Weber State (0-0) at No. 24 Utah (0-0)
- Kickoff: Thursday, 5:30 p.m. MDT
- Venue: Rice-Eccles Stadium (51,444 capacity)
- Surface: Turf
- TV: Pac-12 Network
- Livestream: Pac-12 Network
- Radio: ESPN 700 AM
- Series: Utah leads 5-0
- Weather: Partly cloudy with temperatures in the low 80s at kickoff.
For Weber State … Beating Utah on the road would definitely be one of the biggest wins in program history.
For Utah … Utah looks to get out to a good start to the season with a win. Ideally, the Utes would like to have the game wrapped up early and sub the starters out of the contest.
For Weber State … The Wildcats just played a spring season, going 5-0 in the regular season before losing 34-31 to Southern Illinois in the first round of the FCS playoffs.
For Utah … Last season, Utah’s first two games of the season — against Arizona and UCLA, were canceled. Utah lost its first two games of the season to USC and Washington before finishing the season with wins against Oregon State, Colorado and Washington State to finish the year with a 3-2 record. Utah elected not to play in a bowl game.
THE CRYSTAL BALL
Weber State will win if … Everything goes right for the Wildcats and a lot goes wrong for Utah. The Wildcats will need to play a perfect game on offense and defense and cause a few Utah turnovers to have a chance at the upset. Weber State is one of the best teams in the FCS, ranked sixth in the preseason FCS rankings by the AFCA Coaches poll and the Stats Perform poll, and and are well-coached by Jay Hill. This game may be closer than the betting line of Utah by 30.5 points, but the Utes should be able to handle the Wildcats.
Utah will win if … Baylor transfer quarterback Charlie Brewer has a good first game for the Utes. Quarterback play will be key for Utah this year, and if Brewer has a clean, relatively mistake-free game, the Utes should win. Utah’s vaunted defense will be given the chance to make a good first impression, with Weber State’s All-American running back Josh Davis — one of the best players in FCS — going against them.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Charlie Brewer, Utah: The biggest takeaway from the Weber State game will be how well Brewer does in his first game for the Utes. All eyes will be on the fifth-year senior Brewer, who will be the second starting quarterback for Utah in the last two years, replacing Jake Bentley.
Utah quarterback Charlie Brewer vs. Weber State’s secondary: Brewer’s performance from his first game in Ute red should be a good indicator of where he’s at as the Utes start the season. Brewer hopes to build off his performance at Utah’s spring game, when he went 15-for-15 for 151 passing yards and two passing touchdowns.
A four-year starter at Baylor, Brewer threw for 9,700 yards and 65 touchdowns — both marks rank second in school history, behind Robert Griffin III. He also rushed for 22 scores. Brewer led the Bears to an 11-3 season with a Sugar Bowl appearance in 2019. During that season, Brewer threw for 3,161 yards and 21 touchdowns with a 65% completion rate. Under a new head coach in 2020, Brewer regressed a little bit, throwing for 1,958 yards, 14 touchdowns and eight interceptions with a completion rate of 62% in nine games for Baylor.
Brewer will no doubt want to prove that he can get back to his 2019 numbers, and Thursday’s game is a good place to start.
“I’m excited to see what kind of team we’ve got, first and foremost, and find out where we’re at as a football team. Weber State is a good team, a playoff team in FCS every single year. Jay Hill has done a great job there. They’re a team that is well-coached, very sound fundamentally, technique-wise, schematically. They’re a very good team. We’re excited to get the season underway, see what we’ve got and go from there.”
— Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham on preparing for Weber State
“It’s been such a short time since we played but I think our team has really pushed through it and done what we needed to do to get back and I think we’ll come to this Utah game and show what we’ve got.”
— Weber State running back Josh Davis on preparing for Utah, per the Standard Examiner
Utah visits BYU on Sept. 11; Weber State visits Dixie State on Sept. 11.
Sept. 2 — Weber State (5:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network)
Sept. 11 — at BYU (8:15 p.m., ESPN)
Sept. 18 — at San Diego State (5 p.m., CBS Sports Network)
Sept. 25 — Washington State
Oct. 2 — BYE
Oct. 9 — at USC
Oct. 16 — Arizona State
Oct. 23 — at Oregon State
Oct. 30 — UCLA
Nov. 5 — at Stanford (8:30 p.m., FS1)
Nov. 13 — at Arizona
Nov. 20 — Oregon
Nov. 26 — Colorado
All times MDT