Football is here! Granted, it’s a watered-down version, but still, it’s great to watch the Utes again. This is the first time the squad will take the field since the insane Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day in Pasadena. This is a good sneak peek of some potential contributors for the 2022 team and some young guys that could be the program's future.
The game format will include four quarters, each lasting 10 minutes long with a five-minute halftime, a running clock in the fourth quarter, and two timeouts per team per half. These games usually go quick, but they are football without the anxiety, which is excellent this time of year.
Anyway, let’s watch some football!
-Anyone else excited that football is back?!?!? It might be the spring game but you can feel the excitement in the air despite the rainy weather.
-Cam Rising gets a great ovation as he takes the field and then goes on to lead an excellent drive which results in a Taniela Pututua touchdown catch. Great to see Rising get some confidence and shake some rust off after that terrible injury in the Rose Bowl.
-If it wasn’t clear that Devaughn Vele was going to be a go-to target for Cam Rising it definitely was after the first drive. He was targeted several times and had a couple of key grabs en route to the touchdown.
-Makai Cope certainly making a name for himself after his best Odell Beckham impersonation with an incredible one-handed grab.
-Bryson Barnes looking a little shaky after the first half. Bryson and Ja’quinden will be in a serious battle for the #2 spot at quarterback.
-Defense on both sides of the ball playing pretty well as the secondary has broken up a few plays to end drives.
-Ja’quinden Jackson ends on a high note leading a scoring drive with a beautiful touchdown. in the closing seconds of the first half.
-Red and White are all tied at 7-7 to close out the first half.
-Bryson Barnes comes alive to start the second half as he takes off on a quarterback keeper and goes 55 yards for the touchdown. Unfortunately, Barnes gets tagged for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty as he high steps into the touchdown and the touchdown is taken off the board. Barnes looked really good on that run as he broke several tackles before breaking loose.
-Shortly after the penalty Barnes hits Makai Cope on a beautiful fade rote resulting in a touchdown to put White up 14-7.
-It’s going to be a great battle for #2 behind Cam Rising as Ja’Quinden Jackson hits Money Parks on a beautiful throw to the back corner of the end zone as Red and White are tied at 14-14.
-It’s fantastic to see the Utes with such great options at wide receiver as Devaughn Vele, Money Parks, and Makai Cope have shown off some serious skills so far.
-Bryson Barnes answers again as he hits Munir McClain (the USC transfer) on a 56-yard crossing route and McClain breaks a tackle to take it the distance. White leads 21-14 heading into the fourth quarter.
-Luke Bottari seeing some action late for the Red Team and having a few nice completions before the drive ends on a fumble after a catch from his tight end. White takes over up 21-14 with a little under 5 minutes remaining.
-The rain has turned to hail late in the game as White is just trying to run out the clock and get out of here with a win.
-Great to see some athleticism from Bryson Barnes as he gets an 11-yard gain on 3rd and 13 and they elect to go for it but get stuffed on 4th down.
-The White Team with a few self-inflicted wounds on this final drive as they give up two pass interference penalties to extend the drive for the Red Team.
-White survives 21-14. Pretty much what you would expect as both teams get some valuable reps. The battle between Jackson and Barnes for the backup quarterback job is heating up, Glover with a few impressive carries, and some true depth at wide receiver. The best result of the day is no serious injuries. There is definitely a lot to be excited about for this Utah Utes football team this year.