Utah started its season in style, completing a 70-yard touchdown pass on the first offensive play of the season against Florida. Photo Credit: ESPN Utah’s Money Parks catches a 70-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Bryson Barnes against Florida. Photo Credit: ESPN

If there was any concern that Utah’s football team would not be able to make big plays with quarterback Cameron Rising still recovering from an ACL tear, the first play of the season did a lot to alleviate those concerns.

Utah opened up its season on Thursday with a home game against Florida. The Utes got off to a good start defensively, forcing a three-and-out from the Gators on the game’s opening possession. After a Florida punt, Utah started its first offensive possession of the game and season on its own 30. That possession would not last long.

On their first offensive play, the Utes called upon backup quarterback Bryson Barnes to go deep. He answered the challenge. Receiver Money Parks had a step on cornerback Jason Marshall Jr., while Florida safety R.J. Moten was late in getting over. Parks got the pass in stride and when the two defenders fell to the ground, the receiver ran into the end zone unchallenged, completing the 70-yard touchdown reception.

The great start from Utah, as well as the poor start from Florida, got the attention of college football fans.

Utah is in its final Pac-12 season and will be part of an expanded Big XII during the 2024 season. The Utes have won consecutive Pac-12 titles and if the offense can do this throughout the season, a third may be coming.

[Photo Credit: ESPN]

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