Wyoming wide receiver David Leonard (33) runs for a extra yardage after catching a 23-yard pass as Utah corner backs R.J. Stanford (25) and Brandon Burton (27) defend during the first quarter.
Oct. 31, 2009
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -After waiting through the first seven games and wondering if he was going to end up redshirting, Utah freshman Jordan Wynn finally got to make his college debut.
Now he might be headed for his first college start.
Wynn replaced starter Terrance Cain in the second half and the 19th-ranked Utes rallied to beat Wyoming 22-10 on Saturday night.
Wynn threw for 82 yards and a touchdown to help Utah overcame a spotty first half.
"Obviously, this is a little late in the season. But I had told the coaches that whenever they wanted to play me, I was ready to play," said Wynn, who completed his first four passes and finished 9 for 14 with a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter that gave the Utes their first lead.
Eddie Wide tied a school record with his fifth straight 100-yard rushing game and added a late touchdown to seal the win for Utah (7-1, 4-0 Mountain West), which trailed 10-3 at halftime.
The Utes' defense pressured quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels constantly and held the Cowboys (4-4, 2-2) to 74 yards in the final 30 minutes.
That more than made up for getting burned on a trick play that resulted in Carta-Samuels catching a pass in the second quarter for Wyoming's only touchdown.
The Utes sacked Carta-Samuels five times and held the Cowboys to 202 yards in the game.
"We don't exactly like the drama but it makes for a good story," linebacker Stevenson Sylvester said. "A win is a win and any time we can fight back and get a win, we'll take it."
Carta-Samuels was 19 for 30 for 121 yards and caught a touchdown pass on a trick play as the Cowboys surprised the Utes early. But in the second half, he seemed to have nobody to throw to nowhere to go when he tucked the ball and tried to run.
Utah sacked him five times - all in the second half.
"In the first half, I was recognizing what was going on. But in the second, they disguised their plays better and made it tough on me," Carta-Samuels said. "I got tired. Their defense chased me all over the field."
Carta-Samuels is a freshman who replaced starter Robert Benjamin in the third game of the season.
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham has a similar decision to make.
Whittingham said the coaches hope to decide early next week whether to start Wynn or Cain next week against New Mexico, but he has been impressed lately by Wynn.
Whittingham had hoped to get Wynn some experience for a few weeks now, but each game was too close. On Saturday after failed to close on two scoring drives, Whittingham told Wynn he would be starting the third quarter.
"We thought it was the right time," Whittingham said.
Utah outscored Wyoming 90-7 in last two meetings, but the Utes had to come from behind this time after sputtering through the first half.
The Utes failed to score the first two times they drove inside the Wyoming 20, then had to settle for two field goals by Joe Phillips on drives that reached the Wyoming 4 and 15 in the third quarter.
Utah also went three-and-out on a possession that started at the Wyoming 48, then Wynn finally got the Utes in the end zone with a 22-yard pass to Jereme Brooks with 7:35 left in the game to put Utah up 16-10. Utah's defense set up the offense again, forcing the Cowboys to punt from their own 9 and giving the Utes the ball at the Utah 45.
The defense had to come up with two more stops before finally putting away the Cowboys. R.J. Stanford intercepted a pass that was tipped right to him, then Derrick Shelby sacked Carta-Samuels on a fourth-and-6 from the Wyoming 20 with 1:53 left.
That led to a 5-yard touchdown run by Wide, who had 24 carries for 135 yards.
Cain was 10 for 13 for 121 yards in the first half, but also took two sacks that knocked the Utes back 12 yards and took them out of scoring range. The Utes had a false start in between the two sacks, so they went scoreless after driving to the Wyoming 17.
Wynn lost out to Cain in a preseason battle for the starting job. Wynn started 4-for-4 and led the Utes to a first-and-goal at the Wyoming 7, but Utah stalled again, then got called for another false start and had to settle for 26-yard field goal by Phillips to get Utah within 10-6.
The Cowboys caught the Utes off guard with about 5 minutes left in the second quarter on a perfectly executed play. Wyoming lined up former starting quarterback Robert Benjamin at receiver for a backward pass from Carta-Samuels, who immediately turned up field and caught the re-pass from Benjamin in stride for a 30-yard touchdown pass that put Wyoming up 10-3.