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Utah Utes football: Feeling a sense of urgency

Published: Monday, Aug. 3 2015 2:46 a.m. MDT

Coach Kyle Whittingham walks with Utah quarterback Jordan Wynn at a Utes' scrimmage. (Mike Terry, Deseret News) Coach Kyle Whittingham walks with Utah quarterback Jordan Wynn at a Utes' scrimmage. (Mike Terry, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — It's a "got to" week for the Utah Utes.

After back-to-back lopsided setbacks to TCU and Notre Dame, they're at a crossroads of sorts entering Saturday's game at San Diego State.

"We are all tired of losing," said quarterback Jordan Wynn, who noted that this week's practices have gone well. "We have a good tempo, good execution. We've just got to keep it up."

And that, he added, is not all the Utes have "got to" get done.

"We've got to get a win Saturday," Wynn emphasized. "We've got to."

The sense of urgency, he acknowledged, has led to more excitement and more intensity in practice this week.

Confidence has also been on the rise.

"I think it's coming back," Wynn said. "We've had two tough weeks but I think we're coming back."

IS WHAT IT IS: Utah coach Kyle Whittingham knows that college football is a performance-driven profession.

"Everyone is subject to having to perform at a certain level — coaches, players, everybody," he said. "There's a lot of people, starting with the coaches, that have to get better. That's just the nature of the business."

BACK TO WORK: Tight end Brad Clifford, who has missed the past four games with a shoulder injury, returned to practice Tuesday. He was joined on Wednesday by linebacker Chad Manis, who was sidelined for two games with an ankle injury.

"They didn't the full amount of reps but they're back out doing the work and they both will be available for Saturday," Whittingham said.

EXTRA POINTS: The Utes will dress eight players who played their high school football within 100 miles of San Diego. ... Utah is 7-6-1 against San Diego State at Qualcomm Stadium ... A victory will give Whittingham his fourth consecutive nine-win season as head coach of the Utes.

e-mail: dirk@desnews.com

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