Bad news for October opponent Utah as not only did the Utes fall to Oregon State 24-7 last night, but they lost quarterback Brian Johnson for 3-5 weeks and running back Matt Asiata for the season.
Asiata, a Junior College transfer who Utah fans were banking heavily on this season, fractured his right tibia and fibula and underwent season-ending surgery this morning. He had carried the ball just four times last night before his season ended.
Johnson was tackled during a run in the second quarter and separated his right shoulder. He could return to action as early as Sept. 22 against UNLV, or as late Oct. 5 game against U of L.
The Utes struggled mightily to move the ball once their two stars went out, as the running game was nonexistent and backup QB Tommy Grady was just 9-of-24 for 59 yards.
I said in my season predictions that the Utah game might be the most intriguing matchup of the year because of how unknown Johnson and Asiata were. Well, now we know a little more, and Sean of Block U sums up what that added knowledge means for Ute fans.
With Air Force, UCLA and UNLV being the next three games on the schedule, one of our possible non-conference wins may end up not looking as impressive as we hoped.