WEBER STATE WILDCATS

Comparing 2018 To 2021: Weber State Bringing More Experienced Team To Face Utah

Aug 31, 2021, 11:59 AM | Updated: 12:04 pm
Jay Hill - Weber State Football...
(Photo courtesy of Weber State Athletics)
(Photo courtesy of Weber State Athletics)

OGDEN, Utah – When Weber State heads south on I-15 on Thursday to face Utah in the 2021 season opener, they will have more veteran leadership than their last meeting against the Utes.

The last time that Weber State and Utah met on the gridiron was 2018 with the Utes picking up a 41-10 win in the season opener. Weber State jumped out to a 10-0 lead and Utah ended with 41 unanswered points.

Tyler Huntley threw for 279 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. Zack Moss racked up 150 yards on the ground to go with one touchdown. Siaosi Mariner, Brant Kuithe, Zack Moss and Cole Fotheringham each caught one touchdown pass in the win.

Weber State head coach Jay Hill met with the media on Monday afternoon and was asked how his team will be more prepared this time around.

“Well, in 2018, they were a very veteran team and we were actually very young that year,” Hill said. “Breaking in a brand new secondary, we were breaking in brand new linebackers. There was a lot going on in 2018 for us. We’re a way more veteran team than we were that year and they’ve had a lot of turnover. Although I know they’re probably just as talented so in a way you know that should be good for us but we’ll see. That  never really matters when the ball is kicked off but we’ll see how that does for us. We came out of the gates in 2018 excited, ready to go, not backing down, played good in the first half and just kind of wore out so hopefully we can come in and do it again and do it for a full game.”

How Weber State Is Preparing For 51,000 Fans

With the recent renovations at Rice-Eccles Stadium, including the Ken Garff Red Zone, the stadium has increased capacity to over 51,000 fans. The game is expected to sell out once again and Jay Hill has been preparing his team for a loud atmosphere.

“You do a little crowd noise at practice but the reality is once the ball is kicked off, it’s no different,” Hill stated. “We’ve played in big stadiums before and we’ve been in games that have packed stadiums and it’s the same, you got to deal with the noise but it’s not like you look at anything other than the noise any different.”

Scouting Playmakers For Utah

The Utes have brought in some transfers at key positions, many of which will start or see significant playing time, including QB Charlie Brewer, WR Theo Howard and RB’s T.J. Pledger and Chris Curry. Hill talked about how much film he has watched of those players.

“A bunch on the quarterback (Charlie Brewer), we wanted to see what his arm strength was like and his mobility and what he’s all about, some of the strengths that he showed when he was at Baylor,” Hill mentioned. “The wide receiver (Theo Howard) had a bunch of good film when he was at UCLA, but didn’t really play a lot at Oklahoma. So I don’t know that we really studied him that much. I did watch him play at UCLA, he was a good player. The running backs coming in I kind of had a hard time getting a good read on what’s coming out of their camp to who their guy is and who they’re most happy with. But no matter who’s back there at tailback, we’re gonna have to tackle them. So I don’t think we’ve put a ton into studying that as much as we have scheme.”

Utah and Weber State will kickoff on Thursday, September 2 at 5:30 p.m. MDT on the Pac-12 Network.

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.

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