Utah Utes football notebook: Win over Aztecs was confidence boost for Jordan Wynn
Keith Johnson, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — Jordan Wynn's postgame smile said it all. Utah's starting quarterback bounced back from two disappointing performances to help lead the Utes to a 38-34 victory over San Diego State.
Wynn passed for a career-high 362 yards as Utah stopped a two-game skid and picked up momentum for Saturday's rivalry clash against BYU.
When asked about the confidence boost, Wynn said he was "light years" ahead of where he was prior to facing the Aztecs.
And that, noted Utah coach Kyle Whittingham, was a huge positive for everyone in the program.
"For him to rebound and come out and play like he did was big for him, for our team and our future," Whittingham said. "It was a situation where he really played like we need him to play and like we hoped he'd play."
Defensive end Christian Cox acknowledged it was positive for all.
"Good for Jordan," he said. "Good for our team."
The win was Wynn's 10th in 14 games as Utah's starter. He's currently ranked second in the Mountain West Conference (and 30th nationally) with a pass efficiency rating of 143.9.
"It's always got a different feel and a different flavor than the other games throughout the course of the year, but still you've got to approach it the same way. You take the same attitude and the same mentality as far as your preparation as you do any other week."
— Utah coach Kyle Whittingham
Utah kicker Joe Phillips set a school record in last year's 26-23 overtime loss at BYU by making five field goals, connecting from distances of 39, 21, 31, 40 and 29 yards. The Utes, however, managed to score just one touchdown in the game — on a 1-yard run by Eddie Wide in the fourth quarter.
The Utes will practice early Thanksgiving morning and then give everyone some down time for the holiday. They'll get back to work on Friday, however. Whittingham said "It's standard operating procedure." … Utah officials are expecting a sellout crowd in excess of 46,031 on Saturday. That's the number the Utes need to break the school's single-season attendance record (45,585 average in 2008). ... Utah is fifth in the nation in fewest sacks allowed with seven. ... Senior running backs Matt Asiata and Eddie Wide each have 23 career rushing touchdowns, the third-most in team history. ... Left guard Caleb Schlauderaff has a team-high 20 pancake blocks and an 88 percent grade. ... Senior wide receiver Shaky Smithson leads the nation with 570 punt return yards. He ranks second in total punt returns (27), punt return average (21.11 yards) and punt returns per game (2.45).
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