Utah football: Wynn remembers not to dive on fumble, avoids injury
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — When Jordan Wynn fumbled the snap on the second play of the annual Red-White game Saturday at Rice-Eccles Stadium, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham as well as 13,500 fans in the stands held their collective breath.
Just two years ago in the spring game, the same thing happened — a botched snap on the second play of the game. After diving for the loose ball in 2010, Wynn ended up with an injury to his left shoulder that required arthroscopic surgery.
Wynn learned his lesson and this time didn't let his competitive instincts kick in as he watched Johnny Mahe from the White team fall on the ball.
"Oh man, it was like déj?vu from two springs ago," Wynn said. "I almost jumped on it and in a split second I remembered not to do it. The trainers came up to me afterward and said they almost had a heart attack."
So did Whittingham.
"Exactly, it was very reminiscent of what happened a couple of years ago," said Whittingham. "I think we trained him correctly in that situation."
Wynn was one of five quarterbacks who played in the 22-21 Red victory, in which fifth-string quarterback Adam Schulz led his team to a late touchdown and two-point conversion.
Although Wynn completed 8 of 11 passes and threw much sharper than he did before last year's season-ending injury, he also was responsible for the only two interceptions among the 37 passes thrown in Saturday's game.
"I had a lot of good passes, but two bad ones and I'd like to get those back," Wynn said. "But I came out after that and competed."
Whittingham said one of the picks, by junior Tyler Cahoon, was a great defensive play, but he wasn't about to let Wynn off the hook.
"You can't turn the ball over," he said. "That's job one for the offense. You have to take care of the ball and we didn't get that done. That was one of the negatives, but the flip side is, the defense was making plays and they came up with two interceptions."
Each of the quarterbacks had his moments, as last year's starter Jon Hays led the White team to two scores with 5-of-7 passing for 114 yards and freshman Travis Wilson showed a strong arm and good running ability in completing 8 of 12 passes for 72 yards and rushing for 21 yards for the Whites..
Another freshman, Chase Hansen, turned out to be the best rusher in the game with 36 yards on five carries and he also completed both of his passes for the Red side. Schulz, a redshirt freshman from Wisconsin, came in for the Red team's final series in the fourth quarter and was impressive with two long passes, including a 50-yard strike to Reggie Dunn with 3:02 left.
After the TD brought the Reds within a point, they went for the win with running back Harvey Langi hitting tight end Quinton Pedroza with a 2-point conversion pass.
Not everything went smooth as penalties hurt both sides.
A 20-yard touchdown pass from Wynn to Westlee Tonga was called back because of a holding penalty. On the next play, Wynn's pass to the end zone was picked off by Cahoon.
Wilson led the White team 64 yards in 12 plays at the end of the first half. However, after getting to the 1-yard line, the Whites were twice stopped by the Red defense. On 4th down with no timeouts left, a touchdown run by Jarrell Oliver was negated by the officials, who said the snap was a split second too late.
New offensive coordinator Brian Johnson was satisfied with the offense overall.
"It was fine," he said. "There was some back and forth — the defense made a couple of plays and the offense made some plays late. But the goal of a spring game is to keep everybody healthy and make some plays and see who can pull it out at the end."
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