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.”


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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

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Utah Quarterback Nate Johnson Discusses What Motivates Him To Win