It wasn’t the prettiest win, but Utah football survived its trip to Pullman, winning 21-17 with key players out, including starting quarterback Cameron Rising, running backs Tavion Thomas and Micah Bernard and — from the end of the third quarter onward — tight end Dalton Kincaid.
Here are three players who made an impact in the Utes’ win over Washington State.
Bryson Barnes, QB
After being told just in pregame that he was starting despite the fact that Rising practiced all week, Barnes had an admirable performance after being thrown into a tough situation.
Barnes finished 17 for 27 for 175 yards and a touchdown with a quarterback rating of 129.6. He showed that Utah could trust him at quarterback if needed, as he managed the game well and made key throws.
“I knew what was at stake, but you must be prepared and treat each game the same way. Right now, we have to keep things rolling and keep getting these wins,” Barnes said.
The former walk-on from Milford, who grew up as a pig farmer, was especially key on Utah’s final touchdown drive.
He ran for 28 yards on third and 4 to keep the drive alive, then threw a completion to Jaylen Dixon on third and 16 a few plays later.
He capped it off with the 5-yard touchdown pass to Dalton Kincaid.
“We feel comfortable with Bryson (Barnes) as we see him every day in practice. He is just as good as anybody in the country. I did not lose confidence when we saw him step onto the field,” linebacker Mohamoud Diabate said.
Jaylon Glover, RB
Utah’s top three running backs were all out as Tavion Thomas did not travel with the team, Micah Bernard only played three snaps due to injury and Chris Curry is lost for the season with an injury.
That meant true freshman Jaylon Glover was called upon to be Utah’s lead back on Thursday.
“It was a good feeling. Just like everyone is saying, we prepare every week. We are coming out of practice being starters. It was good, and it was fun being out there with the guys. It was great to come in here and get a win,” Glover said.
Glover played in four games prior to the trip to Pullman, but turned in his best game of his young career when he was needed the most.
Glover carried the ball 20 times for 76 yards and scored a rushing touchdown.
“I thought Jaylon Glover gave us some good runs,” head coach Kyle Whittingham said.
Mohamoud Diabate, LB
Linebacker Mohamoud Diabate had one of his best games a Ute on Saturday.
The Florida transfer finished with 1.5 sacks, six tackles and two tackles for loss against the Cougars.
Utah’s defense got after WSU quarterback Cameron Ward, sacking him four times and forcing a fumble, and Diabate was key to defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley’s game plan.