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Kyle Whittingham Says Jake Bentley ‘Probably Will Be The Guy Now’

Jake Bentley #8 of the Utah Utes gets away from Hunter Echols #31 of the USC Trojans during their game November 21, 2020 at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham thinks Jake Bentley could be the starting QB moving forward after Cam Rising suffered an injury.

Sophomore Cameron Rising won the starting job going into the USC game but on the fourth offensive possession, Rising was sacked and fumbled the ball. As he was going for the football on the ground, he suffered an injury.

After the game on Saturday, Whittingham spoke to the media and thinks that Bentley will probably be the starter. Utah will know more on the extent of Rising’s injury on Sunday.

“Jake (Bentley) is probably going to be the guy now,” Whittingham said. “Cam’s shoulder took a pretty good shot so we’ll find out a lot more tomorrow (Sunday). If Jake’s the guy then we will rally around him.”

QB Performances In Season Opener

When Rising was in the game, he went 3-of-6 passing for 45 yards and one interception and lost a fumble. Bentley also had two turnovers by throwing a pair of picks. The senior went 16-for-28 passing for 171 yards and one touchdown. On the ground, Bentley ran the ball four times for 38 yards.

“You saw Jake (Bentley) came in and did a nice job. Cam (Rising) is more mobile, more escape ability out of the pocket, although Jake pulled ball down,” said Whittingham. “That’s probably our longest run of the night. The big run when he escaped. Of course some of it was negated by the penalty.”

Utah threw for 216 yards, while USC had 264 passing yards.

QB Race Was Tight

During fall camp in October, the number one topic every week was the progress of the quarterback battle. When the Utes found their starting quarterback, they kept it close to the vest and didn’t tell the public until he trotted out onto the field for Utah’s first offensive possession of the season.

When that person was Rising, Whittingham was asked what separated Rising from Bentley and Drew Lisk.

“It was a tight race but there was enough separation,” Whittingham mentioned. “It was a unanimous decision among the coaches that were involved. But again, it was not a great deal of margin between the two. But it was close. We liked them both, we like Drew Lisk for that matter. But Cam has done a better job all throughout camp, when all said and done and all the numbers pointed out that way as well, as far as completion percentage, and all the things that we track. That’s why we made that decision.”

Utah will look to bounce back from their season opening loss when they travel to Arizona State on Sunday, November 29. The kickoff time and television broadcast information will be announced at a later date.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASportsYou can download and listen to the podcast, here.