‘Courageous’ Micah Bernard has become Utah’s most consistent running back
The Long Beach, California, native has rushed 25 times for 138 yards and a touchdown. He’s also caught 14 passes for 143 yards
Utah’s running backs room has faced issues and created plenty of storylines during the first month of the season.
Chris Curry suffered a season-ending injury. Tavion Thomas dealt with a death in his family and was held out of the first half against Arizona State. Freshman Jaylon Glover has received an opportunity to make his debut and former third-string quarterback Ja’Quinden Jackson recently switched to running back.
“One of the best quotes I’ve heard is, ‘The best ability is availability.’ Just to be available and consistent and have people know they can depend on you is a great feeling because you know that you’re doing your job right.” — Utah running back Micah Bernard
Meanwhile, Micah Bernard has been the Utes’ most consistent back this season.
Bernard has rushed 25 times for 138 yards and a touchdown. He’s also caught 14 passes for 143 yards.
“We’d like to get Micah involved as much as we can. He’s been a little bit banged up. He’s not 100%. But he’s a courageous kid,” said coach Kyle Whittingham. “He’s been our most consistent back. He’s our best pass protector and he catches the ball out of the backfield. He brings a lot to the table.”
What does it mean to Bernard to be regarded in that way by his coach?
“It means a lot. I try to be consistent. One of the best quotes I’ve heard is, ‘The best ability is availability,’” he said. “Just to be available and consistent and have people know they can depend on you is a great feeling because you know that you’re doing your job right.”
Bernard acknowledged that he’s not fully healthy.
“I’ve been banged-up the past couple of weeks. I’m constantly trying to get better and make myself feel good,” he said. “But that doesn’t stop me from going out there on Saturdays and getting the job done.”
After that game, Whittingham said the ground attack is “not living up to our potential in that area.”
Bernard is confident in Utah’s ground attack.
“The run game has always been a part of Utah football. It’s going to be about time when teams figure out that that’s what they need to do to try to stop us. It’s kind of tough,” he said. “We know we need to keep working at it. Utah football is the run game. But it’s nice to know that we can put the ball in the air and get the job done also. Now we have to mesh those together — running and passing the ball.”
Whittingham said Thomas is working his way back.
“He’s been on track. Barring any setbacks this week, you should see him more and more as the weeks go on.”
As the No. 11 Utes face No. 18 UCLA Saturday, Bernard, who hails from Long Beach, will be playing in front of friends and family at the Rose Bowl.
But securing tickets for everyone isn’t easy.
“It’s very stressful. I have a lot of family from SoCal,” he said. “A lot of people want to come and see the game. Everybody wants a ticket. It’s so stressful. I’ve got to battle through it.”
Utes on the air
No. 11 Utah (4-1, 2-0)
at No. 18 UCLA (5-0, 2-0)
Saturday, 1:30 p.m. MDT
Radio: ESPN 700