Tape It Up: Utah: One Game, Four Down

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Utah: One Game, Four Down

If the Utes continue at the rate they're going, they will run out of players before the season hits its mid-point. In Utah's season opener on Thursday night, the team came away with five big losses: injuries to top running back Matt Asiata, quarterback Brian Johnson, tight end Colt Sampson, linebacker Matt Martinez and the game itself, which they dropped 24-7 to Oregon State. It was quite a night.

Johnson separated his shoulder in the loss, an injury that will keep him off the field for at least three to five weeks. Talk about bad luck - last night's game was the first live action Johnson had seen since he blew out his knee last year and missed the entire 2006 season. And before that, Johnson tore ligaments in his knee that kept him out of the final games of the 2005 season. This guy just can't catch a break, but at least he'll be back. Eventually.

Asiata fared considerably worse - the running back is gone for the season after breaking his right leg in the season opener. The former junior college All-American averaged 6.3 yards per carry and 136.5 yards per game last season at Snow College and was scheduled to go into surgery on Friday. He can choose to redshirt this year and still have two full years of eligibility. But that doesn't do him much good for the next three months.

Tight end Colt Sampson also took a hit in the game, sustaining a sprained knee that will keep him out for four weeks, but he's not in as bad a shape as redshirt freshman linebacker Matt Martinez, who will miss the entire season after tearing a ligament in his knee. All in all, the Utes are down four difference-makers after playing one non-conference game. Their 0-1 record is most likely the least of the Utes' worries in this first week of football.

Not exactly what you'd call an auspicious start to the season.

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