Rising up for the Utes if he is called upon to start

Sports

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – We will not know until game time, but all indications are that Cam Rising is about to take over as starting quarterback for the Utes football team.

“No, we won’t do that,” head coach Kyle Whittingham said. “We have a solid idea of what we’re going to do. But we won’t make any official announcement.”

Rising replaced a struggling Charlie Brewer in the third quarter of Saturday’s 33-31 triple-overtime loss to San Diego State, and threw three touchdown passes.

Head coach Kyle Whittingham said he won’t reveal who will start Saturday against Washington State, but he was impressed with Rising’s performance.

“Offensively, we just couldn’t get anything going until late in the game,” Whittingham said. “I saw some really good things from Cam Rising when he came in. He provided a spark.”

Rising, playing in his first game since suffering a season-ending shoulder injury last year against USC, said he felt comfortable once the fourth quarter started.

“It was probably in that fourth quarter that I started to understand that we had to go get stuff done and all the other noise didn’t really matter,” said Rising, who would not say if he has had talks with Whittingham about starting on Saturday.

While Brewer was under constant pressure by the San Diego State defense, Rising was able to use his running ability to escape the rush. Rising ended up with 46 yards rushing against the Aztecs. He also was able to utilize the wide receivers more, throwing touchdown passes to Britain Covey, Theo Howard and Jaylen Dixon.

“I have all the confidence in the world with them,” Rising said. “They’ll make the plays and they’ll be there when I need them.”

Whittingham was also impressed with the leadership Rising displayed on the field, showing why he was elected as a team captain.

“At that particular position, you’d like to have the guy be vocal and a guy that has an alpha dog type of mentality,” Whittingham said. “Because leading by example is great, but it doesn’t seem to work as well at the quarterback spot.”

“I take great pride in making sure that I’m setting the example,” Rising said. “I’m just making sure that everybody stays together and is really locked in on what we’re trying to accomplish.”

So while the offense tries to find an identity, the good news is the Utes ultimate goal of winning the Pac-12 South is still attainable.

“We’re 0-0 in Pac-12 play,” Whittingham said. “That’s the mentality right now is we’ve got a fresh start. The non-conference games went nothing like we expected or anticipated. Everyone is more angry and frustrated then they are despondent.”

Utah and Washington State will kick off at 12:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

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