SALT LAKE CITY — Cam Rising jogged off the subject at Rice Eccles Stadium with a broad smile and never a plunge of sweat on his head. Rising, Utah’s starting quarterback, didn’t explore the subject Thursday night as he continues to recover from an offseason ACL surgical operation, and the Utes didn’t omit him.
In their season opener in opposition to Florida — a rematch of last September’s game whereby the Gators received 29-26 in Gainesville — the Utes outdated a two-quarterback machine to propel themselves to a 24-11 victory. They’ll head into the second week of the season with a fetch under their belt and a more healthy Rising.
“We want Cam support as almost at the moment as we can fetch him support,” head coach Kyle Whittingham stated after the fetch. “He’s been given more latitude within the last forty eight hours, so he’s gonna have the selection to watch in actuality full on subsequent week.”
Whittingham stopped quick of asserting Rising would be on hand to play, including that even though the two-365 days starter has made development, the decision to establish him out of the opener was once one that they delayed as noteworthy as they may per chance well in hopes that he may per chance well effectively be ready.
In Rising’s location, Whittingham and offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig deployed a model of a two-quarterback machine whereby junior pocket-passer Bryson Barnes started the game while dynamic redshirt freshman Nate Johnson was once additionally featured specifically packages that resembled Wildcat formations.
Barnes stated he knew about a week and a half ago that he would be starting.
“They’re so different that you simply in actuality receive to receive two plans at the same time as you may well per chance well very effectively be going by them,” stated Whittingham, who credited the Utes’ protection for the fetch. “It adds one more dimension.”
Whereas the Utes ran only Fifty three performs on offense Thursday night, both quarterbacks made the most of their appearances. Barnes, for his segment, did it on the principle play of Utah’s first drive. After taking his first snap of the 365 days, Barnes dropped support within the pocket and launched a amble that stumbled on broad receiver Cash Parks in excellent disappear for a 70-yard landing.
The rating sent the already loud Utah crowd into a frenzy and without delay situation the tone for the Utes’ fetch.
“That’s the stuff you discuss at the same time as you may well per chance well very effectively be a dinky bit baby,” Barnes, a broken-down plod-on who started and received a game in opposition to Washington Utter last season, stated of the play. “We knew what we had been going to speed with our opener. We had an conception of what selection of traits they dangle after they near out.”
That play call spoke volumes about Whittingham’s belief in Barnes as a ethical replacement for Rising. Barnes went on to total 12 of his 18 amble attempts for 159 yards and a landing, and he added a rating on the ground as effectively. The numbers, Whittingham pointed out, weren’t gaudy, however Barnes’ skill to speed the offense and never flip the ball over had been rather more treasured than any shortcomings.
“You are going to coach them loads more difficult at the same time as you fetch than you may well per chance well after a loss,” Whittingham stated of the quarterbacks. “It truly may per chance well now not be an even bigger scenario.”
As efficient as Barnes was once within the pocket, Johnson was once equally prolific out of it. In the Utes’ first drive of the second quarter, Whittingham inserted his other quarterback option into the game, and it didn’t take prolonged for Johnson to show cloak his doubtless. On a quarterback keeper, Johnson, a tune well-known particular person in excessive school, danced his plot by a flailing Florida protection, showcasing his tempo and agility as he dusted a Florida defender on his technique to a 27-yard landing. He done the game because the Utes’ main rusher with forty five yards on six carries and a landing.
“He’s electrical,” Whittingham stated of Johnson. “Struggled with a dinky bit little bit of ball safety a pair times, however he’s got moderately a future. You are going to explore he makes guys omit and he appears to be like to be like fancy he’s the fastest guy within the subject each time he’s out there.”
Barnes and Johnson stated they felt happy playing collectively, even assuredly on the the same drives, and added that Rising has acted as a mentor to both of all of them the plot in which by the offseason and in particular within the lead-up to the principle game.
“He’s been telling us every part,” Johnson stated. “With him being down, he’s fancy educating both of us as effectively. I mean or now not it is, or now not it is truly a valid thing.”
“Me and Nate having the alternatives to fetch reps while additionally having a broken-down quarterback sitting within the help,” Barnes stated. “It be now not very in total you fetch those kinds of alternatives with the actual person that’s been there.”
Rising may per chance well very effectively be support at observe this week and will play as almost at the moment as Saturday’s tricky avenue game at Baylor, however after Thursday, or now not it is particular that Whittingham and the Utes receive a great deal of solutions under middle ought to restful they need them as they lumber a doubtless third straight Pac-12 title.