The Four Biggest College Football Storylines in the State of Utah


Kevin Cody

University of Utah quarterback, senior, Charlie Brewer, in the University of Utah Spring Football Game on Saturday, Apr. 17, 2021. (Photo by Kevin Cody | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Eric Jensen, Sports Writer


You can almost taste it. The calendar flips past July 4, and one thought creeps into the mind: football. The sport that America revolves around is just two short months from returning.

We are about four weeks away from the beginning of fall camp. The MUSS is just a month and a half away from rocking again. With football in the air, it’s time to familiarize yourself with what the biggest college football storylines for this upcoming season will be.

It’s not just Utah: Utah State and BYU are also intriguing programs with big storylines going into the fall. Without further ado, here are the four biggest college football storylines going into fall camp in the state of Utah.

The QB Battles at Utah and BYU

Though many assume Charlie Brewer will be the starter for the Utes and Jaren Hall will be the signal caller for the Cougars this fall, it is hardly set in stone.

Looking first at Utah, Kyle Whittingham has never been shy about his love for Cameron Rising, the young man he recruited to be the future of Utah football at QB.

While Brewer will likely win the job, one thing that could potentially hold him back is the fact he has thrown for an average of eight interceptions per year over the past two seasons.

If there is one thing we know about Whittingham, it’s that he doesn’t appreciate those kind of turnover numbers. If Brewer starts even a little bit slow, I expect his leash to be short. Rising, I suspect, will see the field at some point this season.

Meanwhile, at BYU, Jacob Conover is the young hotshot with tremendous tape. Hall is a serviceable starting QB, but with a tough schedule it doesn’t seem hard to imagine a QB switch at some point in the season.

Utah’s Mystery Passing Game

If Brewer is the starter, the weapons surrounding him in the passing game will look something like this: Britain Covey, returning for the what feels like 20th straight year, the return of deep threat Jaylen Dixon, Oklahoma transfer Theo Howard and Solomon Enis. Not to mention perhaps the deepest TE room in the country.

Brant Kuithe is expected to be an NFL player next year, Dalton Kincaid has been hyped by the coaching staff and, if you read the tea leaves, looks to be the No. 2 tight end. The Utes suddenly have weapons again, but it will be a matter of what an almost entirely new offense looks like, especially after the tragic passing of Ty Jordan.

However, the Utes have reloaded and it will be interesting to see how the offense looks this year and who emerges as Whittingham’s typical bell cow running back.

What Exactly Does Utah State Look Like?

The Aggies are in a regime change. Blake Anderson of Arkansas State is the new head coach in Logan and that begs the question, “what will this team look like?”

If Arkansas State is any indication, the team will start with a quick passing game, full of run-pass-option and motion. That sort of thing can take a team that may be a bit talent-deficient on offense and turn them into a watchable product.

The projections on Utah State are low; Vegas has their win total set at three, but if Anderson’s system can take hold and the Aggies can take advantage of the down teams in the Mountain West, they can get over that number by a game or two.

BYU and a Tremendously Hard Schedule

The Cougars lost a lot after an all-time year in 2020. It doesn’t get any easier in Provo either, as their schedule is tough. The Cougars will play five Pac-12 teams, Baylor, Virginia and finish with a tough matchup against Mountain West favorite Boise State.

Going 6-6 and making a bowl game would be considered a successful season, but Cougars fans want more, way more, and it starts on Sept. 11 as they will try to get their first win against Utah in nearly a decade.

Kalani Sitake has shown he is an effective head coach and a great recruiter. If he can beat his former boss in September, the Cougars better get the checkbook out, because if Kalani beats Utah and steers BYU to seven wins or more with this schedule, he will be getting offers from bigger schools.


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