SALT LAKE CITY — Utah's 56-3 homecoming win over San Jose State wasn't televised.
Too bad. The 13th-ranked Utes (4-0) put on a prime-time performance in their largest margin of victory since beating UTEP by a similar score in 1997.
Execution in all three phases of the game, including no turnovers and just one penalty for five yards, lifted Utah to its 20th consecutive victory at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
"I thought it was a great effort by our players," said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham. "They played an exceptionally clean game."
So clean, in fact, that the Utes didn't have a single penalty until a false start call on their final series of the game.
Whittingham, for obvious reasons, was pleased to come oh-so-close to being penalty free.
"That was good. We've been stressing that ever since week one when we had a bunch of penalties," Whittingham said. "Each week it's gotten less and less."
It was among a handful of positives for the Utes.
"All three phases were clicking tonight," Whittingham said. "We were pleased with all the production on offense and defense and special teams."
Quarterback Jordan Wynn, who missed two games with a thumb sprain on his throwing hand, resumed his role as Utah's starter. The sophomore completed 14-of-18 passes for 124 yards and two touchdowns.
"My arm felt good," Wynn said. "It was good to be back out there and I'm happy to get a solid team win."
It didn't take long for Utah to get on the scoreboard. After the defense held San Jose State to three plays and a punt, the Utes used a little trickery on their first play from scrimmage — and it paid off.
Sophomore Reggie Dunn ran 43 yards down the left sideline for a touchdown on a reverse, after taking a handoff from running back Eddie Wide.
"We wanted get Reggie Dunn the ball in his hands and he made the most of it," Whittingham said. "He's fast. He's maybe the fastest guy on the team."
The play took just 10 seconds to complete and gave the Utes a lead they never surrendered.
"We had been working on that play for two weeks now," Dunn said. "I got a good pitch from Eddie Wide and as soon as I caught it, I knew I was gone."
In the seconds that followed, there was a very brief momentum shift.
San Jose State's Brandon Driver returned the ensuing kickoff 71 yards to the Utah 20-yard line. The Spartans eventually moved into a first-and-goal situation from the 5, but failed to move forward. They lost a yard on first down before back-to-back incomplete passes. That led to a 20-yard field goal by Waid Harrison with 8:24 left in the first quarter.
Through four games, Utah's defense has given up just three touchdowns.
"We've been in pretty tight spots a couple of times this season," said defensive end Christian Cox. "In our red-zone defense, we take pride in holding our opponents to field goals."
After the offense and defense excelled, Utah's special teams got into the act with a successful fake punt on fourth-and-1 from the San Jose State 40. Punter Sean Sellwood kept the drive alive with a 17-yard run.
The Utes cashed in early in the second quarter when Wynn capped an 11-play series with a 10-yard touchdown throw to Shawn Asiata.
Less than two minutes later, the special teams did more than just set up another score — they produced one. A negative punt by San Jose State's Jordan La Secia caromed off a teammate and was scooped up by Utah's Reggie Topps, who ran 10 yards for a touchdown.
More special teams success followed. San Jose State's next punt was blocked by Mike Honeycutt. The Utes took over on the Spartans' 23 and scored a touchdown three plays later on an 8-yard run by Wide.
Leading 28-3, Utah added another scoring drive before the first half was complete. A 36-yard touchdown pass from Wynn to tight end Dallin Rogers put a cap on the Utes' longest scoring drive of the season, covering 82 yards on 11 plays.
Joe Phillips added another PAT as Utah extended its lead to 35-3 by halftime. The Utes held other sizeable advantages at the break. They had a 238-70 edge in total offense and 12-3 lead in first downs.
Utah's offense converted on 4-of-6 third-down opportunities over the first two quarters, while San Jose State was just 1-of-7.
The Utes held the Spartans scoreless in the second half. The offense, though, put three more scores on the board before the game was complete. A 3-yard touchdown run by Matt Asiata in the third quarter was followed by scoring bursts from Tauni Vakapuna (1 yard) and Beau Burton (7 yards) in the fourth.
"Utah played much better than we did," said San Jose State coach Mike MacIntyre, who lamented about the Spartans' special teams woes before praising the Utes' defense. "Utah has very good team speed. Not many positives at all for us."
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