Utah Utes football: Another great homecoming for Jordan Wynn
Stephen Dunn, Getty Images
SAN DIEGO — Once again, Jordan Wynn saved his best for Qualcomm Stadium.
Shaking off a pair of sub-par games in losses to TCU and Notre Dame, Wynn had the best passing game of his career with 362 yards on 21 of 33 passes and two touchdowns in leading the Utes to a come-from-behind 38-34 victory Saturday night.
Last December, Wynn, a native of nearby Oceanside, had enjoyed his career-best game with 338 yards against Cal in the Poinsettia Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium, and he topped it against San Diego State.
Wynn's offensive heroics Saturday overcame a poor performance by the Ute defense, which gave up 587 yards, including 500 yards passing to Ryan Lindley, likely the most for a Ute team since the Jim Fassel Era.
However, the Utes forgot all about that and just wanted to talk about their "huge" victory Saturday night.
As he emerged from the victorious Ute locker room, Wynn was grinning from ear to ear, a big contrast from the previous two weeks.
"We came out and played well tonight," he said. "We got our confidence back. It felt good to move the ball and score points tonight."
Wynn acknowledged "the last two weeks were bad" and said the Utes needed a win "desperately."
A lot of Ute fans were calling for backup senior Terrance Cain, who had gone 9-1 as a starter, including two victories this year when Wynn was injured.
Wynn understood, even if it bothered him a bit.
"That just comes with the position," he said. "I get too much credit when we win and too much blame when we lose. That's just the way it is. You've got to have thick skin."
In the two previous games, Wynn had completed 16 for 25 for just 148 yards with two interceptions against TCU and 24 for 39 for 194 yards and one interception against Notre Dame. However, he surpassed both of those yardage totals by halftime, when he had 262 yards.
"That was huge for Jordan to bounce back and have the success he had tonight," said Ute coach Kyle Whittingham. "It was a big positive to see him get back on track."
On Wynn's first pass of the game, he hit Reggie Dunn for a 42-yard gain that was largely because of Dunn's superb one-handed grab.
Then with his team trailing 20-3 in the second quarter, Wynn found Luke Matthews on a crossing route over the middle for a 57-yard touchdown pass. Late in the half, he led the Utes on a three-play touchdown drive capped by Eddie Wide's 16-yard run to pull the Utes within 10 at 27-17.
When Utah's Brandon Burton intercepted a tipped pass at the Utah 14 with 37 seconds left, it looked like the Utes might be content to run out the clock. However they worked their way to the SDSU 47 with three seconds left.
SDSU called time out and put four players along the goal line. Wynn lofted a high pass to the right corner and an SDSU player batted the ball, but it deflected into the hands of Moeai, a yard into the end zone to cut the lead to 27-24.
After SDSU scored on their own tipped ball play, Wynn led the Utes on a 14-play, 79-yard touchdown drive to make it 34-31 and then the Utes punched in the winning touchdown after a blocked punt by Greg Bird.
"I feel a lot better," Wynn said of his outstanding night. "It definitely does feel better."
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