PROVO — Jordan Wynn is still throwing passes that wobble and float and drift. It's still a mystery to both fans and the Ute quarterback himself as to when if ever he'll get back to his pre-injury form. There was the one interception on Saturday. And another that hit an opponent in the numbers. Again, he had attempts that were knocked down at scrimmage.
Also to the Utes' consternation was the shanked PAT, the missed field goal and the one that somehow felt its way through the uprights after being deflected.
Do the Utes care?
They're trying. Honest.
Despite their problems, the Utes were still the prettiest face in the house — by a long shot.
So mark it down, the 93rd meeting between Utah and BYU went convincingly to the Utes, 54-10. Utah's defense is again something to respect. The same can't be said for BYU's offense, which fumbled six times, one for every hair on Bronco Mendenhall's head, if this keeps up.
Thus, you won't hear much complaining from the Utes. They hid their flaws with some beautiful makeup. It appears this will be the Utes for the foreseeable future: good run game, great defense and a quarterback who passes like he's skipping rocks.
But hey, just like rock-skipping, sometimes leaning back and chucking is good therapy.
If anyone was looking for a classic match between precision teams, they were in the wrong place. This one started like a case of whooping cough and for BYU only got worse. The Cougars fumbled and lost the ball three times in the first quarter, while the Utes forked over the ball on a fumble a minute into the second quarter. Yet despite all the heavings and contractions, it yielded only 10 points between them.
Then came the play every Ute fan — every coach and player, too — feared: Wynn went down and didn't get up.
You could sense the fear all the way to Ogden.
Wynn returned after sitting out a series but some damage was done — to his mind if not his body. He lucked out when his first pass went off the hands of Corby Eason and soon afterward his throw was snagged by BYU's Kyle Van Noy.
To his credit, the amazing one-armed man somehow manufactured a touchdown before the half. He finished with a wobbly but effective 31-yard touchdown score to Jake Murphy.
So at the break, this was where it stood: Utah, one fumble lost, one interception, 14 points. BYU: three lost fumbles, six penalties and 10 points.
At least when they played low-scoring games in November, they had weather to blame.
For the Cougars, it wasn't just a fender-bender, though, it was a total loss: six fumbles and an interception.
It wasn't as though Saturday's game brought waves of anticipation. Rather, it arrived as a curiosity. For 113 years the teams played in the same conference; the stakes were clearly defined. This time there was no such structure. They were playing just to play.
In a way, it made the game better. Less bluster, more football. But by the early third quarter the parking lots were emptying.
Going in, nobody knew what to expect because neither team had made a real mark. BYU came in having scored all of two offensive touchdowns in 2011, now three. To Ty Detmer, that was a quarter's worth of work. The anticipated high powered attack has so far dragged like a low-hanging branch.22 comments on this story
Meanwhile, the Utes continue to feel along with a gutsy but unpredictable quarterback. His wary sidearm
short-arm delivery have resulted in passes being batted down in every game.
Clearly, neither team looked particularly rank-worthy going into Saturday's game.
In that sense, finding themselves was the theme of the day, which was only fitting. How better to figure yourself out than by testing yourself against your brother?
As it turned out, BYU doesn't want to know.
That knuckler of a pass is starting to look downright sexy.
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