Mike Sorensen: Utes hope Wynn, Hays deserve all the praise

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  • sammyg Springville, UT
    Aug. 23, 2011 12:19 a.m.

    A moment of silence please as UteNation ponders their predicament...

    Isn't it interesting that there's almost some BYU pity going on as some of these Ute fans finally share some humble realization of the situation the great coaching staff has put the team in. Absolutely no depth in a critical position which is a pathetic place to be in.

    That's right sports fans, recruiting came up short. Maybe Hays can pull it together, maybe the O'line will come together, injuries will heal quickly, etc. but the there is certainly a lot of 'if' and 'maybe' going on.

    If Wynn is protected then there's a chance, if he goes down... well as Paul Harvey said... "and now you know the rest of the story."

    Blame the coaches folks, they failed miserably in putting the team in this position. It might not make a difference but it is very unsettling.

  • tcom2011 Fort Worth, TX
    Aug. 22, 2011 11:53 p.m.

    Great article! I always love to see guys that get a break make the most of it. I hope he has a great season. I hope wyn has a great season and stays away from injuries too!

    Good luck Utes! Go C0ugars!!!

  • Uteanymous Salt Lake City, Utah
    Aug. 22, 2011 11:36 p.m.

    Utah lists two returning starters at receiver (Luke Matthews and DeVonte Christopher) as well as two departed starters (Jereme Brooks and Shaky Smithson).

    Unless Utah ran a four receiver set as their base formation, they can't all be starters.

  • Uteanymous Salt Lake City, Utah
    Aug. 22, 2011 11:26 p.m.


    It's common knowledge among BYU fans that Heaps suffered two dislocated ribs during the first half of the Utah game, but unlike Utah fans, we didn't use injuries as an excuse for losing.

    BYU started the season with a very young team, a very difficult schedule, and lost the 6th most starters in the entire country to injury in 2010.

    Utah started the season 8-0 with a veteran team, a very soft schedule, and very few injuries. So what was Utah's excuse for imploding the 2nd half of the season?

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Aug. 22, 2011 10:56 p.m.


    Robles was moved to linebacker because he wasn't a good qb. If he was a good qb he wouldn't have been moved to LB, especially when you look at utah's current qb situation. That is pretty easy to figure out.

    Of course I remember this little beauty of a quote from Whittingham a few years back, and t pretty much sums up his ability to assess qb talent.

    "we have the best qb situation of any school in the country".

    Yep that was accurate.


  • MiP Iowa City, IA
    Aug. 22, 2011 10:04 p.m.

    On the one hand, Hays not getting any scholarship offers speaks of his relative talent level. On the other hand, his improvement in just the few weeks he's been at the U is pretty astounding. On the one foot, Wynn may be able to play the whole season. On the other foot, Utah has had success with relative unknowns at the back-up QB position over the past decade.

    In other words, it appears by all accounts, including duckhunter's, that Utah is thin at QB but it's not time to fold. BYU fans wanting Utah to do such and simply dreaming.

    "Heaps 114.74 (with two dislocated ribs suffered during 1st half of the game)"
    ---Snack PAC

    Seems like the dislocated ribs, once nary a mention, is getting more and more hype from some Y fans. I was under the impression no one was using this as an excuse (at any time).

    "Snackpac...to say Wynn is surrounded by inexperienced skill position players is a bit of an exaggeration."

    Based on previous posts, I don't think he's afraid to use some exaggeration.

  • pocyUte Pocatello, ID
    Aug. 22, 2011 8:31 p.m.


    Utah is only replacing 2 starters at skill positions: RB and Brookes who the 3rd receiver in the slot. The other 2 starters are Christopher and Matthews who started last year. So to say Wynn is surrounded by inexperienced skill position players is a bit of an exaggeration.

  • Snack PAC Olympus Cove, Utah
    Aug. 22, 2011 7:56 p.m.



