Ahead of the biggest game of the young UCLA Football season, it’s finally time for Dante Moore to announce his presence on the national stage.
UCLA fans have already met quarterback Dante Moore. Through three games, and three victories, he has been fantastic, completing 63 percent of his throws for 615 yards, seven touchdowns, and just a single interception, good for a passer rating of 205.4.
Recruiting obsessives have already met Dante Moore. He was a five-star prospect, the top-ranked quarterback in Michigan and third in the nation in the 2023 class, who had offers from LSU, Oregon, Auburn, Georgia, Ohio State, and pretty much any other school you can name.
It’s high time that everyone else across the nation finally get to know Dante Moore.
Fortunately, there’s no better opportunity for that to take place than the massive Pac-12 showdown against 11th-ranked Utah this week.
The national sprinkling of attention has already begun, with Kelly appearing on The Jim Rome Show last week and being asked about the highly-touted recruit’s hot start.
That sprinkle will become an outright downpour if Moore leads the Bruins to a victory on Saturday.
Rice-Eccles Stadium is a notoriously tough place to play, and Utah is a notoriously difficult opponent to figure out. Kyle Whittingham’s team has become an institution in the sport, fielding tough teams that play strong defense and fundamental football year in and year out. 2023 is no different.
A win on the road Saturday, against this Utah team, will announce Moore’s status as one of the sport’s next great quarterbacks.
With a victory at Utah, he’ll do what Florida’s far more experienced Graham Mertz couldn’t do in Week One. Even with a crowded field of great quarterbacks across the country that includes Caleb Williams, Bo Nix, Michael Penix, Sheduer Sanders, and more, Moore could break into the conversation for postseason awards and NFL Draft hype.
There’s no shortage of great quarterbacks on the Bruins’ schedule this year. They’ll play Williams and Sanders later this year. If Moore can win at Utah, there’s no doubt he can go score-for-score against those two, especially considering the porous defenses at USC and Colorado.
The importance of UCLA’s trip to Salt Lake this weekend cannot be overstated. A win will vault the 22nd-ranked Bruins further up the rankings and create a buzz around the program that will only heighten the intensity and atmosphere at the Rose Bowl in the coming weeks. A win will show just how good UCLA can be this year, and the lofty heights they could reach.
A win will also introduce the whole country to the best freshman quarterback in the nation.