UTAH UTES

An Early Look At Utes’ 2023 Football Opponents: Weber State Wildcats

May 18, 2023, 3:47 PM

SALT LAKE CITY – Spring ball is over, and the summer months are upon us making it a great time to take an early look at Utah football’s 2023 opponents.

Next, we dig into the Weber State Wildcats who roll into Rice-Eccles Stadium in week three of the 2023 college football season once Utah returns from Waco in week two. When Utah and Weber State meet on Saturday, September 16, it will be the seventh meeting between the two programs in a 45-year span.

The Utes and the Wildcats last met in 2021, a 40-17 win for the Utes, on their way to their first Pac-12 Title and Rose Bowl appearance. It was also the first game Utah introduced the “Moment of Loudness” to celebrate (at the time) star running back Ty Jordan’s tragic passing just months before. It would later be changed to include cornerback Aaron Lowe who was murdered at a house party just three weeks later.

 

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The When And Where Of Utah Vs. Baylor

When: Saturday, September 16

Where: Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City, Utah

Time: TBD

Network: TBD

What We Know About Weber State Heading Into 2023

Information about the Wildcats is a little harder to come by than some of Utah’s other opponents for 2023 due to playing at the FCS level of college football. However, they may have one of the more interesting storylines heading into the season after long time head coach Jay Hill announced he would be heading to BYU as their defensive coordinator and associate head coach.

Hill had been a staple for the Wildcats for eight seasons, helping them climb the FCS ladder to be one of the premier programs in the Big Sky Conference after years of irrelevance. Needless to say, replacing your winningest coach in program history (68-39) will not be easy.

Trying to keep the momentum going for Weber State will be new head coach Mickey Mental. This will be Mental’s second time as a head football coach and second year with the Wildcats overall. Mental joined the staff in 2022 as their offensive coordinator and quarterback coach. Before joining Weber State, Mental was the head coach at Notre Dame College at the Division II level and posted a 16-2 record.

The Wildcats finished last season 10-3 overall, 6-2 in conference play and with a trip to the second round of the FCS Playoffs.

Key Players For Weber State In 2023

The Wildcats will have four athletes returning who earned All-America and All- Big Sky first-team honors from 2022 in kick returner Abraham Williams, cornerback Maxwell Anderson, offensive lineman Noah Atagi, and linebacker Winston Reid.

On top of breaking in a new head coach, Weber State will also be breaking in a new quarterback for 2023 after last year’s starter Bronson Barron transferred to Western Kentucky. Barron was very productive for the Wildcats going 204 of 345 passing for 2,925 yards, 21 touchdowns, seven interceptions, and 19 sacks.

It appears after Weber State’s spring game that backup quarterback Kylan Weisser is next in line. Weisser has been in the program since 2019 but has played sparingly over the years. Weisser has seen some increased productivity the past two seasons going 45 of 73 for 545 yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions in 2021, and 16 of 29 for 159 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception in 2022.

The Wildcats did lose a key contributor after spring on the offensive line to BYU in Jake Eichorn.

Despite having to replace some top talent, Weber State does appear optimistic their defense will carry on business as usual for the 2023 season.

Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @BodkinKSLsports

 

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An Early Look At Utes’ 2023 Football Opponents: Weber State Wildcats