Jaylon Glover steps up as Utah’s lead back amidst injuries, aiming to maintain the Utes’ undefeated streak. Can he make a lasting impact?
In the world of Utah football, a strong ground attack has been a defining feature. However, the Utes are facing challenges this season, with injuries and depth concerns in their running backs’ room. Key backup Micah Bernard is out for the season, while Chris Curry is working his way back from an injury. To add to the woes, lead back Ja’Quinden Jackson is also dealing with an injury. As a result, the Utes are now turning to sophomore standout Jaylon Glover to lead their running game.
Injuries Testing Utah’s Depth
Utah’s 4-0 start and No. 10 national ranking have been impressive, but they have faced challenges. Their passing game has been slow, leading opponents to load the box and focus on stopping the run. The running backs’ depth has also been tested, with Bernard’s season-ending injury and Curry’s slow recovery.
Ja’Quinden Jackson’s injury, which resurfaced during a recent victory over UCLA, has put the spotlight on Jaylon Glover.
Glover Stepping Up
Glover embraced the role of the lead back, taking on 25 carries against UCLA. Coach Kyle Whittingham acknowledged the running back position has been a bit of a “musical chairs” situation this season, but Glover is now the primary option until Jackson returns.
Glover’s approach is to maintain a “bell-cow” mentality, knowing that he will get numerous carries. He believes that more carries help him understand the game better, allowing for better decision-making and momentum.
Teammates Praise Glover
Despite his smaller stature (5-foot-8, 205 pounds), Glover has earned praise from his teammates. Quarterback Nate Johnson commended his speed and agility, emphasizing that Glover can move like a taller player. Receiver Devaughn Vele highlighted Glover’s determination and hard-running style, especially when he had to step up in Jackson’s absence.
Room for Improvement
Although Glover has had some standout moments this season, his overall production has been moderate. He gained 179 yards on 48 carries in four games, averaging 3.7 yards per carry. Even in the game against UCLA, where he accumulated 86 yards, his efficiency was just 3.4 yards per carry.
Coach Whittingham believes Glover can be an effective lead back, describing him as a versatile runner who can handle both inside and outside plays. The coach acknowledges that the Utes need to improve their passing game to prevent opponents from stacking the box.
Heading into his leading role against Oregon State, Glover is focused on being efficient and helping the team maintain a balanced offensive approach. He’s working on his pass protection and blitz pickup skills and aims to make better decisions on the field.
Glover may be in a temporary role, but he’s determined to prove his worth and contribute to the Utes’ undefeated streak. His mindset is on victory and ensuring the Utes remain a multidimensional offensive threat.
Utah’s running game faces challenges, but Jaylon Glover’s emergence as the lead back brings hope. With his determination and versatility, Glover aims to lead the Utes to continued success. Coach Whittingham believes in Glover’s capabilities and hopes for a more balanced offensive performance in the coming games.
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