Utah Utes football notebook: Jordan Wynn, Shaky Smithson earn MWC accolades
Charlie Neibergall, Associated Press
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah quarterback Jordan Wynn and return specialist Shaky Smithson have been named Mountain West Conference Offensive and Special Teams Players of the Week, respectively.
The duo contributed mightily to the Utes' 68-27 victory at Iowa State last Saturday.
Wynn completed 23-of-31 passes for 325 yards and two touchdowns as Utah tallied its highest point total in 27 years. This is his initial MWC weekly award.
"It's pretty exciting having it be my first time. It's pretty cool. It got my dad all fired up and stuff," Wynn said. "So hopefully I just keep continuing to play well."
Smithson showed his versatility at Iowa State with 261 all-purpose yards. The senior set up a touchdown drive with a 78-yard punt return. He also completed a 32-yard scoring strike to DeVonte Christopher on a reverse and teamed with Wynn on a 61-yard touchdown reception.
"It's an honor just to represent the Mountain West Conference and to represent my team," said Smithson, who has won the award three times this season. "It's a team award not just Shaky Smithson."
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham noted the recognition for both players and acknowledged they were "great honors for those two guys."
The Utes have now won seven MWC Player of the Week awards this year. Besides Smithson (three) and Wynn, previous winners include Christopher, safety Brian Blechen and cornerback Lamar Chapman.
INJURY UPDATE: Whittingham reported that the Utes are in "good shape" when it comes to injuries. The lone exception is linebacker J.J. Williams. The junior, who has yet to play this season because of a lingering foot injury, will probably be sidelined for at least another week.
"That's just an ongoing saga," Whittingham said. "We're just hopeful at some point he can return, but we just don't know when that is."
Wynn "dinged" his right shoulder in the Iowa State game, but bounced back to finish strong. He's expected to be "full go" for Wyoming.
"It's just banged up," Wynn said. "(It's) just a bruise. I'm fine. I'll be fine. I've just to work it out a little bit. Nothing to worry about."
SHAK'S BACK: Sophomore running back Sausan Shakerin, who missed the first four games while recovering from a concussion, made his season debut against Iowa State.
"I was nervous. It had been two months since I've hit somebody," said Shakerin, who admitted it was really frustrating" to be out so long.
When his number was called Saturday, he said it was both exciting and nerve-racking. After getting hit, though, Shakerin settled in. He wound up with 24 yards on five carries, including a 1-yard touchdown run.
"It was just crazy," Shakerin said after praising the offensive line and tight ends for clearing a path on the score. "It was beautiful."
EXTRA POINTS: The last two times Utah opened the season 5-0 was 2004 and 2008. Both campaigns led to BCS bowls and unblemished records. ... The Utes lead the nation in kickoff returns (31.17 yards per return), sacks allowed (one), tackles-for-loss allowed (11), sack yardage allowed (four) and tackles-for-loss yardage allowed (33). ... Utah is bowl eligible with a win at Wyoming Saturday.
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