Attendance Record Broken As No. 14 Utah Football Beats Florida Gators In Season Opener

Aug 31, 2023, 9:19 PM

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SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Utes defeated the Florida Gators, 24-11, in the season opener on Thursday.

Money Parks, Nate Johnson, and Bryson Barnes all found the end zone for the Utes. Caleb Douglas was the sole touchdown scorer for the Gators.

Utah will travel to Baylor to take on the Bears on September 9.

Utah, Florida Run Rematch In Season Opener

The No. 14 Utes and Florida Gators faced off in the season opener at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah on Thursday, August 31.

Last season, Utah football lost a heartbreaker in the Swamp, 29-26. This season, the Utes are determined to do their part to ensure Utah doesn’t lose to Florida again.

Sloppy play- particularly on defense was a main culprit in Utah’s loss and team captains Karene Reid and Cole Bishop are doing what they can to ensure the defense does not repeat that performance.

RELATED: Utah Utes, Florida Gators Season Opener Sets Attendance Record At Rice-Eccles Stadium

Between having one more year of experience as a unit and emphasizing tackling a little more in fall camp, Utah is hopeful for better results once the clock strikes zero on Thursday night that will preserve one of the longest active home win streaks in the country.


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Utah legend and former NFL quarterback Alex Smith was in attendance for Utah’s home opener. He said that the atmosphere was unlike anything he experienced during his time with the Utes.

“This surpasses anything that I had in college,” Smith said.


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First Half

First Quarter

When the Utes offense walked out, Bryson Barnes came onto the field.

RELATED: Utah’s Bryson Barnes Starts Against Florida, Cam Rising Out

On the first offensive play of the season, Barnes found WR Money Parks on a deep ball.

RELATED: Money Parks Scores 70-Yard TD On First Offensive Play Of Utes 2023 Season

RELATED: Utah Jazz Rookies Attend Utes’ Opener Against Florida Gators

Second Quarter

On the Utes first offensive possession in the second quarter, QB Nate Johnson came in to run the offense.

Johnson got redemption for his first drive immediately after returning to the field.

He scrambled out of the pocket and ran 27 yards for a Utes touchdown.

RELATED: QB Nate Johnson Scrambles For Touchdown Against Florida Gators

Utah’s defense continued to smother the Gators on the following drive.

Second Half

Third Quarter

The interception by Vaki set the Utes up in the red zone.

Barnes and Utah’s offense made the most of the field position, scoring with another QB rushing touchdown.

RELATED: Sione Vaki Interception Leads To Bryson Barnes Rushing Touchdown

Fourth Quarter

Florida’s first touchdown of the game and season came with 9:22 left in the fourth quarter.

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Chandler Holt is a co-host for the Jazz Notes podcast and a Digital Sports Producer for KSLSports.com, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerHoltKSL or on Threads @chandlerho1t.

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 XInstagram, and Threads: @BodkinKSLsports

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Attendance Record Broken As No. 14 Utah Football Beats Florida Gators In Season Opener