UTAH UTES

Micah Bernard Runs In Fourth-Quarter Equalizing Touchdown

Dec 23, 2023, 8:11 PM

Micah Bernard Utah Utes football...

TEMPE, ARIZONA - SEPTEMBER 24: Running back Micah Bernard #2 of the Utah Utes rushes the football against the Arizona State Sun Devils during the second half of the NCAAF game at Sun Devil Stadium on September 24, 2022 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS – After going scoreless through the first three quarters, Utah Football got on the board in the fourth with a Micah Bernard rushing touchdown.

However, the Utes played great defense against Northwestern. The late score tied the game at 7.

The touchdown was Bernard’s first of the season.

The Utah running back suffered a season-ending injury earlier in the year. He had enough time to rehab the injury and return for the Las Vegas Bowl.

Utah was very lucky to be in a position to tie the game in the fourth. The Utes had three turnovers but forced seven punts, two turnovers on downs, and a missed field goal.

Utah had just 101 yards of total offense going into the final quarter.

Three Storylines For Utah Football Vs. Northwestern

  1. Bowl Win Drought. Utah has not won their bowl game since 2017 in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. Keep in mind, that last bowl win essentially sprung Utah football into new heights. Four conference championship appearances, two titles, stops at two Pac-12 quintessential bowl games in the Holiday Bowl and Alamo Bowl before hitting the Grandaddy of them All…twice in row. Hard not to get a little ahead of yourself imagining what a bowl win could lead to next year with an expanded 12-team playoff.
  2. It’s Not The Las Vegas Bowl, It’s The Adversity Bowl. Most of this readership is familiar with Utah’s plight in 2023. Injuries galore with a flu bug thrown in for good measure toward the end. Northwestern’s path to a bowl hasn’t been easy either, however. The Wildcats were the salacious summer story when accusations of extreme hazing began surfacing. It led to longtime head coach Pat Fitzgerald being fired just before the season started. Still, Northwestern battled through the chaos, punched above their weight, and came out with a winning record.
  3. Strange Faces In Familiar Spaces. Ironically, at the end of the season, Utah appears to be in the best health they’ve had all year. Also ironic, despite that fact they are still going to be working with a different crew than what they’ve operated with due to NFL and transfer portal departures. The good news is this team is used to working with different pieces to this point due to the weekly adjustments they had to make for the injuries in 2023. The bad news is some of these guys are very green which possibly means more mistakes than fans are used to.

 

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Two Questions Heading Into Northwestern Vs. Utah

  • Who Handles Their Adversity Better? As mentioned, both teams have had their own, unique things to overcome in order to obtain a winning record and earn a bowl game appearance. By all accounts both teams have handled their adversities well in 2023, but who will handle it the best of all come Saturday? The guys in red who are used to rotating players in and out of their lineups like nobody’s business? Or, the guys in purple who no one gave a chance to win two games let alone seven?
  • Can Utah Correct Their Bowl Woes? The first question feeds into this second question. Can Utah get their bowl winning ways back on track? Outside of the Utes’ appearance in the Alamo Bowl, their bowl losses have been well within reach over the past years, but for some reason victory has alluded them. There is no time like the present to get that corrected. We’ll see if they can check that box off.

 

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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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Micah Bernard Runs In Fourth-Quarter Equalizing Touchdown