Counting Down Utah Football’s Best 2022 Plays: Arizona Wildcats
Jul 26, 2023, 1:04 PM
SALT LAKE CITY – We are 6 weeks out from the Utes’ season opener against Florida at Rice-Eccles Stadium and counting down the best play in each of Utah football’s 14 games in 2022 to celebrate. This week we look back on the Utes’ game against the Arizona Wildcats.
While not every game went Utah’s way last season, they did enough to stamp their ticket to the Pac-12 Championship Game in Las Vegas, go back-to-back as conference champions, and earn their second berth in a row to the “Grandaddy of them All”.
Many believe Utah has a good chance of three-peating in 2023 due to the talent returning and the coaches’ aggressive approach in the Transfer Portal to address a few deficiencies. Fortunately, we are getting closer to the 2023 football season, but still have a way to go. In the meantime, let’s take a trip down memory lane to Utah’s drubbing of Arizona.
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Freshman! Freshman! Do Something Crazy! Nate Johnson’s First Touchdown.
The Utes headed into this game still banged up and needing to find creative ways to continue running their offense the way they had been all season. With Rising unable to run the way he had been earlier in the year, Utah looked to freshman quarterback Nate Johnson to give them that “edge”.
Utah was inside the Wildcat 10-yard line with under two-minutes to play in the first quarter when Johnson took a snap from shotgun and faked a handoff before sprinting around the right side of the line- cutting just inside the pylon to put the Utes in the lead, 14-7.
— Utah Athletics (@utahathletics) November 6, 2022
Utah would go on to win the game, 45-20 in a downpour while also discovering a weapon in Johnson that would help them through the rest of the 2022 season.
In 2023, Johnson, along with Brandon Rose, Bryson Barnes, and freshman Mack Howard are competing for the backup job behind Rising. As of right now, Rose is believed to have the edge, but fall camp is around the corner and the battle will pick up once more till game time.
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, Instagram, and Threads: @BodkinKSLsports
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