POTG: Florida Gators Vs. Utah Football

Sep 2, 2023, 3:14 PM

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah football named their players of the game after opening their 2023 season against the Florida Gators with a dominant win, 24-11, on Thursday.

The Utes started their year short a few key players, but showed they have the horses to win convincingly in 2023 regardless.

Several players embodied the “next man up” mentality that head coach Kyle Whittingham often preaches. Here is who the Utes selected as their players of the game against Florida in week one.

Utes Defense Was The Storyline Of The Game

Whittingham said the Utah defense was the storyline of the game in his post-game press conference and it shows in the player(s) of the game selected from that side of the ball.

Cole Bishop

Safety and team captain Cole Bishop led the Utes in total tackles with 11 (nine solo) while forcing a fumble and recording one sack and one tackle for loss.

Jonah Elliss

Jonah Elliss felt like he was everywhere on the field recording four total tackles (two solo). He was also good for two sacks, two tackles for loss and one pass breakup.

JaTravis Broughton

Broughton was tied for second on the team in tackles with eight total (seven solo). Broughton also recorded a tackle for loss and pass breakup.


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Utah Special Teams Was Looking Special Again

Utah used to pride itself on outstanding special teams, but it’s gone by the wayside the past two years. While it’s one game, it looks like there is potential there once again in all phases of the kicking game while the return game has room to improve as they go along.

Jack Bouwmeester

Bouwmeester was phenomenal for the Utes in the punt game launching six punts for 311 yards with an average of 51.8 yards per punt. He had a long of 64 yards.

Utah’s Offense Was Limited, But Not Impotent

The offense is where we saw a lot of guys step up to the plate that maybe wouldn’t normally be relied on too heavily and they did an admirable job. Whether we’re talking about quarterbacks Bryson Barnes or Nate Johnson, or receivers Money Parks, Devaughn Vele or tight end Thomas Yassmin- guys did their 1/11.

Micah Bernard

Perhaps a little overlooked in the grand scheme of things, Bernard got the nod as the offensive player of the game for the Utes against Florida.

In a game where rushing yards were at a premium, Bernard was second on the team with seven carries for 45 yards. Bernard recorded a long rush of 13 yards and averaged 6.4 yards per carry.


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We’re Talkin’ Bout Practice: Special Shoutout To The Scout Team

A team is often as good as their walk-ons and scout players who put in the same amount of work and effort, but without near the glory. These are the players who help make the stars, well, stars when the lights are brightest.

Utah Scout Players Of The Week

  • Hunter Clegg (Offense)
  • Shintaro Mann (Offense)
  • John Randle Jr. (Special Teams)
  • Helaman Ofahengaue (Defense)

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 XInstagram, and Threads: @BodkinKSLsports

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POTG: Florida Gators Vs. Utah Football