Redshirt freshman Nate Johnson will reportedly get his second straight start at quarterback when Utah plays UCLA on Saturday afternoon.
ESPN’s Pete Thamel reported Saturday morning that senior Cam Rising’s status for the Utes’ Pac-12 opener is uncertain, giving way for Johnson again to start after he did so last week against Weber State.
The speedy dual-threat Johnson completed 13 of 21 passes for 193 yards and one touchdown in the 31-7 win over the Wildcats while also carrying the ball 16 times for a team-high 71 rushing yards and a touchdown.
Johnson scored the game’s opening points on a 1-yard touchdown run midway through the first quarter and also threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Money Parks in the second quarter.
Rising, meanwhile, has yet to play this season for the 3-0 Utes as he continues to rehab a torn ACL suffered in last season’s Rose Bowl.
While Thamel’s report indicated Johnson will start, it stopped short of saying that the senior Rising won’t play against the Bruins.
“He was given clearance to practice without limitation in early September and was given positive reports by coach Kyle Whittingham earlier this week about how he looked in practice,” Thamel wrote of Rising, who led Utah to back-to-back Pac-12 championships the past two seasons.
A little under two hours until game time, ESPN Radio’s Ian Fitzsimmons reported that Rising would suit up for the first time this season and be available but that Johnson indeed is expected to get the start.
The game between No. 11 Utah and No. 22 UCLA will kick off at 1:30 p.m. MDT at Rice-Eccles Stadium and be televised on Fox.