UTAH UTES

Nate Johnson Scrambles, Finds End Zone To Tie Game Against Baylor Bears

Sep 9, 2023, 1:21 PM

Nate Johnson - Utah Utes vs. Arizona...

Utah Utes running back Nate Johnson (13) celebrates a touchdown as Utah and Arizona play at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

(Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

WACO, Texas – With just two minutes left in regulation, Utah QB Nate Johnson scrambled right up the middle to tie the game at 13 in McLane Stadium.

The score was Johnson’s second rushing touchdown this season.

Johnson also found the end zone in the Ute’s season opener against the Florida Gators.

RELATED: QB Nate Johnson Scrambles For Touchdown Against Florida Gators

Johnson’s score capped off an 8-minute drive from Utah. It was the first touchdown of the night for the Utes.

They needed it as well. Utah’s offense had struggled throughout the game.

Johnson stayed in for the majority of the scoring drive and played well, completing 6 of 7 pass attempts.

Three Storylines For Utah Vs. Baylor

  1. Cam Rising – this one will obviously continue on until Utah’s “leader of the leaders” is back out on the field. Rising has been diligently recovering from a torn ACL he suffered in the Rose Bowl earlier this year and has made great strides. The good news is, backups Bryson Barnes and Nate Johnson showed they are more than capable of holding things down for Rising last week against Florida. This of course allows Rising the ability to work back into the game rather than feeling rushed back into it which should be advantageous for everyone involved.
  2. Week one to week two improvements – it’s been said a lot this week, but there is a general consensus in the college football world that the biggest improvements a team makes is between week one and week two. Anyone paying attention last week saw what happened to Baylor versus Texas Tech. It was pretty ugly, but how much do the Bears improve? On the other hand, while Utah looked pretty good for a first outing against Florida using backups, how much do they improve? Whose week one to week two improvements end up being more impressive? Stay tuned.
  3. Heat, Humidity, Time – here is the thing about this one. Good to great teams don’t let weather and time zones effect game outcomes, but it also doesn’t mean this doesn’t play a small factor. Kickoff is set for 11:00 a.m. CT/10:00 a.m. MT and Waco’s forecast at that time is showing a balmy 93 degrees and 26% humidity. By the time the game wraps up things jump to around 101 degrees and the same humidity. That’s very different from Salt Lake City’s dry heat. How will this Utah team manage the conditions?

 

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Two Questions Heading Into Utah Vs. Baylor

  1. Can Utah get the run game going? This may have been the lone “disappointment” last week for the Utes against Florida. Utah prides themselves on establishing the run on offense and taking away the run on defense. The defense did its usual thing, but the offense struggled to get a consistent run game going. As it turned out, Ja’Quinden Jackson was a little dinged up against the Gators and not his usual self. Is he better for this week? Does someone else step up?
  2. Who is Sawyer Robertson? Baylor received some less-than-ideal news about starting quarterback Blake Shapen after their tough loss to start the 2023 season. That puts a lot of pressure on Mississippi State transfer Sawyer Robertson. The good news for the Bears is that the Utes have sometimes struggled with backup quarterbacks they don’t know a whole lot about. The bad news is that you always want to have your best players available and that won’t happen this week. Who is Sawyer Robertson and how will he handle being “the guy” on Saturday?

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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.

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Nate Johnson Scrambles, Finds End Zone To Tie Game Against Baylor Bears