SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – Following its 24-11 victory over Florida last week, the Utah football team has moved up two spots in the latest Associated Press rankings to #12 in the country.
Utah is one of six Pac-12 schools now in the top-25, tied for the most schools ranked with the SEC. USC (#6), Washington (#8), Oregon (#13), Oregon State (#16) and Colorado (#22) are the other Pac-12 teams now ranked in the poll.
This is the 23rd consecutive week Utah has been in the top-25 dating back to the 2021 season. The Utes play at Baylor this Saturday.
While Utah’s quarterback situation remains unsettled with Cam Rising trying to come back from ACL surgery, Baylor will be without starting quarterback Blake Shapen, who suffered a knee injury in the Bears 42-31 loss to Texas State on Saturday.
Backup Sawyer Robinson, who was 6 of 13 for 113 yards and one interception in relief of Shapen last week, will get the start.
“The backup came in and did some good things,” Utes head coach Kyle Whittingham said. “He did sputter at times, like everybody does. But he’s an athletic kid and is a Mississippi State transfer. We’ll just have to have a plan. I’m sure Coach Scalley and the defense will have a good plan, but it all starts with being tough against the run.”
Baylor head coach Dave Aranda is preparing for Rising, Bryson Barnes and Nate Johnson, who all possess different skillsets. Aranda is also familiar with Utes offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig, whose son Joe is on Baylor’s staff.
“All three of them have the ability to run the ball,” Aranda said about Utah’s quarterbacks. “I’ve known Coach Ludwig for quite some time, and I have a lot of respect for him. His son is a grad assistant for us on defense. I know that Coach Lud will have them coached up and ready to go.”
“Dave is a great person and I consider him a friend,” Ludwig said. “I wish him the very best after the game is over.”