UTAH UTES

Utah Utes, Florida Gators Season Opener Sets Attendance Record At Rice-Eccles Stadium

Aug 31, 2023, 7:56 PM

Utah Utes - Washington State Cougars - Rice-Eccles Stadium...

Utah fan Chandler Halpin watches the game between the Utah Utes and the Washington State Cougars September 25, 2021 at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah fans showed out for the season opener at Rice-Eccles Stadium, setting an all-time attendance record.

53,644 people filled the stands to watch the Utes and Gators face off to start the season.

This broke the former record of 53,609 people at the Utah and USC game in 2022.

Utah led 17-3 over Florida at halftime.

Wide receiver Money Parks and quarterback Nate Johnson were the touchdown scorers for the Utes.

Rice-Eccles Stadium was drowning in red, matching the all-red jerseys that Utah was wearing.

RELATED: Utah Football To Wear All Red Against Florida

Three Storylines For Florida Vs. Utah

  1. Cam Rising – this should come as no surprise to anyone who has been keeping tabs of the Utes ahead of their 2023 football season. Rising has been diligently recovering from a torn ACL he suffered in the Rose Bowl earlier this year and has made great strides. However, it is looking like he may not be quite ready to start which means Utah may be playing with Bryson Barnes and/or Nate Johnson under center.
  2. Florida’s Travel To Utah – there are 2,207 miles between Gainesville, Florida and Salt Lake City, Utah that got complicated earlier in the week with Idalia strengthening into a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. The Gators originally planned to travel to Utah on Wednesday but left a day early with a stop in Dallas, Texas to avoid being trapped by the storm. That amount of travel in one day is hard enough, but having to split it up into two is even more interesting and could have some effects on the game along with the increased elevation.
  3. Utah’s Defense – last season the Utes were not their typical, sharp selves against the Gators and it went a long way to costing them the game. Utah’s defense has not forgotten that and there has been a lot of talk about the things they have done and addressed to be better prepared this year.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by KSL Sports (@kslsports)

Two Questions Heading Into Florida Vs. Utah

    1. Can Utah beat Florida without Cam Rising? With things trending toward Rising not playing against the Gators, one of the biggest questions surrounding this game is if the Utes can survive a game or two without their QB1. Overall, backup Bryson Barnes has shown fairly well in his limited opportunities and there has been a lot of talk about Utah’s improved depth all over the team that will certainly be put to the test if Rising truly is a no-go.
    2. Who Is Florida Under Graham Mertz? Florida has undergone some changes since they met the Utes last season in Gainesville. The Anthony Richardson era is done as he moved on to the NFL and the Gators are now breaking in Wisconsin transfer Graham Mertz. Interestingly enough, a report came out this week that before landing on Mertz, the Gators looked into Utah quarterback Cam Rising. Does Mertz have what it takes to help second year Florida head coach Billy Napier move the Gators in the right direction.

Are you on Threads yet? Let’s connect, give us a follow @kslsports

Chandler Holt is a co-host for the Jazz Notes podcast and a Digital Sports Producer for KSLSports.com, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerHoltKSL or on Threads @chandlerho1t.

Want more coverage like attendance record broken at Rice-Eccles Stadium? Take us with you, wherever you go.

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio, video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.

  • Utah Utes Scoreboard

  • Utah Utes Team Leaders

  • Utah Utes Standings

Utah Utes

schneemann byu cleveland...

Brian Preece

Locals In MLB: Former Cougar Daniel Schneemann Doing It All For Cleveland Guardians

Former BYU Cougar Daniel Schneemann has been incredibly versatile defensively and deadly with the bat since making his MLB debut on June 2.

9 hours ago

craig-smith-talks-to-utes-in-huddle-during-nit-semifinal-2024...

Michelle Bodkin

Utah Basketball Welcomes Third, Final Assistant Coach For 2024-25

The Runnin' Utes needed one more assistant coach to fill a third spot and they got one as of Tuesday afternoon.

9 hours ago

Cam-Rising-Pac-12-Championship-Game-Utah-Utes-USC-Trojans...

Michelle Bodkin

Spring Ball Review: A Look At Utah Football’s Quarterbacks

Today’s focus on a group that has had one of the biggest glow-ups since Utah football became a Power Conference team- quarterbacks.

10 hours ago

taulia-lave-makes-tackle-against-louisville-cardinal-player-1998...

Michelle Bodkin

Former Utah Linebacker To Open For Ron McBride Foundation Benefit Concert

Former Utah linebacker Taulia Lave will be the opening act for the Ron McBride Foundation's benefit concert on Saturday, June 22.

1 day ago

Carsen-Ryan-UCLA-Bruins-Football...

KSL Sports

60 in 60: #52 Utah’s Carsen Ryan (Tight End)

The countdown is on for Hans & Scotty’s 60 in 60 for the 2024 college football season. Coming in at No. 52 is Utah tight end Carsen Ryan.

1 day ago

University of Utah linebackers coach Colton Swan during the first day of fall camp on Wednesday, Ju...

Michelle Bodkin

Utah Football 2025 Recruiting Class Continues To Roll With 4-Star Linebacker Commitment

Visiting season has been kind to Utah football with the Utes receiving another commitment from four-star linebacker Christian Thatcher.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

KSL Sports

Utah Hockey Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Want to get the latest info on Utah's newest sports franchise? Sign up for the Utah Hockey newsletter!

Hans & Scotty's Day of Adoption...

Hans & Scotty’s Day Of Adoption

Join the KSL Sports Zone for Hans & Scotty's Day of Adoption, in partnership with the Humane Society of Utah, on June 25th, 2024!

ksl-sports-newsletter...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.

...

KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.

Utah Utes, Florida Gators Season Opener Sets Attendance Record At Rice-Eccles Stadium