Utah Quarterback Nate Johnson Discusses What Motivates Him To Win

Sep 27, 2023, 8:04 PM

SALT LAKE CITY – We’ve all seen the clip by now of Colorado players stomping on the “O” in Eugene before they took on the Oregon Ducks and how that played out. With that in mind, Utah quarterback Nate Johnson took time to discuss with Unrivaled what motivates him to go extra hard as a player.

The greats all know how to do it. Michael Jordan could manufacture an insult from a simple “hi”. Other players get mad about how the media talks about them or their team. Others can’t stand when they aren’t favored to win.

Whatever it is, the best of the best know how to dig something out of themselves to get that “edge”. According to Johnson, he could really find little thing any given game that might provide that additional juice.

What Motivates Utes Quarterback Nate Johnson

Unlike some athletes, Johnson doesn’t seem to need to go through some controversial ritual like what we all saw between the Buffs and Ducks last weekend to gain the motivation to play his best. According to him, it could be as simple as seeing ESPN favors the opponent over his squad.

“It could really be anything said crazy about me, about our team, about our offense,” Johnson said. “Someone could comment- like I think Oregon State has the favor to win this game? That is the motivation right there. Like a three and a half, four-point favor over us? I want to say I saw that on ESPN, I’m not sure, but they have Oregon State winning this game. That’s all the motivation I need right there is that they think Oregon State is going to win. As soon as that game goes, I’ll use that as motivation to get it done.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Carlos (@cavila_801)

Johnson Heard The ‘Boos’, Acknowledges Things Have To Improve On Offense

Johnson says during the game the players were not made aware of the fact that the offense was going to play more conservatively, but says he heard the fan ‘boos’ and knows the offense has to step up.

“They didn’t really tell us they were going to do that till after the game,” Johnson said. “As you could tell the fans were kind of mad because we were getting ‘booed’. I was a little upset. When plays went bad they played it conservative and relied a little too much on the run game. I think we ran the ball 40 times last game- something crazy. In my opinion, I think we should air it out more. We’ve got to get these receivers a chance to go make plays instead of just relying on our run game a little too much. In that conservative moment, you’ve got to keep playing. Whatever they are calling, you’ve just got to execute it.”

Part of Johnson’s acknowledgement that the offense has to improve came a few hours after the Utes wrapped up with UCLA in a post on X.

“I was just telling everyone I think we need to play better,” Johnson said. “There were drives we kept shooting ourselves in the foot. I feel like the fumble I had- it messed me up a little bit in the game, but just the fumbles, or we’d go down inside the 30 and get a quick three and out and come up short on points. The game was ugly. I ain’t going to lie. That game was ugly. We did find a way to come out with the win and again, credit to our defense for first play of the game getting a pick six to get things going. Really, I just sent that out to let everybody know that we will be playing better this week.”

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

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

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.

19 hours ago


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.

19 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.

20 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


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


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

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 Quarterback Nate Johnson Discusses What Motivates Him To Win