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Utes Bulletin: Things Happening In Utah Athletics (Week Of 4/10/23)

Apr 10, 2023, 11:37 AM

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SALT LAKE CITY – Spring football is in full-swing while several of the smaller sports are also in progress and having success, making a one-stop-shop for little tidbits of Utah Athletics information necessary with the Utes Bulletin.

If you missed any of the highlights from the previous week, you can review that here.

Without further ado, here is this week’s Utes Bulletin that includes ranking updates, upcoming events for the week, and important dates to keep track of among other items of interest concerning Utah Athletics for the week of 4/10/23.

Utah Gymnastics

It is a big week for the Red Rocks as they will head down to Dallas, Texas to compete in their 47th straight National Championship.

While it has been 28 years (1995) since the Utes won a national title, the 2023 squad does appear to be peaking at the right time with their third straight Pac-12 Title, and double 198+ performances at the L.A. Regional over the past month.

Make sure you catch all of the action starting Thursday, April 13 at 7:00 pm MT as the Red Rocks take on Oklahoma, UCLA, and Kentucky in hopes of advancing to Saturday’s final. 

Utah Football

The Utes are heading into week four of spring ball after wrapping up their first scrimmage this past Saturday. Reports out of the scrimmage largely indicate the defense was very dominant while the offense struggled to get a lot going, though they had their moments as well. This stands to reason as key components of Utah’s offense are sitting spring out including starting quarterback Cam Rising and tight end Brant Kuithe leaving a lot of young guys to carry the load.

The Utes will be back at it this week with the media having a 20-minute viewing period on Tuesday, April 11 followed by comments from head coach Kyle Whittingham and select offensive players. The media will have one other opportunity on Thursday, April 13 to speak with the defensive players.

The Battle For QB2

With Rising sitting spring ball out, the Utes have been taking a very close look at their backup quarterbacks. After staying relatively quiet on the subject the first two weeks of spring practices, head coach Kyle Whittingham finally indicated there was some minor separation happening in week three.

Running Back Unity

It appears the running back room is in great shape for the Utes in 2023 not only from a talent standpoint, but a personality standpoint as well. Position coach Quinton Ganther along with Jaylon Glover and Ja’Quinden Jackson have spoken highly of the synergy of the current group.

Utah football also resumed their series “Why U Play” that featured Jackson and his unique story to becoming a running back at the University of Utah.

Respecting The Process

Both Whittingham and tight end Thomas Yassmin were asked last week why it has been a while since a report of a “bad” practice has come out for the Utes and they both pointed to the team being very in-tune with what is expected from top to bottom as the main reason why.

A Familiar Face Returns

Last week, former Utah offensive lineman Isaac Asiata made it official he will be putting his law enforcement career on hold to pursue a graduate degree while helping coach the Utes’ OBlock with Jim Harding. 

Asiata is largely regarded as one of the best offensive linemen to come through the program in recent memory and will certainly be a wealth of knowledge for Utah’s up and coming talent.

Pro Utes

It’s been an exciting week for some of Utah football’s alums in the pro-ranks.

Star quarterback turned Philadelphia Eagles’ offensive coordinator Brian Johnson returned to campus for a visit and KSL’s Jeremiah Jenson got the exclusive on life after Utah and where the rising star coach sees himself going next.

Former Utah safety Eric Rowe has found a new home with the Carolina Panthers after spending the past few seasons in Miami with the Dolphins. 

Finally, after retiring last summer from the Detroit Lions, defensive lineman John Penisini has decided to come back out of retirement and will spend the 2023 season with the Carolina Panthers.

Utah Track And Field

Utah track and field had an outstanding week setting new school, conference, and NCAA records last week. Spearheading that effort was Emily Venters who was named Pac-12 Track Athlete of the Week. It was only the fifth time in program history a Utah track and field athlete has received the honors.

The Utes honored 12 seniors over the weekend during the Utah Spring Classic where a few more records were broken at the McCarthey Family Track & Field Complex.

Utah Baseball

The Utes traveled down to Los Angeles this weekend to take on the 23rd ranked UCLA Bruins. Utah lost the first two games in the series but walked away with a tie in the third game after 11 innings.

Utah sits 11-18-1 overall and 3-11-1 in conference as they turn their attention to a home and home Monday, April 10 and Tuesday, April 11 with Utah Valley University.

New Stadium On The Horizon?

Earlier in the year it was announced that the Salt Lake Bees and Smith’s Ballpark will be moving to Daybreak in the future leaving the Utah baseball team without a home. 

A meeting to discuss potential on-campus stadium plans (off of Guardsman Way) is scheduled for Tuesday, April 11 this week with the University of Utah board of trustees. The potential project is estimated at $35 million to construct and would give the Utah baseball team a 1,200-seat on-campus stadium that would also house team facilities, lockers, showers, etc. along with fan concessions, restrooms, and a media press box.

Utah Women’s Basketball

Alissa Pili continues to pile on the awards and recognition for Utah women’s basketball. Late last week, the talented forward was named as one of four Pride of Alaska recipients.

Pili hails from Anchorage, Alaska and was a standout for the Utes in 2023 after transferring into the program from USC.

Utah Softball

The Utah softball team continues to be impressive going 2-1 against the Arizona State Sun Devils last weekend. The Utes won the first game, dropped the middle game, and finished up strong last Saturday with a win over their conference mates.

The Utes are 24-8 overall and 8-4 in conference play as they turn their attention BYU on Monday, April 10, and Weber State on Tuesday, April 11.

Utah Lacrosse

The Utes were on the road against Robert Morris last Saturday, but it didn’t seem to matter too much. Utah walked away with another impressive win, 26-16, and several program records broken.

After a slow preseason start, Utah currently sits undefeated in the ASUN Conference, 5-0, with a 6-4 record overall. The Utes will back home this weekend hosting Lindenwood on Wednesday, April 12, and Mercer on Saturday, April 15.

Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @BodkinKSLsports

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Utes Bulletin: Things Happening In Utah Athletics (Week Of 4/10/23)