Nate Johnson replaces Bryson Barnes and leads must-have TD drive late vs. Baylor
Nate Johnson engineered a 15-play, 88-yard touchdown drive for Utah when it needed him the most.
The second-year quarterback had thrown just two passes prior to replacing Bryson Barnes. But with Barnes largely ineffective, Utah turned to Johnson with 10:01 to play in the fourth, down seven. He began at his own 12-yard-line and drove the Utes right down the field.
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On the ensuing Baylor possession, Utah safety Cole Bishop picked off the Baylor quarterback to give Utah the football back in field goal range with 95 seconds left on the clock.
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Barnes started for the injured Cameron Rising. He threw a first-half interception and completed just six of his 19 passes before the touchdown drive from Johnson. Barnes was the thrower, Johnson the runner until late. And it didn’t work for the Utes’ offense.
Utah trailed 10-3 at halftime.
Rising is recovering from offseason ACL surgery. Johnson played last year as a change-of-pace option, with multiple packages late in the year that highlighted his versatility. But he went through the offseason unable to take hold of the backup spot.
Barnes started the Week 1 win over Florida. Johnson played, but was more of a runner.
Utah hosts Weber State next week and could look to give Johnson more run after his performance against Baylor.