The Utah Utes face a challenging decision ahead of their game against No. 22 UCLA this Saturday. Star quarterback Cam Rising, who is recovering from an ACL tear suffered in the Rose Bowl, will not be starting in the upcoming match. This news comes from sources who have revealed that Nate Johnson, the talented backup, is set to start for the No. 11 Utes. With Rising’s return to the field uncertain, it is crucial for Utah to carefully consider their options and assess the impact of this on their season.
Cam Rising has been making progress in his recovery and was given the green light to practice without limitations in early September. Coach Kyle Whittingham expressed optimism about Rising’s performance in practice this week. However, Rising has not yet played this season, adding an element of uncertainty to his availability against UCLA. The Utes must carefully evaluate Rising’s health and readiness to ensure his long-term recovery is not compromised.
Replacing their star quarterback, Nate Johnson has taken the opportunity to shine for Utah. After surpassing Bryson Barnes on the depth chart, Johnson started his first game against Baylor, leading the Utes to a remarkable comeback win. He showcased his skills with a crucial fourth-quarter touchdown run, resulting in a tie. Johnson’s impressive performance led Coach Whittingham to name him the starter for the following game against Weber State. Johnson continued to impress and proved himself with a strong showing, throwing for 193 yards and contributing to a 31-7 victory. Johnson’s combination of passing ability and dual-threat playstyle makes him a formidable force on the field.
Cam Rising’s status has been a subject of great speculation, given his influential role in Utah’s past successes, leading the team to back-to-back Pac-12 titles. Coach Whittingham has made it clear that the final decision on Rising’s return rests with the medical staff, emphasizing that he does not hold the authority to determine Rising’s readiness to play. Rising underwent ACL repair surgery performed by renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache. However, despite positive progress, Rising has yet to receive the definitive thumbs-up for his return.
Cam Rising’s absence has undoubtedly left a void in the Utah lineup. As one of the most accomplished players in the sport, Rising’s impact on the field cannot be underestimated. Last season, he threw for an impressive 3,034 yards and recorded 26 touchdown passes before the unfortunate injury in the Rose Bowl. With Rising as the starting quarterback, Utah has experienced successful back-to-back 10-win seasons. Consequently, his injury has raised questions about the team’s future without his leadership.
The Battle of Undefeated Teams
Despite Rising’s absence, the Utah Utes have managed to maintain an impressive 3-0 record this season. The upcoming game against UCLA will feature two undefeated teams, setting the stage for an exciting match-up. Both Utah and UCLA will be eager to continue their winning streaks, and the starting quarterback position will play a crucial role in determining the outcome. Johnson’s performance will be closely watched, and Rising’s potential return could add an extra layer of complexity to the game.
The uncertainties surrounding Cam Rising’s recovery have left the Utah Utes with a significant decision to make. Nate Johnson’s impressive performances as the backup quarterback have brought reassurance to the team. Nonetheless, the impact of Rising’s absence cannot be ignored, given his track record and role in Utah’s recent successes. As the Utes prepare to face UCLA, the starting quarterback position will be a crucial factor in determining the outcome. The ensuing battle between undefeated teams adds an intriguing element to the game, making it one to watch for college football enthusiasts.