The last Ute to leave the field at the conclusion of pregame warmups did so in a black Utah cap, street clothes and a football in hand. Chase Hansen walked slowly into the tunnel more than an hour before Utah’s game against San Jose State on Saturday evening, waving to fans hollering his name.
A few minutes prior, as teammates went through their pregame routines, Hansen sat on a bench on the east side of Rice-Eccles Stadium staring out as fellow Utes prepped for the Spartans. As expected, the junior strong safety missed his first game of the season due to an undisclosed injury.
Hansen, the 24-year-old former Lone Peak High star, missed the entirety of Utah’s fall camp due to another undisclosed injury before returning and playing in Utah’s wins over North Dakota and BYU. The safety was Utah’s leading tackler two games in, registering 14 total tackles, eight of which were solo.
“I’m just trying to find a way to get healthy and stay healthy,” he said earlier this week. “[Which is] nearly impossible.”
Junior safety Marquise Blair, a first-year transfer from Dodge City Community College, earned his first career start at Utah started in place of Hansen alongside free safety Corrion Ballard.
Matt Gay continues to one-up himself.
The senior kicker drilled the second-longest field goal in school history in the first quarter as his 56-yarder gave Utah an early 6-0 lead. Gay, a senior and former Utah Valley University soccer player, had just enough leg to sneak it over the crossbar. The field goal was three yards shy of the school record, a 59-yarder by Marv Bateman in 1971.
Later in the quarter, Gay hit a 50-yard attempt. He became the first Utah kicker in school history to make two field goals of at least 50-yarders in one game. After this 50-yard make, Gay started his kicking career 10 for 10.
Ute Proud uniforms
Utah, for the fourth straight year, honored the Ute Indian Tribe in its annual Ute Proud evening at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Utah’s uniforms honored the Ute Tribe, which had members in attendance. Halftime featured a cultural demonstration by the Ute Indian Tribe Pow Wow committee.
Ins and outs
Utah honored former Runnin’ Utes stars Andre Miller and Michael Doleac in the first half. The pair were officially recognized as the winningest Utah basketball players in program history, accounting for 114 wins during their time at Utah. Miller and Doleac led the Utes to the 1998 NCAA Championship game. Miller, 41, played 17 seasons in the NBA for nine different teams.
Doleac is now the head basketball coach at Park City High School.
In attendance for the game were NFL scouts from the Baltimore Ravens, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans. The Rose Bowl also had two officials in attendance.