It’s a big game in the Swamp as the Utes look to take down a big name in the SEC to kick off the season. Cam Rising and crew will look to pick up where they left off in the Rose Bowl last season, while the defense looks to regroup and fill the hole left by Devin Lloyd.
This may be the biggest opener in Utah football history. The question I have is how clean Utah will play in front of a big road crowd. Will the offensive line get off to a better start in 2022 than 2021? And how does the defense look to start Florida’s QB when he’s on the move? We’ll learn a lot about Utah in week one as they look to make a big run in 2022.
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First Quarter: Utah 7 Florida 7
I was nervous heading into this game and I’m even more nervous after the first quarter. Florida is moving the ball at will on offense. Florida fumbled on their opening possession and a great defensive return from Utah opened a short field for Cam Rising and he took full advantage as he found Brant Kuithe for a touchdown. Unfortunately, Utah’s defense is struggling to stop both the run and pass as Florida’s quarterback Anthony Richardson is finding openings all over the field. Morgan Scalley must regroup if the Utes are going to win this game.
Second Quarter: Utah 13 Florida 14
After a pair of Utah field goals, Anthony Richardson had a late 45-yard touchdown run with 1:42 left and Utah’s drive stalled Florida leads by 1 at the half. Cam Rising played better in the second half but has had a few errant throws at costly times. Utah’s defense has struggled to tackle and Florida has capitalized with a lot of yards after contact. Utah’s run game hasn’t found momentum and Cam Rising leads the Utes with 34 yards rushing which says a lot. Kuithe is the main target for Rising but if Utah is going to win we have to be more efficient on offense (and develop a running game) and we have to tackle in the open field. Buckle up Utes it’s going to be a tight second half.
Third Quarter: Utah 19 Florida 14
Utah’s defense has stepped up and Utah went on a 9-play 89-yard drive that ate up just under 5 minutes on the clock and Utah scored on a Micah Bernard 7-yard touchdown run to take the lead. Unfortunately, Utah failed the two-point conversion. Florida is on the move as we enter the fourth quarter. It’s going to be a tight finish. Hopefully, the Utes can force a turnover and take control of the game. Let’s step up defense!
Fourth Quarter: Utah 26 Florida 29
Does anyone else feel like they were just punched really hard in the stomach? That was a tough one to swallow. Florida scores with 1:26 left on the clock and Cam Rising marches the Utes all the way to the Florida 7-yard line only to throw an interception in the end zone to end the game. Cam Rising went 22-32 with 217 yards passing and 1 touchdown and 1 interception. Anthony Richardson went 17 of 24 with 168 yards passing and 104 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns rushing. Tavion Thomas finished with 23 carries for 115 yards and 1 touchdown. It’s a crushing blow to playoff hopes for the Utes but they still have plenty to play for this season.
Next Up: Utah vs Southern Utah on 9/10 at 11:30 am MT on PAC 12 Network