Utah Football Rolls Over Weber State in Season Opener


Jonathan Wang

Utah running back Micah Bernard tries to escape from a tackle from Dixie State in Salt Lake City on September 2, 2021. (Photo by Jonathan Wang | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Ethan Pearce, Sports Editor


The University of Utah football team picked up a win in their first week of action against the Weber State Wildcats. Utah moves to 1-0 with a 40-17 win in their first game of three prior to beginning Pac-12 play. 


Quarterback Charlie Brewer had a really nice night for the Utes, completing 19 of his 27 passes for 233 yards. He threw for two touchdowns and had one interception on a Hail Mary to end the first half, which was not his fault. Tight end Dalton Kincaid caught two touchdowns, one from Brewer and the other from Cameron Rising, who got in at the end of the game and immediately completed two passes, going 29 yards for the score. Solomon Enis had the other touchdown pass from Brewer. 

The running game was spotty, with good and bad moments throughout. Tavion Thomas got 107 yards and two touchdowns, but also had a fumble that cost Utah early in the second half. Micah Bernard was the second back, and he also had a decent night with 35 yards on six carries. TJ Pledger and Chris Curry didn’t see as much action, but there is still plenty of sorting out to do in terms of a depth chart at that position. 

“We’ll look at the film, and grade it hard, and come up with a pecking order. It’s not gonna be or, or, or, or this week, we’re gonna have a 1, 2, 3, 4, and see what the film says,” said head coach Kyle Whittingham.

There were quite a few drops from multiple receivers, something the Utes will surely work on going into next week.


The defense as a whole was pretty great on the night. Weber State scored three times: touchdown on a kickoff return, a field goal off a fumble recovery in Utah territory, and once in garbage time late in the game. The Utes limited the Wildcats’ run game very well, only allowing 57 rushing yards as a whole. The pass defense was not as spotless, allowing Wildcats’ quarterback Bronson Barron to get to 213 yards on 21/33. A couple of big plays kept drives alive for Weber State, something the Utes definitely want to limit moving forward.

Devin Lloyd and Clark Phillips III were the standouts for Utah on defense. Both of them made multiple huge plays on the night and were clearly among the best players on the field. 

Utah had a goal line stand near the end of the first half, stopping Weber State on the one yard line multiple times and forcing a turnover on downs. It was a signature play for them and set the tone to open the season. 

“It was a great goal line stand but it was ridiculous that we allowed a 20-play drive, or what seemed like a 20-play drive. They ate up seven or eight minutes on the clock but it had a good ending. That was encouraging,” said Whittingham.

Special Teams

Utah gave up a 99 yard kickoff return to Weber State receiver Rashid Shaheed early in the game. The breakdown on special teams was immediately followed by a 90-minute rain delay, so they certainly had some time to think it over before coming back out of the locker room. Kicker Jadon Redding uncharacteristically missed an extra point attempt, which is likely nothing to worry about. 

Up Next

This was a nice win for Utah as they pursue a Pac-12 title this year. Ultimately, this wasn’t conference play so it won’t count for much in the standings, but this game did solidify a lot of what Utah is good at and what they need to work on. 

“We won’t face a better team than that the entire year,” said Weber State safety Preston Smith. “That team is picked to win the Pac-12, and they’ll win the Pac-12. They’re a really good team.”

The Utes earned the respect of their first opponent, and they’ll have to continue to prove that every week to prove Smith’s prediction correct.

Utah will play BYU in Provo on Saturday, Sept. 11 at 8:15 p.m. MDT. Utah looks for their tenth straight victory in the Holy War.


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