Utah's Quarterback Battle Beginning To Take Shape Following Scrimmage
According to Kyle Whittingham, Saturday's scrimmage following the first full week of fall camp did its part in narrowing down the quarterback battle. The Utah head coach, speaking on Monday, told media that the battle has been narrowed down to two — although he wouldn't tip his hand as to which two.
Seniors Jake Bentley and Drew Lisk and sophomore Cam Rising all immersed in the competition, and all took substantial reps with the first team offense last week during practice and during the scrimmage on Saturday.
Although Lisk is the longest tenured Ute in the battle, most believe it's going to be a two-way battle between Bentley and Rising. They each bring different skillsets to the offense, especially with varying levels of experience.
Interestingly enough, both Bentley and Rising are transfer quarterbacks who possess obvious strengths and weaknesses for the Utes. But without a spring football season — Utah only had three practices before it was canceled — and summer camp, it's going to be interesting how Whittingham and his staff decipher who's the man leading the way.
For Bentley, he's the grizzled veteran with 33 career starts at South Carolina before electing to transfer to Utah for his final season. Although he's coming off an injury, Bentley is armed with the in-game experience, particularly in the SEC, that is massively valuable and can't be overstated.
He did find success, holding a career 19-14 record and 10-7 mark in the SEC. He's played top tier teams in Alabama and Clemson throughout the years and knows how to direct an offense and should face zero nerves come kickoff.
But without a spring season and shortened camp, there are some definite limitations that could hold him back. For instance, he has to learn the playbook all on his own and isn't able to develop the sort of chemistry with his teammates that Rising already has.
For Rising though, he's been in Utah's system for the past year after transferring from Texas and having to sit out the 2019 season. During that time, he was around his teammates and according to reports, developed quite a chemistry with wide receiver Britain Covey.
He is also younger and possesses more upside and stability for the Utes in the long run, being seen as better able to make plays with his legs outside of the pocket.
But he has yet to play a college football game after redshirting in 2018 at Texas. The last time Rising played in a football game was two years ago at the high school level, so that's a long layoff between in-game experience and talent-level.
There is another scrimmage planned for Saturday, and it will surely feature the top two quarterbacks going at it. It's estimated that Whittingham and his staff will determine a starter after the scrimmage and that person will get the majority of the repetitions over the final two weeks leading up to Nov. 7.
"Outstanding scrimmage as far as work done, lots of situational work, all three quarterbacks played well we'll reserve judgement til we watch film," Whittingham stated. "We have to, we can't afford not to trim down the quarterback reps. We just can't continue to sink reps into three of them, we have to trim it down, we don't have a choice."
Want to share opinions or ask questions? We want to hear them! Making a profile is free and it only takes ~1 minute to set up. Also, be sure to like us on social media for future coverage: