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Postgame Notes: Utah vs. Weber State

Sep 2, 2021
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Utah 40, Weber State 17
Salt Lake City, Utah (Rice-Eccles Stadium)
Thu., Sept. 2, 2021
Kick: 5:31 p.m. MT | End: 10:10 p.m. MT
Attendance: 51,544 (sellout)

General

  • Utah has sold out Rice-Eccles stadium in 65 consecutive games, dating back to the 2010 season opener. Utah increased its attendance from 45,807 to 51,444 in 2021 with the expansion of the Ken Garff Red Zone. Official attendance for Thursday's game was 51,511, a stadium record.
  • The last time Utah had fans in the stands prior to tonight's game against Weber State was Nov. 30, 2019, with 46,879 cheering on the Utes on to a 45-15 victory to clinch the Pac-12 South title.
  • Utah has scored first in nine of the last 11 season openers.
  • Utah won the coin toss, deferred to the second half, and elected to defend the South goal.
  • Due to lightning detected in the area, the game was placed into a Weather Delay at 5:48 p.m. MT. Play resumed at 7:17 p.m. It is believed to be the first Weather Delay caused by lightning since the opening of Rice-Eccles Stadium in 1998.
  • Eight players made their first starts as Utes: Micah Bernard, Charlie Brewer, Van Fillinger, Hayden Furey, Theo Howard, Dalton Kincaid, Paul Maile and Brandon McKinney.

Offense

  • For the first time in five seasons, the Utes' first offensive play was a pass instead of a rush. The first offensive play of the season has been a rush in eight of the last 10 seasons. The last time Utah started a game with a passing play was in 2016.
  • Utah has scored points on its first possession six times in the last 17 seasons and four times in the last seven (all FGs).
  • Utah has scored a field goal to start a game in five of the last six season openers.
  • Senior Charlie Brewer made his first Utah start at quarterback. It was Brewer's 45th collegiate game, following 44 prior at Baylor (2017-20).
  • Brewer is the first Utah quarterback since then-junior Troy Williams (Sept. 1, 2016) to throw for multiple touchdowns in his first start as a Ute.
  • Redshirt freshman running back Micah Bernard reset single-game highs in carries (6) and rushing yards (35). In addition, Bernard reeled in three catches totaling 41 yards.
  • Sophomore running back Tavion Thomas had his first multi-touchdown game since Sept. 15, 2018--a two-touchdown outing for Cincinnati against Alabama A&M.
  • Returning from an injury-shortened 2020 season, sophomore quarterback Cameron Rising entered in the fourth quarter and capped a two-play drive with his first career touchdown pass, an 11-yard strike to junior tight end Dalton Kincaid.
  • Rising's fourth quarter touchdown pass secured the first Utah game with multiple quarterbacks passing for a score since a 35-0 win vs. Cal on Oct. 26, 2019 (Tyler Huntley and Jason Shelley).

Defense

  • Utah forced three-and-outs on Weber State's first two drives, the first occurrence in a season opener since 2018 also vs. Weber State.
  • Junior linebacker Devin Lloyd recorded his second career interception, and Lloyd's first since Nov. 12, 2019 at Oregon State.
  • Lloyd had 12 total tackles (7-5-12) on the night, setting a single-game career high.
  • Lloyd's interception also marked the seventh straight game that Utah has recorded a pick, dating back to the 2019 Valero Alamo Bowl vs. Texas (Dec. 31, 2019).
  • The Utes defense kept Weber State out of Utah territory until WSU's fifth drive of the game and did not allow a scoring drive until the Wildcats converted a 25-yard field goal with 10:31 left in the third quarter.
  • Utah kept Weber State without an offensive touchdown until the 2:43 mark of the fourth quarter, the longest opponent drought in a season opener since the Utes shutout Southern Utah on Sept. 1, 2016.

Special Teams

  • Sophomore kicker Jadon Redding connected on a 25-yard field goal to cap Utah's opening drive of the game. Redding has now scored Utah's first points of the season for the second straight year, after making a 36-yard field goal vs. USC on Nov. 21, 2020.
  • With two made field goals on the night (25 yards, 31 yards), Redding has now made 14 consecutive field goal attempts, the second-longest active streak in FBS football.
  • A missed PAT by Redding in the second quarter ended a streak of 75 consecutive PATs made by Utah, as well as 74 straight by Redding. The last miss by a Ute was on Aug. 29, 2019 at BYU.
  • Utah did not punt until the 14:44 mark of the second quarter, having scored on its first three drives of the game (FG, TD, FG).