Utah’s new alternate quarterback Ja’Quinden Jackson made his debut in the Utes’ 24-13 win over Washington State on September 25.
Jackson took four snaps from the wildcat position and rushed four times for 21 yards, including a two-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
Jackson also lost a fumble just before ending up in the end zone midway through the third quarter.
After the game, coach Kyle Whittingham explained why the decision was made to play the 6-220-pound Texas transfer against WSU.
“He did some good things until we got the ball on the ground in the red zone,” he said. “We felt we needed more resources to manage football. It gives you better numbers. It was a way to complete the quarterback’s runs with another player.
Starting quarterback Cam Rising said he enjoyed watching Jackson with the ball in his hands.
“I see a tall man running downhill. That’s what I see. It’s a force to be reckoned with when returning the ball there.
After Charlie Brewer, who started the first three games of the season, left the program in mid-September, Whittingham was optimistic that Jackson could contribute on the offense.
“We feel like he’s improved a lot since he’s been here,” he said. “The injury he sustained at fall camp slowed him down and kept him out for about four weeks. It’s unfortunate because he would have been further ahead if he hadn’t had this injury.