Utah quarterback Nate Johnson runs with the ball against Weber State on Saturday. Johnson is one of three quarterbacks who could potentially start for the Utes against UCLA on Saturday. (Rick Bowmer / Associated Press)
Chip Kelly freely spoke about a starting quarterback dilemma. It probably helped that it wasn’t his.
Unlike UCLA, which has found its guy in Dante Moore, Utah faces uncertainty heading into a showdown of unbeaten teams Saturday at Rice-Eccles Stadium in the Pac-12 opener for the No. 22 Bruins (3-0) and No. 11 Utes (3-0).
Is this the week that Cam Rising returns from the torn knee ligament that has sidelined him since the Rose Bowl? Or will the Utes continue to go with redshirt freshman Nate Johnson, who replaced season-opening starter Bryson Barnes to rally his team against Baylor earlier this month?
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“Nate Johnson played really well in the last couple of weeks,” Kelly said Monday, “but I think you have to prepare for all three of them.”
While Rising has been practicing without limitations for several weeks, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham recently told reporters that his veteran quarterback regaining confidence in his knee was the final hurdle he needed to clear before making his season debut.
The Utes’ quarterback situation remained unresolved as of Monday, but Whittingham sounded like someone preparing to go with Johnson as his starter for a second consecutive game.
“A lot more runs with Nate,” Whittingham said when asked how his offense changes without Rising and injured tight end Brant Kuithe, “but he is starting to throw the ball well. It’ll be more of what you saw Saturday [against Weber State]. The more he evolves, the more we’ll expand.”
A former 100-meter champion in the California…
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Author : LA Times
Publish date : 2023-09-18 22:19:56
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