In a pretty standard season-opening win, the Utes put in a disjointed performance in a win over Weber State. There were a lot of opening game moments for this team, but of course, there was also a lot to really like from this performance.
The Utes opened up by getting a quick three and out on defense, and then Charlie Brewer started his career as a Ute giving the fans something to be very excited about. Brewer came out firing leading the Utes into the red zone and was a dropped touchdown pass away from taking a 7-0 lead, but ended up settling for a field goal.
Weber answered the Utah touchdown right away with a kick return for a touchdown where Utah’s kickoff coverage team totally broke down. At this point, there was a lightning delay and about a 90-minute wait until play could resume.
Utah quickly bounced back and Brewer led the Utes down the field for a 75-yard drive in five plays, four of which through the air, which ended with a touchdown pass to Dalton Kincaid from 17 yards out. Brewer just continually showed his touch all night long, he was impressive.
After another stop by the Utah defense, which was flying around all night, Britain Covey showed why he is so dynamic by returning a punt back deep into Weber territory. Utah wasn’t able to do much with it, unfortunately, and had to come away with another field goal. A dropped TD by Cole Fotheringham was drop No. 2 for TDs, although the ball may have been slightly tipped.
After an acrobatic interception by Devin Lloyd a few possessions later, the Utes found themselves in the endzone again after Tavion Thomas took it in from 12 yards out. Thomas had 27 of the 33 yards on the short drive giving Utah a 19-7 halftime lead.
The second half didn’t start great, with Thomas fumbling the ball setting up Weber on a short field, and giving them a field goal. After another punt and field goal by Weber, the Utes finally cranked up the offense again with a 66-yard drive for a touchdown lead by Brewer, Micah Bernard, Chris Curry, and capped with a Solo Enis touchdown reception.
The Utes had another great drive that ended at the 1-yard line after they couldn’t get it over the goal line. That’s an example of the offensive line, which was down two guys, needing to continue to come together.
The Utah offense ended the game with two more touchdowns, one more by Thomas and one by Kincaid from Cam Rising. The Utah defense did a great job shutting down Weber when they’d get some momentum, and held them on a 4th and goal, and kept them out of the endzone early in the game.
Some high-level thoughts on this game. The offense has massive potential, they just need to solidify the offensive line and their performance. If Utah can get that settled I think this offense will be hard to stop. The running game looks like Thomas and Bernard are the favorites right now, but I really want to see more from Curry. We’ll probably have a rotating system through non-conference unless someone really grabs the job. Brewer is a dude. He makes great decisions, knows when to tuck and run, and has such great touch on the ball. He’s also willing to distribute the ball around. If he has time to throw this team will move the ball no problem.
The defense looked like a normal Utah defense. A lot of speed and size and really fun to watch. They need to clean up a little bit on tackling but did very well overall. They did get away with a few mistakes that Weber couldn’t capitalize on, but they did force two turnovers and should have had another but Vonte Davis tripped and fell.
Special teams have some work to do for sure. The miss on the kick return was glaring, just nobody was in their lanes. There were times when guys weren’t on field goal and caused some issues, and the missed PAT was a bad look after a delay of game. Fortunately, Covey’s punt return and Redding's field goal were sharp.
A lot to clean up as Utah moves toward conference play, but there’s a lot to like and a lot of potential with this team.
Here’s the final stats:
C/ATT YDS AVG TD INT
Charlie Brewer 19/27 233 8.6 2 1
Cameron Rising 2/2 29 14.5 1 0
TEAM 21/29 262 9.0 3 1
CAR YDS AVG TD LONG
Tavion Thomas 12 107 8.9 2 20
Micah Bernard 6 35 5.8 0 18
Charlie Brewer 4 15 3.8 0 13
Britain Covey 1 14 14.0 0 14
TJ Pledger 2 10 5.0 0 5
Chris Curry 3 8 2.7 0 7
Jaylen Dixon 1 1 1.0 0 1
Team 1 -1 -1.0 0 0
Thomas Yassmin 1 -1 -1.0 0 0
TEAM 31 188 6.1 2 20
REC YDS AVG TD LONG
Dalton Kincaid 4 75 18.8 2 35
Solomon Enis 4 62 15.5 1 24
Brant Kuithe 3 44 14.7 0 18
Micah Bernard 3 41 13.7 0 17
Theo Howard 1 19 19.0 0 19
Britain Covey 4 14 3.5 0 5
Thomas Yassmin 1 6 6.0 0 6
Jaylen Dixon 1 1 1.0 0 1
TEAM 21 262 12.5 3 35