. Can Johnson do it? He directed a great drive to start the game and to start the 2nd half, but nothing else. A lot of it was due to penalties and were not necessarily his fault, but the offense needs to be better. Next week is key. The Utes need this win.
I was not able to watch the game. when you say he looked tentative, does that mean even walking around on the sidelines his leg looked uncomfortable?
At the game, we talked about how Rising seemed to be favoring his inijured leg or limping a little bit. Just dont know if he was teasing or not. But agree with Uteopia that he seemed very tentative.
Count the wife and me in as some who thought Cam didn’t look ready just based on a little jog he took right in front of us. Granted he didn’t have a brace on, but he seemed to be favoring the hurt knee a little.
After seeing what UCLA produced yesterday, color me concerned. I realize they were playing Sisters of the Poor, but still… 35 points in the first quarter alone.
I honestly don’t see a path to a successful season for us with SO many injuries.
Can someone please help talk me off the ledge? TIA.
When Whitt was talking about the 15-16 injuries yesterday, it surprised Mitchell and the other broadcaster. (Not talking about Cam) they said it didn’t seem apparent. I think that’s a testament to the depth, but we’ll need guys to heal up in the PAC run.
I saw Cam running 20 yards, too, and it’s possible he might have been faking, but I think Nate’s progress is our primary bet, for the time being. Cam was never a burner, was very opportune in his runs, but I’m expecting Nate to be the QB.
The UCLA game in RES is going to require the crowd to provide energy and our defensive strength to get the Bruins on their heels.
The defense is definitely “As Advertised.” We have some injuries with defenders, but some will likely be back for Saturday.
Offense is absolutely a big question mark. A lot of key injuries and guys on the “season ended” shelf. Johnson showed improvement yesterday, but it’s going to be a big jump next Saturday. We need Maea back so we can get Kump playing tackle again. Hopefully JaQuinden will be healthy enough to play. If Cam can go I like our chances of offensive success better, but at this point we are going to have to play the cards we have been dealt and hope we don’t have the injury bug compound things from where we already are.
I asked this question a few weeks ago and I received no response.
Did the team discourage QB portals this off-season because they wanted Rising to be king, that kid from Clemson who went to OSU, for example? Or, was Cam the best option on the table?
There was zero reason to go to the portal with Brandon Rose and Nate Johnson in the fold.
Unfortunately Rose was hurt in camp on a fluke type thing.
If you have those two guys on your roster, and the likes of Wilson as a commit, bringing someone in from the portal is not wise.
And, let’s be honest, we got lucky it’s Rising. Most portal guys aren’t going to turn out like that. See Brewer, Charlie.
Understood. Thank you.
A big part of our best years has been remaining at least relatively healthy. In 2004 and 2008 we were very healthy through out. Our depth has improved dramatically over the years but having 16 starters and contributors out exceeds our ability to replace the players without drop off in quality.
As we saw vs Ohio St. injuries completely change the team. It would have been very nice to have taken our first-string secondary into that game. Of course they lost their top 2 receivers to draft preparation but had Smith-Njigba waiting in the wings. I can’t imagine having a player of his caliber on the team but unable to get playing time. That is just ridiculous depth.
I don’t think Utah will manage the three-peat with such heavy injury loads. I am not sure we would have a strong chance even if the only injury was to Rising. QB is the most important position on the team and there are not many freshman capable of leading a team to the championship of an elite conference.
Is Johnson one of those unicorns capable of a championship run? I think it is possible depending on his development- if that is, he had outstanding weapons around him and a tremendous defense in support. If Johnson is surrounded by 3rd and 4th string tailbacks, TEs, and receivers it is going to be hard sledding even if the defense is stout.
I am trying to focus on enjoying the ride without the expectation of a championship run. I would love to see Johnson develop into the elite QB he is capable of being this year. I’d also love to see Cam come back and dominate- I just don’t expect him to be able to do that. I really don’t want to see Cam come back and reinjure his knee.
I’ve had rapid recovery with 3 ACL /PCL repairs over 30 something years without problems, but skiinng easy groomers 9 months out is different than juking a 240 lb linebacker.
I hope he stays out until he’s truly ready and able. The longer the season goes wll for us, the more likely we will need him later IMHO.
Interesting stat. Utah is 22-0 in nonconference home games since joining the PAC. And it will stsy that way …
That’s the key. Expectations are a cruel, cruel mistress. Take it one week at a time - enjoy the wins, shake off the losses. It’s been a crazy year already with all the injuries, so let’s see what the 2s and 3s can do, with healing 1s coming back to join the fight.
I like the steady elevation of Nate’s game. He saw elite athleticism against UF, toughed out a win in the furnace at Baylor, showed his arm against Weber. We’ll add plays this week.
Keep it coming! He’ll hit a rough spot or two, guaranteed. That’s when the character emerges. I think he’ll be fine, tending toward very good. Our recipe for success is about 55/45 defense. That’s a nice situation in which to grow a new QB.
Not only is it better to just enjoy the ride week to week, but sometimes it’s game by game. Last year, we had a good team and it still took the outcome of 4 games in the last week for us to go to the CCG (for the chance to beat USC again). 15% chance …
- UCLA needed to beat Cal. Happened.
- Oregon State needed to take out Oregon. It was close, but I remember the cheer going up at Folsom field when the score was final
- We needed to beat CU. Was already well underway when Ore St won.
- Washington needed to beat Washington State for the Apple Cup. Was a late game, but UW pulled it out, knocking Oregon out of contention.
Crazy stuff like this will happen. Sometimes in our favor, sometimes not. But this conference season is going to be wild. Possibly 6 contenders, 8 dangerous teams, and a few potential spoilers out there. Buckle up.
I ride unbuckled.
I used to ride unbuckled…before I hooked up my static line and jumped from the plane.
When we are emotionally invested in something as humans it can lead to not enjoying things as much as you can.
For fans, as I have aged, I have more and more taken the results, good or bad, of my favorite teams and considered the entertainment value I received. After all, all of sports, including college football is an entertainment product. Even if my teams lose, I can find the entertainment and enjoy the experience.
Players certainly are different than fans, but even they can just take each step one by one and really enjoy the ride.
Its been a fantastic ride. We’ve been the most complete team in this conference for several years. I believe on the TV broadcast they mentioned Utah has won 16 straight home games and 27 of their last 28. The lone blemish was against USC during the Covid schedule when fans werent allowed in the stands.
Call me crazy, but I think we’ll be just fine on Saturday. This defense is special and deep. Nate Johnson is impressive and makes plays. If Utah plays its game, protects the ball, runs the ball and plays a smart passing game:
Utah 35 UCLA 24