Smashing San Diego

By Paige Fieldsted, Sports Editor

In the last home game of the season, in front of a sparse crowd, the Utes got back to their winning ways for the second time this season.

After last week’s 55-28 loss to TCU, both the offense and defensecame alive in the first half, scoring all 38 points and holding San Diego State scoreless before the break.

The Utes credit their fast start to wanting to get over the TCU loss.

“All of us were real disappointed with last weekend,” said quarterback Jordan Wynn. “In football, the only way to get that taste out of your mouth is with a win, and we did that tonight.”

In just the third start of his career true freshman Wynn went 14 for 28, earning 195 yards, including two 44-yard passes, one to Jereme Brooks and one to David Reed. The long pass helped Reed pass the 1,000-yard mark for both his career and this season. Reed is the sixth Ute in history to earn 1,000 career receiving yards, breaking the mark early in the second quarter on a 7-yard pass from Wynn. With one game left, Reed now has 1,019 receiving yards on the season.

With BYU on the horizon, the team is confident that Wynn can keep improving and is ready to lead the Utes against a tough BYU team.

“I have a lot of confidence in him8212;he is getting used to the speed of college football, and he’s a smart guy,” said wide receiver Brooks. “I think that after TCU, he really learned what it was like to play a good team, and BYU is a solid team. I think Jordan is going to be ready, and I have a lot of confidence in him.”

After being held to only 25 rushing yards last week, Eddie Wide also got in on the action for the offense, going 84 yards and scoring two touchdowns. Wide is only 82 yards from reaching 1,000 rushing yards on the season.

The Utes’ defense can be credited with the other touchdown of the night, as senior Joe Dale returned his first interception of the season 30 yards for a touchdown.

The defense held San Diego State to just 262 yards of total offense, forcing the Aztecs’ usually efficient quarterback, Ryan Lindley to throw two interceptions and complete just 17 of 37 passes.

“I thought our guys responded really well after last week’s disappointment, came out had a lot of energy, a lot of passion,” said head coach Kyle Whittingham. “We had very good execution in the first half all the way around. It was good to get back on the winning track. That is what you want to see when you have a week that doesn’t go your way. You want to come back and respond and rebound and be able to play good football and move forward.”

Despite a strong first half, the Utes struggled to do much of anything in the second half, as the Aztecs were able to hold Utah scoreless and found the end zone late in the second half.

“We let them in the end zone there in the fourth quarter, but we had a lot of our twos in,” Whittingham said. “But that is good, they need experience.”

More than half of Utah’s 391 yards came in the first half, and the Utes didn’t get anywhere near the end zone in the second half of the game.

“We definitely have to work on coming out in the second half and putting something up because we came out flat in that third quarter, but we will next week,” Wynn said.

Utah will look to finish its regular season campaign against in-state rivals BYU this weekend. A win at BYU would give Utah its first win in Provo since 2005 and secure second place in the Mountain West Conference.

Despite the hype and anticipation that always surrounds the rivalry game, Whittingham said the team will prepare as it always does and isn’t looking at the game as any more important than any other game.

“You anticipate it and look forward to it, but you’ve got to keep it in perspective8212;every game counts as one,” Whittingham said. “As soon as they start counting rivalry games as two, then they’ll become more important.”

Kick-off is set for 3 p.m. on Saturday.

[email protected]

Richard Payson/The Daily Utah Chronicle

Jereme Brooks had 100 yards receiving Saturday as Utah defeated San Diego State 38-7. Brooks is also confident about quarterback Jordan Wynn, who threw a 44-yard pass to him on Saturday.