Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham says Cam Rising’s leg injury ‘doesn’t look good’

The quarterback exited the game in the third quarter and did not return.

(Meg Oliphant | Special to The Tribune) Utah quarterback Cameron Rising (7) is escorted off the field after an injury in the third quarter against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Rose Bowl Stadium on Jan. 2, 2023 in Pasadena, California.

Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham said the injury that knocked quarterback Cam Rising out of the Rose Bowl could be severe.

“The injury to Cam is a leg injury and it doesn’t look good,” Whittingham said after a 35-21 loss to Penn State. “ I can tell you that. We’ll wait for confirmation from the medical people at a later date, either tonight or tomorrow. It looks like it could be something that takes a while to recover from. That’s not positive right now.”

Rising left the game in the third quarter after taking an awkward hit from a Penn State defender. He went into the locker room and emerged some time later in street clothes.

It was the second-straight Rose Bowl in which Rising could not finish the game due to an injury. Last year, he left in the fourth quarter after taking a sack.

“It breaks my heart. He’s such a warrior and a fierce competitor,” Whittingham said. “He’ll be back, I can promise you that, from the injury. Hopefully he’ll be back with us. That’s to be determined.”

Rising left the game with Utah down 21-14. Backup quarterback Bryson Barnes entered the game and almost immediately threw an interception. Penn State scored 14 unanswered points to seal the game after Rising went out.

Barnes finished 10-of-19 passing for 112 yards with a touchdown and interception. Rising finished 8-of-21 for 95 yards, a touchdown and an interception. He also had 47 rushing yards.

“We lost a little bit of our mojo when that happened,” Whittingham said of Rising’s injury. “That’s not the right way to respond. We needed to respond better than we did.”