    Heaps 114.74 (with two dislocated ribs suffered during 1st half of the game)
    Wynn 103.39 (with a shoulder injury that he played half the season with)

    Last 6 Games of Freshman Season

    Heaps 109/172, 1340 yds, 63.4%, 14 TDs, 3 ints, 152.19
    Wynn 104/179, 1329 yds, 58.1%, 8 TDs, 4 ints, 130.75

    How do you explain your experienced sophomore quarterback only throwing three more TDs during his entire Sophomre season, than Heaps threw in the final six games of his Freshman season?

    Wynn was surrounded by experienced Seniors at every skill position.

    Heaps was surrounded by inexperienced Freshmen and Sophomores at every skill position.

    If you'd spent half as much time evaluating the big picture, as you do blindly examining the minutia of stats, you'd see that Heaps and the entire BYU offense improved dramatically in the 2nd half of last season.

    Wynn, on the other hand played significantly worse.

    Heaps is now surrounded by experienced skill position players.

    Wynn is now surrounded by inexperienced skill position players.

    Now take off your crimsoned-colored spectacles and look at reality.

    The Utes are in big trouble offensively!

  • Uteology Fort Worth, Texas
    Aug. 22, 2011 5:23 p.m.

    @Duckhunter: "I understand utah's qb's aren't any good... But you are correct no one has to be able to understand much about football to figure that out."

    True, all you have to do is know the number system.

    According to ESPN's 2010 QB ratings:

    Heaps 116.2
    Nelson 104.6

    Wynn's 139.9 (with an injured throwing shoulder)

    Please do tell if your using some other measurements.

    Utah's biggest issue is depth at the QB spot with Wynn being injury prone. But I would think that KW and Chow were also aware of this problem before they moved Robles to LB. Thus, lets hope they see something in Hays similar to when KW recruited Stevenson Sylvester when no one else did.

  • ute4ever West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 22, 2011 4:42 p.m.

    Big J,

    Last year Wynn was pulled in the BYU game and the backup threw 2 interceptions and generally looked inept. Each year is different and I think this year there is cause to be concern about the backups. Really, he didn't even get 1 other college offer...not even from Wyoming?

    Priority #1 is to keep Wynn healthy.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Aug. 22, 2011 4:14 p.m.

    @big j

    I understand utah's qb's aren't any good. But you are correct no one has to be able to understand much about football to figure that out. It seem's you haven't figured it out yet so what does that say about your football knowledge?

  • Big J Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 22, 2011 3:42 p.m.

    I chuckle every time I hear fans be so concerned about Utahs quarterback depth. I think back to 2003 when a very good Elliot went down and Utah brought in an untried sophomore named Smith. Then again in 2005 when Johnson went down and Utah brought in an untried junior named Ratlif. All teams have an untried backup quarterbacks. If Hays has to go, he will be ready. Utah will be just fine at quarterback with the only real concern being the health and depth of the offensive line.

    To Duckhunter, I really wonder if you understand Football at all. You comments always make me laugh.

    GO UTES!

  • Bigmommas-house Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 22, 2011 3:36 p.m.

    Yay for Wynn. Hes going to lead Us to the promise land. Wunn-N-Dunn for the Heisman award, and the National championship MVP.

  • uteowl Sunnyvale, CA
    Aug. 22, 2011 2:51 p.m.

    @ Duckhunter - I am astounded (perhaps I shouldn't be) at how concerned you and some other TDS fans are over our football team. Perhaps I should be grateful that you and your ilk take the time to analyze our situation and write insightful commentary devoid of sarcasm or vitriol, and rather than get upset at your remarks post something along the lines of, "Thank you sir! May I have another?"

  • Striker Omaha, NE
    Aug. 22, 2011 11:53 a.m.

