Micah Bernard draws start at corner, hauls in circus touchdown catch to put Utah up early in Rose Bowl
Running back. Corner. Pass-catcher. Whatever you ask him to do, Micah Bernard is making plays both ways in the Rose Bowl.
The redshirt freshman running back is filling in at cornerback for the Utes against the Ohio State Buckeyes as that particular position group has been ravaged by injuries. His first opportunity to put his fingerprints on Saturday’s Rose Bowl game came late in the first quarter when Bernard motioned from out wide into the backfield, then took off on a wheel route to the boundary.
He hauled in a tremendous catch from quarterback Cam Rising to put the Utes up 14-0 early.
Here’s the play:
As called on Utah radio: pic.twitter.com/NX6WWGhzmg
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) January 1, 2022
— Utah Football (@Utah_Football) January 1, 2022
All-Pac-12 cornerback JT Broughton was lost for the season on Sept. 11 at BYU. Faybian Marks, who had played well in place of Broughton, suffered a season-ending injury at Arizona on Nov. 13. His replacement, Zemaiah Vaughn, left the Pac-12 championship game on Dec. 3 with an injury and had season-ending surgery. So Bernard drew a start at corner.
“We’ve experimented with a bunch of different guys,” defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley said earlier this week. “Obviously, you’ve got great athletes that come to our university and some have played on both sides of the ball, so we’ve experimented with a number of guys, and you’ll see on game day.”
Bernard has played in all 13 games for the Utes this season, drawing five starts. He has put up 492 yards and two scores on 84 carries (5.8 per carry) while leading all running backs with 24 catches for 236 yards (9.8 per catch) and one touchdown.
The Utes are taking on the Buckeyes in the Rose Bowl over on ESPN.