Two Utes expected to miss upcoming Alamo Bowl

Ryan Kostecka

When Utah travels to the South to face Texas in the Alamo Bowl, it will do so without two of its primary players in the secondary.

Senior safety Julian Blackmon's esteemed career at Utah has officially come to an end following an injury sustained in the Pac-12 championship game against Oregon. Playing on the uneven turf at Levi's Stadium, Blackmon went down with a non-contact issue when an Oregon play was whistled dead due to penalty.

Whittingham described the injury as “fairly serious" when asked following the conclusion of the game.

Blackmon was recently named to the all-Pac-12 first team, his second consecutive year receiving the honor. He was also named an all-American by Pro Football Focus, finishing as the nation's No. 4 highest graded safety. On the season he ended up with four interceptions and 60 tackles.

Whittingham will have to dig deeper into his depth chart as Blackmon's primary replacement, sophomore R.J. Hubert will also miss that game after getting hurt moments after Blackmon went down in the conference title game.

December 6, 2019; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Oregon Ducks wide receiver Johnny Johnson III (3) catches the football against Utah Utes defensive back Josh Nurse (14) and defensive back R.J. Hubert (10) during the second quarter at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Hubert comes with starting experience, having started against Idaho State, and most recently against Washington. Nephi Sewell is expected to start in place of both Blackmon and Hubert.

The Utes are in for a tough test when it faces Texas on Dec. 31. The Longhorns are led by 4,000-yard passer Sam Ehlinger and 1,000-yard receiver Devin Duvernay.