    UNO was terrible last year in football. I knew one guy who played on the football team and he always said, "There's no leadership on the team." He blamed that for why they were so bad last year, but they are generally pretty good. When Nebraska was down, some people thought UNO could beat them. Take this for what it's worth. I remember UNO losing many of their home games last year, and some were blowouts. This Hays guy is used to playing in front of a few hundred. He may struggle commanding an offense in front of thousands...I mean tens of thousands. I think it's legit to be concerned about him, especially if Wynn goes down.

  • ute4ever West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 22, 2011 11:13 a.m.

    We're all overreacting here. Brian Johnson was just as frail as Wynn has been. BJ was hurt every year it seemed. In 2008 the coaches finally started protecting the quarterback by running BJ less, having him slide, etc. He stayed healthy the entire year and...well....we all know the results. This new system is meant to protect the quarterback. It won't leave Wynn staring straight at a defensive end on nearly every play as Wynn is reading whether or not to hand off the ball on the zone read running situations. If Wynn does go down, we could be in trouble....but I think the coaches understant his much better than any of us and thus their careful treatment of him. I don't see a bunch of play calls that will expose Wynn too much. And if Wynn can stay healthy, hopefully the results are the same as when BJ stayed healthy in 2008.

  • So. Cal Reader Escondido, CA
    Aug. 22, 2011 11:05 a.m.

    Hey! No problem here. Utes have the "Offensive Genius" in Chow. From earlier articles I read about his hiring, he's going to come in and take the utes offense to "new heights". So, obviously he'll be able to "fix" Hays. Can't wait to see how the season starts and folds out for the big red.

  • Rebelboy CAMPBELL, CA
    Aug. 22, 2011 10:00 a.m.

    Hays has been in SLC for less than 2 months. He got the 4" ring binder play book in his hands a few days before camp started. Given that, I'm amazed at how well he commanded the offense when he got the reps.

    Update from the last scrimmage: "Jordan Wynn, who had missed much of practice this past week due to an illness, was 8-of-12 for 128 yards and a touchdown pass. His backup, Jon Hays, was equally impressive, as he threw for 133 yards, two touchdowns and completed 11-of-13 of his passes - including his first 11."

    This type of progress from the start to finish of camp is amazing.

    Given Wynn's fragility, it's not a matter of 'if' Hays has to play, it's a matter of 'when'. I think the Utes will be fine.

  • pocyUte Pocatello, ID
    Aug. 22, 2011 9:11 a.m.

    I disagree with it being dire. I do agree that the season depends on Wynn's health. However, the last season we had this type of disparity between the 1's and 2's was the Sugar Bowl year. BJ hadn't stayed upright for a whole season, and Louks and Manis were his backup. From the reports I read about Hays, he is better than Louks or Manis. He did go from 3 picks and a bunch of sacks to going 11-13 in the final scrimmage, and he completed 11 in a row.

    We all know it comes down to Wynn being healthy, that's not a surprise. However, the coaches felt good enough about the QB situation move Robles to LB, a position of a lot of depth.

    And there is no way Wilson comes in and beats out Wynn next year.

  • Shawnm750 West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 22, 2011 9:08 a.m.

    I think the Utes are just being cautious in their statements to the press. Whittingham has never been one to over-inflate his players abilities, and quite often he actually downplays what they can do. I think he knows that once a team gets complacent, they get lazy. Norm Chow strikes me as having a similar style.

    I for one am optimistic about the upcoming season. I think we're finally going to see Wynn come into his own, now that he's got an offense that's built around his strengths. And let's not forget that Norm Chow has done wonders with a lot of QB's, so if he thinks our back up shows promise, we should probably give him the benefit of the doubt.

    GO UTES!

  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    Aug. 22, 2011 8:55 a.m.

