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Analysis: The Biggest Questions Remaining Ahead Of College Football Week 1

Aug 19, 2022, 5:54 PM | Updated: Aug 29, 2022, 1:53 pm
Cam Rising - Jaren Hall - Logan Bonner...
Cam Rising #7 of the Utah Utes(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images) and Jaren Hall #3 of the Brigham Young Cougars (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images) and Logan Bonner #1 of the Utah State Aggies (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – With just one week to go until the start of college football, some questions remain unanswered at The University of Utah, Brigham Young University, and Utah State University.

So what are the biggest questions left remaining for the state’s biggest football programs going into 2022?

Utah State

The Aggies will open week zero just less than a week from today. Yet still, a big question remains, who will be the starting quarterback come week zero?

Head coach Blake Anderson has been non-committal and the question remains is Logan Bonner ready to go? Bonner who suffered a knee injury in the Los Angeles bowl last year has gotten good reviews out of camp but the team has yet to make an official announcement on who the starting quarterback will be.

While most will speculate that Bonner will be the day one starter, nothing official has been announced yet which leaves a question hanging in the air.

Could the coaching staff hold Bonner out against a UConn team the Aggies should beat either way and wait until Alabama in week one to put Bonner into the starting lineup?

Another question is the offensive line, will it be able to hold up throughout the 2022 season? Last year Bonner was hit a lot behind an offensive line that struggled at points. Will that group up front, full of new faces be able to keep the passer upright?

BYU

Will the pass rush improve this year?

Last year BYU’s leading sack man Tyler Batty only put up four sacks. That number for a sack leader is low for a program that is about to move into the power five.

To put that in perspective last year the Baylor Bears, a Big-12 team the Cougars will face next year recorded 44 sacks. BYU had about half that number coming in with only 20 sacks last year.

The Cougar’s inability to get to the QB is a major issue.

BYU’s struggles with finding consistent pass rushers have been well documented but now the question remains will the program find more contributors up front in the year 2022?

Batty will return but the Cougars could use big seasons from the rest of their front seven as well. Gabe Summers could be looked to in that regard as well as Earl Tuioti-Mariner. The owners though fall on Kalani Sitake and defensive coordinator Ilaisa Tuiaki to finally find more success rushing the passer in 2022.

Utah

Will Devaughn Vele and the wide receiving group live up to the hype?

The hype surrounding the receiving core at Utah has been through the roof in camp. Yet the facts are the facts of the group, Jaylen Dixon has been the only Utes receiver to put up a 500-yard receiving season.

Yes, the Utes are a run-first offense. Kyle Whittingham several times this year though has acknowledged that to be nationally competitive the Utes need to have an explosive passing attack.

For that to happen each of these receivers must put up 400 yards minimum. With Cameron Rising at QB, the group should be optimistic to put up those numbers. However, if the formula for the Utes becomes run the ball and play great defense that could be a strategy for success as well.

Ball control may work in the Pac-12 but to keep up with teams like Florida, and teams like Alabama and Ohio State, if Utah makes it to the playoff, the receiving core needs to have a big year for the offense.

The State Looks Good

Overall, none of these questions are deal breakers for the teams across the state. BYU should have an explosive offense to back up a defense that may struggle to get pressure.

Utah has weapons at tight end and running back that can help contribute to passing success.

Utah State and Blake Anderson’s offense relies on quick passing to get the job done offensively so that a QB can survive a shaky offensive line.

There is optimism abounding for all three teams going into the 2022 college football season.

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