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Utah's big win against Florida has fans excited for football season

Posted at 6:09 PM, Sep 01, 2023

SALT LAKE CITY — A record 53,644 fans attended Thursday night's Utah football game versus Florida, and many others watched from home as the Utes opened their season with a big win. Fans described the atmosphere as electric.

For some fans, Thursday's big game was their first game as a Ute.

"It was honestly a lot wilder than I thought it was. I thought it would be everyone more focused on the game, but everyone was cheering," Gavin Pelagio-Williams said about his first game experience.

For others, it wasn't their first, but it was the best.

"The crowd was literally insane, probably the loudest I've ever heard at Rice-Eccles Stadium," Ian Johnson said.

"After last year's first game, there was a lot of beef, a lot of passion and you could feel it," said Luke Savinovich.

After his performance in the game, backup quarterback Bryson Barnes stood out to fans.

"He stepped up big. Him and the other guy were kind of like Joe Burrow and Lamar Jackson doing their different shows of style and it worked," Savinovich said.

Many recalled Barnes' first pass and touchdown of the game, to wide receiver Money Parks.

"What if he threw a touchdown first play of the game? That's the type of stuff you think as kids, so it was great to go out there and actually put it on tape," Barnes said. "We knew what we were going to run with our opener first play of the game."

Although some Florida players had a lot to say before the game, Utah fans say the final score speaks for itself. Those that rep "the U" also hope Thursday's win is indicative of what's to come this season.

"I hope we can keep that energy up — the energy we had in the MUSS and the crowd and football we play to the best of our ability and don't get too cocky," Pelagio-Williams said.

"Hopefully to win a Pac-12 championship again and go to the Rose Bowl again, try to win it this time," Johnson said.

The Utes' next home game is against Weber State on Sep. 16.