    This article paints the Ute qb situation worse than any other article I have read about this team. I would have to say that the fact that they would use a scholarship on someone with his stats doesn't say much for the other backup qb's or the qb position at Utah. Until now, for the past several years the Utes have had a backup qb that was close to being as good as the starter. I will wait and see how the Ute QB's do before passing judgement but I will keep my fingers crossed for Wynn to stay healthy all year. I am happy that the Utes have a good "elite 11" QB that finished in the top 24 of the country coming next year. If Wynn has two good years left in him, there shouldn't me much of a drop off before the next guy is up to speed.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Aug. 22, 2011 8:35 a.m.

    The 1st realistic article written about utah's dire qb situation this season. Also the 1st realistic aknowledgements of how bad the situation is by utah fans, other than tdlawton who wants to make it about Heaps so he can stick his head in the sand and ignore utah's woes.

    Of course many of us have been pointing this out for the last couple of months but ebcause we are BYU fans it is ignored.

    the truth is this is a very bad situation, tenuous at best, and almost sure to cause major problems this season.

  • byronbca Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 22, 2011 8:32 a.m.

    Hays numbers at his last college are concerning, but I'm more concerned about how he is performing now. Most of the reports are suggesting that there is a big drop off in talent from Wynn to Hays, but that Hays should be serviceable and that he is getting better every day. Hays should be good enough to give the Utes a chance to win against non-ranked Pac 12 teams.

    Keep in mind that there was a huge drop off in talent between a healthy Wynn and Cain too last year. Cain's stats against teams with winning records were awful. Even when Wynn's shoulder was at its worst he was still much better than Cain, yet Utah still won with him at QB.

  • bgl Santa Monica, CA
    Aug. 22, 2011 7:16 a.m.

    I have to admit to being a bit confused. This paper and the Trib, wrote numerous reports about how well Tyler Shreve was doing last spring. 100 percent improvement. Improves every day. Is a kid who was that highly regarded coming out of high school and who stands out in spring ball, really someone who should be well down the depth chart from a slightly above average jc qb? Maybe we should stop turning so many quarterbacks into linebackers until we have a strong stable.

  • tdlawton Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 22, 2011 6:58 a.m.

    I don't have any complaints with the content of the column, it addresses real questions that the Utes have in a sensible way, but who writes the headlines?

    I wonder if this is a recent headline from the DNews asking if Jake Heaps, he with the mediocre-to-poor 117 QB rating and one win over a winning team, (A game which cost replay officials their jobs) quite deserves all the praise being heaped upon him? (No pun intended).

  • pittsburgh Ute West Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 22, 2011 4:25 a.m.

    Hopefully we wont need to find out how good Hays is. When Wynn is healthy and on his game, he is a beeter than average QB. I know that if he struggles in games there will be a portion of us Utes fans who will be calling for Hays, but I think Wynn will be our best option this year. If the O line can give him time, he should do fine.

  • cougblood FARMINGTON, UT
    Aug. 22, 2011 12:35 a.m.

    I hardly wish and misfortune on Wynn. Has he played a season without missing a game so far? I think the Utah O line will be fine, the Utes have good coaches and they have guys coming back from minor injuries that should solidify some depth issues. The problem is Wynn will get hit, every quarterback gets hit and his body has not been able to stand up to it. If he goes out this year Hays will have little chance of leading the Utes to a win, they will have to rely heavily on the defense. The Utes have a very good defense but as we saw last year when the offence did nothing against ND and Boise St the defense was run off the field, even a great defense cant be on the field all game long.

  • Tomahawk Red North Salt Lake, UT
    Aug. 22, 2011 12:13 a.m.

    Our situation at QB is dire this season. I knew Hays wasn't expected to make an impact, but this story surprised me just how bad he might be.

    Not a single other school... FBS or FCS)... offered this guy? That might speak volumes at how poorly Hays might perform if he ever gets in a game.

    Wow. Our entire season... an important season... is resting on Jordan Wynn and his questionable, suceptible to re-injury shoulder. Thank goodness we've got help coming next season with Travis Wilson, who could possibly start in 2012 and Wynn switched to backup.

    In the meantime if Wynn goes down this year, God help us.