Florida football is only four days away from their opening game of the 2023 campaign out west against the Utah Utes.
All summer, Utah has had questions in their quarterback room as Cam Rising is recovering from an ACL tear and their backup Brandon Rose was injured in camp.
But Utah released their depth chart a few days ago, which had Rising listed as the starting quarterback, with no “or” designation.
But is Rising really going to play in week one? And even if he does, how effective is he going to be?
Florida football: Hunt him down
Let’s say that Rising does get the start and he trots out there in four days. He’ll be less than nine months removed from his surgery, which is generally the recovery time for an ACL.
Now treatment and procedures have gotten more efficient, but he won’t be 100%. It’s just not possible.
A huge part of Cam’s game is his ability to run and extend plays outside of the pocket, which he did a lot of in last year’s matchup with the Gators.
If that knee isn’t 100% and he has a clunky brace on it, that part of his game won’t be there. Florida is going to send the house after him and dare him to try and run. When he isn’t able to, the Gators will have a big advantage defensively.
Now the other side of the coin is that this is just a chess move by Utah. The depth chart they released was for the 2023 year as a whole, not week one exclusive. In that case, of course, Rising is your No. 1 guy.
So could Kyle Wittingham just be trying to keep Napier and the Gators on their toes? Absolutely.
But Florida knows that whoever Utah has at QB, it won’t be the same quality of player they met last season. It’s either Rising with one leg, the second string who also isn’t 100%, or their QB 3.
Regardless, Austin Armstrong’s defense will be getting after the Utah quarterback all day.