SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – Utah’s spring practice came to an end Saturday afternoon at Rice-Eccles Stadium, and redshirt freshman Brandon Rose may have taken the lead for the backup quarterback job.
Rose completed 19 of 24 passes for 233 yards and a touchdown, as the White Team beat the Red Team, 38-28, in the newly renamed “22 Forever Game” in honor of Ty Jordan and Aaron Lowe.
In a game that saw 642 yards of total offense and nine touchdowns, Rose was the star.
“I thought he played extremely well,” said head coach Kyle Whittingham. “He was very accurate. He has progressed very nicely this spring, and its great to see him continuing to take strides forward because that’s what needs to happen.”
Starting quarterback Cam Rising has not played this spring because of a knee injury suffered in the Rose Bowl. Last year’s backup Bryson Barnes took a few snaps at quarterback during the game for the Red Team, going 2-of-3 for 30 yards, also breaking free for a 32-yard rushing touchdown.
Nate Johnson threw for 43 yards and a touchdown on 4-of-7 passing for the Red Team, adding 28 rushing yards. Rising has been impressed with all three quarterbacks during spring practice.
“They’ve done a great job making sure we’re hitting the ground running as a team,” Rising said. “It was a little shaky at first, but they did a great job sticking with it. They definitely progressed and got better this entire spring ball.”
Daniel Wood had nine carries for 34 yards and a touchdown for the White Team while Faysal Aden produced six carries for 35 yards and a touchdown for the Red Team.
Plenty of players that probably will not see much playing time this season made an impact on Saturday. Kaimana Hanohano had a 60-yard receiving touchdown for the Red Team with Chris Reed also catching an 11-yard touchdown. Projected starting running back Ja’Quinden showed off his versatility by notching two catches for 52 yards and three rushes for 17 yards and a touchdown.
Mikey Matthews had seven catches for 59 yards, while Money Parks racked up five receptions for 71 yards and a touchdown. Deven Johnson also scoring on a 65-yard reception.
“A lot of fireworks today,” Whittingham said. “Not a lot of defense though.”
Ole Miss transfer Miles Battle did intercept Howard and took it back 44 yards for a pick-6, while Justin Medlock led all defenders with 11 tackles.
The Utes kick off the 2023 season August 31st against Florida at Rice-Eccles Stadium.