SALT LAKE CITY — All week long, Utah quarterback Jordan Wynn expressed confidence about playing against No. 4-ranked TCU. Wynn had started his second game last year in Fort Worth and lost by 27 points, although he passed for more than 200 yards and led his team to 28 points.
This year, he was playing in front of a home crowd with a year of experience under his belt. "I felt fine," he said.
However, it went much worse Saturday for the sophomore quarterback, who managed only 148 yards on 16 of 35 passing and was booed throughout much of the second half by what-have-you-done-for-me-lately fans.
All day long, Wynn missed receivers, often passing behind them or too low, into the ground. It wasn't always his fault. On at least a half-dozen occasions Wynn's receivers dropped balls that hit them in the hands. But it may have been his worst performance as a Ute.
"I didn't play very well," Wynn said. "I turned the ball over three times and that can't happen against such a good team."
Wynn wasn't making excuses afterward. He got more pressure than he has all year and had to throw several passes away.
But he said, "That had nothing to do with it. The o-line was fine."
When asked about the turnovers, two interceptions and a fumble deep in TCU territory, Wynn said, "I can't really attribute it to one thing — I've got to see the film and see what happened."
By midway through the third quarter, fans were booing Wynn every time he stepped onto the field and some were pleading for backup Terrance Cain, who stayed on the sidelines with his helmet off.
When asked if it bothered him to hear boos, Wynn said, "Nah, that's part of the game. I've got to learn to deal with it."
"I didn't even hear that," said Whittingham, when asked about the boos.
Whittingham didn't want to criticize his quarterback and said, "It's tough to throw the ball when you can't run the ball. You can't make any headway trying to run the football and are forced into throwing it, that makes it very difficult. We only ran for 50 yards today."
However, the Utes seemed to abandon the run game early, throwing passes on 10 of their first 12 plays. By the end of the first quarter the Utes had rushed six times for no yards and were 5 of 12 passing for 42 yards. For the game, Utah threw 35 passes and had 17 rushes.
"Going in, we thought the short pass game was our best chance for success," said Whittingham. "When you can't gain an inch, it's tough to run the ball."
Whittingham was asked if he considered replacing Wynn with Cain, who started two games earlier this year.
"I thought it was important to let (Wynn) play through it," he said. "Whether right or wrong, that was my thought."
However, Whittingham emphasized that the blame for the loss shouldn't be on Wynn.
"This is a team loss," said Whittingham.