Utah Utes football notebook: '08 victory convinced Jordan Wynn to be a Ute
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — Jordan Wynn remembers Nov. 6, 2008, very well.
That was the night Utah upset TCU on "Blackout Night" at Rice-Eccles Stadium, keeping their undefeated season alive on their way to a 13-0 record and eventual No. 2 ranking.
Wynn watched the Utes' 13-10 victory at home in Oceanside, Calif., and decided right then and there that he would attend Utah rather than Colorado, to which he had previously committed.
"It definitely had a huge impact for me," Wynn recalled on Monday. "It was fun to watch. I watched every down, saw the blackout and the environment, saw the win. I was already committed to Colorado and having doubts about it, and that game solidified that this school is a great football program and the thing that tipped the scales. It's definitely the best decision I've ever made in my life."
This Nov. 6, Wynn will be trying to lead the Utes to another upset victory over a tough TCU team.
"Hopefully, it's going to be similar Saturday," he said. "It's going to be a lot of fun. It's by far the biggest game of my life."
STRONG SAFETIES: Even though Ute safety Brian Blechen was named the MWC Defensive Player of the Week after getting nine tackles and an interception, the Utes named two others as their defensive players of the week.
Whittingham said starting free safety Justin Taplin-Ross and reserve free safety Greg Bird, who played a lot against the Air Force option attack, were his team's co-defensive players of the week.
Taplin-Ross had an interception and five tackles, including one for a loss, while Bird had a fumble recovery and a tackle for loss and came up with the hit that kept AFA quarterback Tim Jefferson out of the end zone on the two-point conversion try after the Falcons pulled within 28-23 in the fourth quarter.
"Greg came in and made several big plays and hits and played outstanding," said Whittingham.
ANOTHER UNIFORM: When the Utes don their Black Camo Under Armour uniforms Saturday as part of the Wounded Warrior Project, it will mark their fifth different uniform configuration of the season.
The Utes have played with all red jerseys and pants, all whites and combinations of red and white or white and red.
Whittingham said the players' council decides what to wear each week.
"I don't know until game day and I take a look and say, 'Oh it looks pretty good," ' the Utes' head coach said.
As for this week's uniforms he said, "The players enjoy it — they like putting on new uniforms. Our guys are excited to have a new look."
And what does the coach think about the uniforms?
"I was never a big uniform guy," he said. "But if the players like it, I like it."
INJURY REPORT: Whittingham says he expects DeVonte Christopher and Chad Manis to play Saturday. Christopher didn't make the trip to Colorado because of a knee injury and Manis left the game early with an ankle injury.
According to Whittingham, the only players who are definitely out for TCU are linebacker J.J. Williams, tight end Westlee Tonga, tight end Brad Clifford and freshman special teams player Wykie Freeman.
As for Wynn, he dispelled rumors that his shoulder, which he injured last month, is still bothering him.
"It's 100 percent," he said. "It was fine Saturday and is feeling good, so I'm ready to go."
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