No. 14 Utah has spent its entire season waiting for the return of starting quarterback Cam Rising from a knee injury. That wait just got much longer.
Utes head coach Kyle Whittingham told reporters Saturday after a win over No. 18 USC that Rising will be shut down for the season, as well as tight end Brant Kuithe, who tore his ACL last season. Linebacker Lander Barton, the reigning Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of the Year, is also done for the season after being seen with crutches on the sideline.
It has not been decided yet if Rising or Kuithe will return for a seventh year in Salt Lake City in 2024, per Josh Newman of The Salt Lake Tribune.
With Rising now officially off the table for the next few months, Utah still has No. 9 Oregon and No. 5 Washington remaining on its schedule, as well as future Big 12 conference mates Arizona State, Arizona and Colorado. The Utes will likely tackle that challenge with Bryson Barnes under center following Saturday’s win, in which Barnes went 14-of-23 for 235 passing yards, three touchdowns and one interception, plus 57 rushing yards and a touchdown on the ground.
Utah’s record currently sits at 6-1 (3-1 in conference) with its only loss to No. 12 Oregon State.
Rising sustained his injury during last season’s Rose Bowl, tearing his ACL, meniscus, MPFL and MCL in a loss to Penn State. Utah didn’t disclose the severity of his injury during the offseason, publicly treating the possibility of his return as a week-to-week situation while Barnes and Nate Johnson split duties under center.
Rising finally revealed what happened to his knee during a radio appearance earlier this month, telling fans he was facing a difficult comeback and claiming he was actually ahead of schedule just by practicing. It’s unclear if a setback led the shutdown.
Last season, Rising led Utah to a 10-4 record and its second straight Pac-12 title, posting 2,939 passing yards, a 66.2% completion rate, 8.1 yards per pass attempt, 25 touchdowns and seven interceptions, plus six touchdowns on the ground. He previously earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors in 2021.
Christine Lake is a sports fanatic who lives and breathes athletics. With an extensive background in sports journalism, he covers everything from major league championships to grassroots sports events. When she’s not on the field or at the stadium, you’ll find Christine coaching youth sports teams.