In the fast-paced world of sports, hope often appears in unexpected places.
The Utah football team’s recent postgame news conference following a game against Baylor was filled with highs and lows. Which brings us to the most daunting question of the season:
What Is The Update On Cam Rising’s Injuries?
The injured starting quarterback of the Utes, Cam Rising, is getting closer to a return.
In the upcoming match against Weber State. Coach Kyle Whittingham expressed hope, saying, “We’re gonna get Cam back at some point—hopefully this week.” Rising is working hard to recover from a ruptured ACL, and the excitement in the air is obvious.
However, amid the euphoria of Rising’s possible comeback, a sombre note must be struck.
Micah Bernard Delivers a Season-Ending Blow
Football seasons are marked by ups and downs, and the Utes are now navigating turbulent waters. Junior running back Micah Bernard, a vital contributor to the squad, suffered a season-ending injury as a result of an off-the-field collision.
Coach Whittingham confirmed the devastating news, saying, “Yeah, Micah Bernard is out for the season. We won’t have him for the rest of the trip.” This is a huge blow for Utah’s attacking arsenal.
Struggles on the offensive and rising hopes
As the 2023 football season begins, Utah’s offensive unit has seen its fair share of difficulties.
Despite beginning the season with a sensational 70-yard pass from Bryson Barnes to Money Parks against Florida, the Utes’ offence struggled to maintain momentum throughout the game.
The air and ground attacks struggled to create a rhythm, resulting in a lacklustre performance.
The rushing game showed promise in their next game against Baylor, but the passing game remained anaemic until Nate Johnson took over with just over ten minutes left in the game.
Only 20 points were scored by the Utes against Baylor, that was coming off a 41-point loss to Sun Belt rival Texas State the week before.
The Utes were averaging 22.0 points, 323.5 total yards, and 159 passing yards per game after two weeks.
Nate Johnson showed flashes of brilliance on the pitch, notably with his mobility. Despite completing just 6 of 7 throws for 82 yards, his contributions were significant.
Taking the Lead: Cam’s Potential Return
Coach Whittingham praised Johnson’s growth, saying he “took a big step forward.” However, he was frank about Johnson and Barnes’ overall performance in replacing Cam Rising’s shoes, calling it “nothing spectacular.”
Despite the difficulties, there is a sense of excitement regarding Cam Rising’s probable return. Whittingham’s “Cam is doing really well” was the update on Rising’s status.
It’s simply a matter of having complete faith in the knee and the medical personnel saying, ‘Yeah, we’re going to let him go.'”
While Rising is unfettered in practice, his psychological assurance in the stability of his knee is critical.
The hope is that he will get the go-ahead this week, though Coach Whittingham confesses to crossing his fingers for weeks.
If Rising is unable to play against Weber State, the spotlight may shine even harder on Nate Johnson, the quarterback in charge.
Running Back Problems: The Effect of Bernard’s Absence
Micah Bernard, a talented running back, has demonstrated his abilities on the pitch. He carried for an astounding 523 yards in 2021, or 6.0 yards per carry on average.
The following season, he continued his outstanding play, gaining 533 yards on an average of 5.0 yards per run. This year’s season opener against Florida saw him collect 45 yards on seven attempts, averaging 6.4 yards per attempt.
Bernard, though, is no longer a viable option for Utah due to his season-ending injury. Chris Curry, another talented running back, is still recovering from an injury that ended his previous season prematurely.
Coach Whittingham expressed optimism about Curry’s growth, emphasising the importance of integrating him into the lineup as quickly as possible.
In the Future: A Glimmer of Hope in the Running Game
Despite the physical challenges that offensive linemen encounter, there is hope for the run game. Ja’Quinden Jackson, who returned from a lacklustre effort against Florida, demonstrated his promise with 129 yards against Baylor.
While Coach Whittingham was moderately critical of his offensive linemen’s first toughness, he recognised room for growth. If their performance in Week 2 is any indication of their talents, there may be no need to rush Cam Rising back.
Hope is an ever-present companion on the unexpected trip that is football. It’s a journey filled with ups and downs, injuries and recoveries, and the unwavering quest for excellence for Utah.
As the season progresses, the Utes will face these difficulties with tenacity and a fierce competitive spirit.