UTAH UTES

Utah Football Fires Back At Florida Player Who Made Joke About Rice-Eccles Stadium

Sep 1, 2023, 4:10 PM | Updated: 4:23 pm

Utah Football Florida Gators Football...

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - AUGUST 31: JaTravis Broughton #4 of the Utah Utes breaks up a pass intended for Ricky Pearsall #1 of the Florida Gators during the second half of their game at Rice Eccles Stadium August 31, 2023 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Prior to Utah Football’s season opener against Florida, Gator defensive end Princely Umanmielen poked fun at the size of Rice-Eccles Stadium.

Umanmielen posted a picture to his Instagram story calling Utah Football’s home small.

In comparison to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Rice-Eccles is smaller. The Swamp has a capacity of over 88,000.

However, some things are better left unsaid. Umanmielen learned that the hard way.

Utah Football fired back at the Gator’s defensive end on social media.

Ironically, Utah Football’s game against the Gators set an all-time attendance record at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

53,644 people filled the stands, breaking the former record of 53,609 people at Utah vs. USC in 2022.

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

Three Takeaways From Utah vs. Florida

Takeaway No. 1: Sack Lake City Is Back

Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham said the defense was the story of the game and it’s hard to argue that when looking over the numbers.

Florida walked away with only 13 rushing yards. They did rack up 333 yards passing, but they only had one touchdown that came in the fourth quarter to show for it.

The Utes also brought back “Sack Lake City” posting five sacks for a loss of 47 yards for the Gators. The Utah defense also brought in one interception.

“The defense was suffocating,” Whittingham said. The defense was the storyline of the game. Didn’t allow them to get a touchdown until the fourth quarter and had a bunch of sacks.”

Takeaway No. 2: Utah Can Manage Without Cam Rising

The Utes will not want to go the entire season without QB1 Cam Rising, but they can certainly manage a game or two without him.

Bryson Barnes and Nate Johnson did a good job managing the game in Rising’s absence. It wasn’t always pretty, but both had moments where they showed they can be trusted to get it done.

Barnes’ moment came his very first play of the game- a 70-yard touchdown bomb to wide receiver Money Parks that pretty well set the tone for the rest of the game.

Johnson on the other hand did his best Anthony Richardson impression for the Florida defense, rushing his way 27 yards for a touchdown.

“I thought Andy [Ludwig] called an excellent game,” Whittingham said. “We had the two-quarterback system. Nate came in for some select plays and I thought Bryson Barnes did a nice job. What? A 67% completion- 160 yards. Not gaudy numbers but didn’t turn it over and he ran the offense.”

Takeaway No. 3: Utes Kicking Game Appears To Be In Good Shape

One of the biggest hangups for the Utes the past few years has been a poor kicking game.

While there is still a lot of football left to be played, it appears Whittingham and company have found their guys in punter Jack Bouwmeester and kicker Cole Becker.

Bouwmeester averaged 51.8 yards per punt in Thursday’s opener with Florida and Becker showed he has the leg to hit 50-plus yard field goals for Utah if needed.

“I thought the punter did outstanding,” Whittingham said. “I thought Jack Bouwmeester really hit the ball well tonight. The placekicker did a pretty good job.”

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 Utah Football fires back at Florida Gator? 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

wrigley field...

Brian Preece

Locals In MLB: Hodge Delights In Debut, Dunn Returns To Milwaukee

Former Cottonwood Colt Porter Hodge had a memorable MLB debut when he finally took the mound in front of 35,000 fans at beautiful Wrigley Field.

17 hours ago

craig-smith-sits-in-thought-during-runnin-utes-game-2023...

Michelle Bodkin

Utah Basketball Adds Transfer From Eastern Carolina University

The Runnin' Utes got a little better after receiving a commitment from ECU transfer forward Ezra Ausar.

18 hours ago

Cam Rising Brant Kuithe Lander Barton Out For Season...

Michelle Bodkin

Utah Quarterback Cam Rising To Put On Camp For Community

Utah quarterback Cam Rising (along with several of his Utah football teammates) will be putting on a camp for the community in June.

19 hours ago

60 in 60 Fan Vote (2024)...

KSL Sports

Hans & Scotty’s 60 in 60 Fan Vote (2024)

It’s that time of year again, Hans and Scotty G. are counting down the 60 best college football players in the state of Utah ahead of the 2023 college football season.

2 days ago

mark-harlan-will-serve-on-cfp-selection-committee-in-2023...

Michelle Bodkin

Utah Athletics Releases Statement Debunking Rumored ACC Courtship

Memorial Day weekend got off to an interesting start as rumors began to swirl that Utah was in the middle of a courtship with the ACC before even starting their journey with the Big 12.

2 days ago

Micah-Bernard-Utah-Utes-Rose-Bowl-Game...

Michelle Bodkin

Spring Ball Review: A Look At Utah Football’s Running Backs

Today’s focus is on another group that has produced a lot of NFL talent for the Utes- Utah football’s running backs.

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Follow @kslsports...

KSL Give-A-Thon

The KSL Sports Zone, KSL 5 TV, FM100.3, 103.5 The Arrow, and KSL NewsRadio have teamed up to raise money for the kids being served by Primary Children’s Care!

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!

Follow @kslsports...

The Road Home Mediathon 2023

The KSL Sports Zone and KSLSports.com are proud to support the all-day Mediathon 2023 at the Road Home, an annual tradition to raise money and other essential items for the Road Home, a Homeless Shelter.

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 Football Fires Back At Florida Player Who Made Joke About Rice-Eccles Stadium