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Thriller Thursday: Utah starts off the season with a big win over Florida

Thriller Thursday: Utah starts off the season with a big win over Florida
Thriller Thursday: Utah starts off the season with a big win over Florida

A rough start for the Florida Gators, as they start the season off 0-1 losing to Number 19 ranked Utah Utes 24-11. 

Utes came to play, starting the game off on the opening drive with a 70 yard touchdown by Bryson Barnes to Money parks. Barnes was able to catch the Gator’s defense sleeping in the secondary to deliver this pass. 

The atmosphere got to the Gators a few times as they received offsides penalty calls during crucial points in the game. Once was during the opening drive and the other was during the third drive in which the Gators were attempting to go for it on fourth down but had to change plans and kick a field goal. 

Utah Utes played a few Quarterbacks throughout this game, Bryson Barnes started the game and Nate Johnson rotated in due to Senior Quarterback Cameron Rising being out from a knee injury. Barnes completed 12 out of 18 passes with one touchdown and 159 yards in the air. Johnson was a key contributor for this win as well. His dual threat ability posed a problem for Florida as he rushed for 45 yards with six carries and one touchdown. Florida’s defense held strong in the run game but due to Johnson’s ability to run, the Gators had to account for his mobility as well. 

Despite tonight’s loss, Florida has some things to build off of. Graham Mertz completed 31 out of 44 passes with 333 yards in the air, one touchdown and one interception. Trevor Etienne had seven carries for 25 yards and Ricky Pearsall had eight receptions for 92 yards. 

Their creativity on offense can catch opponents off guard due to them having several different formations. They Utilize their offensive weapons through eleven and twelve personnel. On top of this, being able to run similar plays from different formations makes it hard on a defense to figure out until later in the game. 

Needless to say, there is plenty of football left as it’s the first game of the season. It will be interesting to see the Florida Gators settle in, get comfortable, and execute against other talent throughout this season.


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