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Will Cam Rising change the tide in Pac-12 play?

Utah opens Pac-12 play Saturday at home against Washington State. And they’ll do so with a new starting QB

Utah quarterback Cameron Rising looks for yardage during game against San Diego State, Sept. 18, 2021, in Carson, Calif.
Utah quarterback Cam Rising looks for yardage during game against San Diego State Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Carson, Calif. Rising entered the game in relief duty against the Aztecs and will be the starting QB Saturday when the Utes open Pac-12 play against Washington State at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Ashley Landis, Associated Press

This article was first published as the Ute Insiders newsletter. Sign up to receive the newsletter in your inbox each Wednesday night.


Who could have predicted this for Utah’s football program three games into the season? The Utes are 1-2, with back-to-back losses to BYU and San Diego State. Then on Tuesday morning, it was announced that starting quarterback Charlie Brewer was leaving the program.

Nobody saw this coming.

As odd as this 2021 campaign has been so far, there are reasons to believe that Utah can still turn things around.

The Utes open Pac-12 play Saturday at home against Washington State. And they’ll do so with a new starting QB — Cam Rising.

Rising led an impressive comeback late in the 33-31 triple-overtime loss to San Diego State last Saturday. He led a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown drives and nearly completed the comeback.

Now, he’ll have the keys to the offense. Moving forward, will Utah’s fortunes change?

Numbers game

3: Touchdown passes thrown by Cam Rising in the fourth quarter and in overtime against San Diego State.

21-9: The margin that Utah outscored SDSU from the time Rising entered the game in the final five minutes of the third quarter.

27-3: Utah’s record against regular-season nonconference opponents since joining the Pac-12 in 2011, after back-to-back losses to BYU and SDSU.

From the archives

Extra points

  • Utah football report card: Too little, too late for Utes in loss to San Diego State (Deseret News)
  • Can the Utes borrow a page from the 2019 season? (Deseret News)
  • Who will start at quarterback for the Utes vs. Washington State? Mum’s the word (Deseret News)


Comments from Deseret News readers

“The O line reeks! The O coordinator is worse! If teams are constantly sending the house there are plays to make them pay, but we have either not found them yet or are completely incapable of blocking long enough to make them work. Brewer is inept to handle a fierce rush. Granted he might be good with a solid line, but we don’t have one. Having a QB that can run seemed like such an obvious answer to make the defense think about something additional. The defense is disappointing, but understandable when the offense is lifeless and they are constantly on the field. Is the team running marathons on game day, or eating a Thanksgiving dinner just before kickoff? Us fans have been drinking the Kool-Aid, listening to stories about the immense talent on this team. Is Kyle already thinking about retirement? What is going on and what is the solution?”

— 1CaliUte

“Brewer may have passed, no pun intended, for a good QB in the Big 12, but he clearly can’t play ball in the West. Thanks for your time and effort, but if I never see you take the field again, it’ll be too soon. Utah has a pretty strong QB and RB combo with Rising and Bernard and they’re both underclassmen. Experience gained this year will be invaluable moving forward.”

— Not_paying_for_the_Trib

Up next

Sept. 22 | 9 p.m. | Women’s volleyball | vs. Washington | @Seattle | ESPNU

Sept. 24 | 7 p.m. | Soccer | vs. Stanford | @Stanford, California | Pac-12 Network

Sept. 24 | 7 p.m. | Women’s volleyball | vs. Colorado | @Boulder, Colorado | Pac-12 Network

Sept. 25 | 12:30 p.m. | Football | vs. Washington State | @Salt Lake City | Pac-12 Network