Utah Utes football: Jon Hays replaces injured Jordan Wynn again
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
LOGAN — For the Utah football team, it was a familiar scenario Friday night at Romney Stadium
Oh, not the outcome — a loss to Utah State hadn’t happened since many of the players were in preschool.
But the shoulder injury to Jordan Wynn, which knocked him out of the game and forced Jon Hays into action, was unfortunately something the Utes had already seen before.
Last fall it happened in the fourth game of the year when Wynn went down with a shoulder injury against Washington, giving Hays the opportunity to play the rest of the season.
Whether that happens again or not isn’t known — the X-rays on Wynn’s shoulder were negative but coach Kyle Whittingham said he didn’t know the extent of Wynn’s injury when asked immediately after the game.
However, Hays did have to relieve Wynn in Friday’s game and did an admirable job of jump-starting Utah’s anemic offense.
Hays completed 12-of-26 passes for 154 yards and a touchdown in a little more than a half of play. He also had what appeared to be the tying touchdown pass in overtime, only to have it negated by a pass interference call.
But all that didn’t mean a thing to Hays as he glumly faced the media afterward.
“It was disappointing, definitely,’’ he said. “This was a devastating loss for us. ... We’re going to have to bounce back ... come in early tomorrow and get ready to work.’’
For Wynn, it was his fourth shoulder injury in four years and the third to his left shoulder, which kept him out most of last season.
Before the injury, Wynn looked anything but sharp as the Utes had less than 100 yards of offense with a little over a minute left in the half.
He let the clock run out on Utah’s second play from scrimmage for a delay-of-game penalty. In the second quarter, a snap out of the shotgun hit him on the chest as he was apparently calling an audible. His passes didn’t look sharp and he completed just 6 of 11 for 47 yards.
Then on an incomplete screen pass to John White as Wynn was retreating he was taken down hard by an Aggie defender and laid motionless on the turf for a couple minutes near the Utah 20.
After replacing Wynn, Hays picked up nearly as many yards in a little over a minute as Wynn had the previous 29, driving the Utes into range for a Coleman Peterson field goal as time expired.
In the second half Hays led the Utes on a touchdown drive on their first offensive series, although freshman Travis Wilson came in for a play and fired a 28-yard scoring pass to Kenneth Scott.
Later he led the Utes on scoring drives for a field goal and a touchdown and nearly led the Utes for a winning score in regulation.
“I thought Jon came in and did some good things,’’ Whittingham said. “I was proud of Jon of how he came in and competed. He’s a competitor. He’s feisty. And he wants to win as badly as anybody. He’s got a lot of toughness."
Hays said he’ll be ready to go next week if needed, but expects Wynn to be back.
“I just told him I loved him — he’s going to come back like he always does.’’
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