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Jaylon Glover among a bevy of Utah players who have career days vs. SUU

In No. 13 Utah’s 73-7 pummeling of Southern Utah Saturday at Rice-Eccles Stadium, there were some notable debuts and firsts.

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Utah running back Jaylon Glover looks for yardage during the Utes’ blowout victory over Southern Utah in Salt Lake City.

Jaylon Glover (1) of the Utah Utes runs with the ball and is tackled by Rodrick Ward (3) of the Southern Utah Thunderbirds in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022. The Utes won 73-7.

Ben B. Braun, Deseret News

One of the benefits of a 66-point win is the opportunity to allow the reserves to get on the field.

In No. 13 Utah’s 73-7 pummeling of Southern Utah Saturday at Rice-Eccles Stadium, there was plenty of that. And there were some notable debuts and firsts. 

For example, freshman running back Jaylon Glover had his first career carry that went for seven yards in the third quarter. Moments later, he scored his first career touchdown on a four-yard run that gave the Utes a 59-7 lead. 

“It was a surreal moment. You’ve got to act like you’ve been there before. The first of many and I’m excited to keep going,” Glover said. “Ultimately, I know I’m a young guy and I’ve got a lot of years ahead of me, so my job is to stay healthy and stay ready.”

Coach Kyle Whittingham was happy with Glover’s performance on the day — nine carries for 53 yards. 

“Jaylon Glover is a talented kid. Right now, he’s our fourth back. We’re blessed at that position,” Whittingham said. “We have a good room with the running backs.

“He didn’t get any snaps last week in the game but he made the most of his snaps this week … Jaylon’s a guy that we have a lot of belief in. Chris Curry and Tavion Thomas are obviously ahead of him right now, but Jaylon, his time will come.”

In the first half, Curry scored his first career touchdown. 

“He’s a great back,” said quarterback Cam Rising. “It’s always good when you get a guy like him going, to see him running downhill, hitting those holes hard like that. I’m excited for him.”

Defensively, freshman linebacker Lander Barton recorded his first career sack in the first half. 

“It felt good to have the first sack of my career,” he said. “I expect many more to come. The environment was great but I can imagine next week will be even better.”

With 14:18 remaining in the fourth quarter, tight end Thomas Yassmin recorded his first career touchdown reception on a 29-yard pass from Bryson Barnes that put Utah up 66-7. 

The Utes’ overwhelming lead allowed plenty of backups the opportunity to gain valuable experience. The second-team and third-team offense played the entire second half. The first-team defense played just one series in the second half before allowing the backups to take over.

“It gets you guys that you may have to count on reps and you give them experience,” Whittingham said of the reserves getting work. “That’s invaluable. Practice is great but it’s not like game reps. It helps you this year and next year.”

Barnes replaced Rising in the second half and completed 6 of 6 passes for 98 yards and a touchdown. 

Ja’Quinden Jackson entered the game in place of Barnes with 11:37 remaining in the game and promptly ripped off 28 yards on the ground, which was a career-best. He didn’t attempt a pass because the game was so one-sided.

“I thought Bryson Barnes came in and ran the offense efficiently. The whole offense wasn’t available to him and we weren’t going to push the ball down the field much in the second half,” Whittingham said.

“When (Jackson) got in, there were going to be no throws. I thought both of them did exactly what they should have done under the circumstances. They performed very well.”