The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

Write for Us
Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor, send us an op-ed pitch or check out our open positions for the chance to be published by the Daily Utah Chronicle.
Print Issues

Football Notebook

By Bryan Chouinard

A tale of two quarterbacks

Junior quarterback Terrance Cain didn’t have awful numbers in the first half of Saturday’s Blackout game against Wyoming. Cain finished the first half completing 10-of-13 passes for 121 yards, but in two trips into the red zone, the Utes failed to put any points on the board.

Enter true freshman Jordan Wynn.

Wynn took the field as the Utes’ signal caller after the halftime break and led the Utes on back-to-back scoring drives that ended in Joe Phillips’ field goals. Wynn went on to lead the Utes to the comeback win, finishing the night 9 of 14 for 82 yards, including a 22-yard touchdown pass to wideout Jereme Brooks.

“The thing that really surprised me and got me motivated was his confidence,” said center Zane Taylor. “I thought he might come out a little nervous, but he came out and knew what to do and did a great job. You could see his confidence and his excitement, and that was really contagious in the huddle.”

Although Cain threw for more yards and completed more passes on fewer attempts than Wynn, it was the true freshman who helped the Utes to the comeback and orchestrated two drives that ended in touchdowns. The two differ in not only experience, but also in style. Cain is a quarterback who can beat defenses with his legs as well as his arm, but Wynn is more of a traditional drop-back quarterback. The two play the game with different demeanors.

“(Wynn’s) personality is much more outgoing and excitable,” said head coach Kyle Whittingham. “Terrance (Cain) is very businesslike8212;and nothing against Terrance because everyone has their own way to operate8212;but Jordan is much more verbal than Terrance is.”

With the two quarterbacks jockeying for the starting job this weekend against New Mexico, Whittingham said who will start Saturday will be a game-time decision.

“With their skill sets being significantly different, it just doesn’t make sense to name that person till game day,” Whittingham said.

A “fresh” start

Although there were speculations as to whether Wynn would play or use his redshirt year this season, he continued to prepare as though he were the starter in anticipation of his debut. That debut finally came Saturday, and Wynn became the fourth Utah quarterback in recent history to get playing time as a true freshman. Before Wynn, Corbin Louks in 2007, Brian Johnson in 2004 and Alex Smith in 2002 all played as true freshmen at the U, but none of them started a game.

If Wynn starts this weekend at home against New Mexico, he will become the first true freshman to start a game under center for the Utes since 1982, when Scott Cate got one start for Utah, which resulted in a loss. In 1981, Ken Vierra also started as a freshman, winning his only two starts that season.

It has been more than 25 years since a true freshman started at quarterback for the Utes, but Whittingham said that though Wynn is a freshman, he believes you can’t tell when you watch him play.

“He’s mature beyond his years,” Whittingham said. “He does not operate like a true freshman. I think part of that comes from him being here in spring ball. He learned a great deal during that first semester here in the spring.”

Injury report

This week against New Mexico, the Utes should be as healthy as they have been all season after the return of defensive tackles Lei Talamaivao and Kenape Eliapo. Offensive guard Walter Watts returned Saturday against Wyoming. The only member of the Utes who was listed in the injury report this week was starting strong safety Joe Dale. Dale has missed the past two games because of a knee injury but is listed as “probable” for this week’s matchup.

Filling in for Dale has been safety Justin Taplin-Ross, who recorded a career-high six tackles Saturday in his first career start in place of Dale.

“(Taplin-Ross) is a big factor in what we do as defense as far as our safeties go,” said cornerback R.J. Stanford. “He’ll just keep working to get better, and I have complete confidence in him to get it done.”

[email protected]

Mike Mangum

True freshman quarterback Jordan Wynn saw his first playing time Saturday and impressed coaches and teammates with his skills and personality on the field. If Wynn starts Saturday, he would be the first freshman to do so since 1982. Coaches said the starter will be a game-time decision.

Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

We welcome feedback and dialogue from our community. However, when necessary, The Daily Utah Chronicle reserves the right to remove user comments. Posts may be removed for any of the following reasons: • Comments on a post that do not relate to the subject matter of the story • The use of obscene, threatening, defamatory, or harassing language • Comments advocating illegal activity • Posts violating copyrights or trademarks • Advertisement or promotion of commercial products, services, entities, or individuals • Duplicative comments by the same user. In the case of identical comments only the first submission will be posted. Users who habitually post comments or content that must be removed can be blocked from the comment section.
All The Daily Utah Chronicle Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *