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No. 12 Utah Football Cruises to Victory Over Weber State

After last week’s thrilling 20-13 win over Baylor on the road, the Utes returned home to Rice-Eccles Stadium to face the Wildcats.
Madeline Van Wagenen
Utah linebacker Lander Barton (20) lights the U after defeating the Weber State Wildcats at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023. (Photo by Madeline Van Wagenen | The Daily Utah Chronicle)


The No. 12 University of Utah football team (2-0) returned home today to face off against the Weber State Wildcats. After a thrilling, last-minute 20-13 win on the road against Baylor, the Utes returned home to Rice-Eccles Stadium to face the Wildcats.


After forcing a quick 3-and-out, the Utes quickly marched downfield. Nate Johnson found Munir McClain for 33 yards to get Utah into the red zone. Jaylon Glover got the team down to the 1-yard line on 3rd down, and Johnson got into the end zone to give the Utes the first score of the game. With a good extra point, Utah was up 7-0.

Once again, the tough Utah defense stopped the Wildcat offense, allowing just 23 yards. But Utah wouldn’t find the end zone this time, losing eight yards and giving Weber State the ball near midfield.

Utah’s defense wouldn’t falter, giving up just four yards and giving the offense possession. Johnson showed off his speed with a 10-yard run as the Utes started to work their way down the field. The first quarter would end with Utah still up 7-0 on the Wildcats.

A targeting call on the final play of the quarter would place Utah on Weber State’s 20-yard line to open the second quarter. The Utes were only able to find one yard to finish the drive, ending with a 37-yard field goal to put them up 10-0.

Utah’s defense allowed a huge 47-yard run by Damon Bankston, getting the Wildcats up to the 6-yard line. Weber would punch it in with a rush from Kris Jackson to slim the lead to 10-7.

Johnson showed off his legs on the next drive, rushing for 20 yards before nearly throwing an interception to Weber’s defense. But Johnson would make up for it, finding Mikey Matthews for a 40-yard gain.

Johnson would continue to deliver, finding Money Parks for 13 yards and a touchdown. Utah regained a 10-point lead, up 17-7 with five minutes left until halftime. The defense would get a big stop, and Johnson would lead the offense, finding McClain for a 49-yard gain.

Set up with a 4th and 3 on the 11-yard line, Utah would call a timeout before trying a field goal. A bad snap would send Utah scrambling, unable to convert on fourth down. Weber would take possession, but a personal foul would push them deep into their own territory and time would expire as Utah held their 17-7 lead.

Utah started the second half marching down the field, highlighted by a 21-yard rush from Glover. Glover would finish the drive with a 2-yard rushing touchdown to give Utah a 24-7 lead.

Utah’s defense once again showed their strength on the next drive. Lander Barton stopped Weber State in their tracks intercepting Kylan Weisser and returning it for a touchdown. Barton’s pick-six gave Utah a strong 31-7 lead — and 20 consecutive seasons with a pick-six.

Utah’s defense wouldn’t let the Wildcats go anywhere. A delay of game contributed to Weber State losing eight yards and another 3-and-out. Utah would regain possession and suffer a turnover on downs at the Weber 30, and the third quarter came to a close.

Weber State would start to build momentum, but Utah’s defense was once again too much. Logan Fano forced a fumble from Weisser, recovering it himself and putting Utah’s offense back on the field early in the fourth quarter.

Both teams would remain scoreless through the rest of the quarter, and the Utes would grab the 31-7 win.


The name of the game for today’s match against Weber was largely offensive, with a total of 231 rushing yards and a whopping 424 total yards for the Utes. Johnson carried from the offensive line, coming straight out of the gate with a touchdown in the first quarter.

“I wouldn’t call it a dominant performance, or our best football,” head coach Kyle Whittingham said in the post-game press conference. “But we did a lot of good things on offense, and had a lot of production.”

Johnson led in rushing yards, making 71 while Weber’s Bankston accomplished 59. Johnson also led in total passing yards, sitting at 193 for the game.

The Utes created a staggering gap in rushing first downs, with an impressive 15 to the Wildcats’ 1. For the season, the Utes have registered 33 rushing first downs compared to all opponents’ 8 in just three games.

Utah will now remain home, as the No. 24 UCLA Bruins come to Salt Lake City. The game will be played on Sept. 23 at 1:30 p.m. local time.

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About the Contributors
Sean Overton
Sean Overton, Sports Editor
Sean Overton is the Editor of the Sports Desk. He is currently a senior and is majoring in Business Administration with plans to attend law school.
Abbey Thomas
Abbey Thomas, Sports Editor
Abbey Thomas started at the Daily Utah Chronicle in the fall of 2022 as a Sports Writer and is now Assistant Sports Editor for the desk. She is currently studying Cultural Anthropology with a minor in history and hopes to pursue medicine one day. Abbey is a die-hard fan of Real Salt Lake and Manchester City, and loves to travel and practice photography in her free time!
Madeline Van Wagenen
Madeline Van Wagenen, Photo Director
(she/her) Madeline Van Wagenen is the photo director at the Daily Utah Chronicle. She is a senior studying communications, Spanish and Human Rights & Resources. Madeline loves writing, photography and Billy Joel's entire discography. When she’s not working on projects for the Chrony, she can be found playing card games with friends or curating oddly specific Spotify playlists.

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