I had high hopes going into Saturday night. I didn’t think it would be a blow out by any means but I thought the Utes would get the win. Even going into halftime I didn’t feel terrible about things. Even after the last drive of the half where the Utah defense absolutely self-destructed into two 15 yard penalties and gave UW the field goal to go in at half down 10-7 I still felt Utah would be okay.
The Utes moved the ball on Washington. The offense had two turnovers in the red zone that I felt like if they took care of they would be just fine. Being at the game I had no idea that Wynn would not start the second half, nor did I know why he wasn’t playing. I’m not going to play the woulda-coulda-shoulda game about the turnovers. Utah turned the ball over. UW caused them. Utah was still only down 10-7. Basically the game came down to the second half. My thought is it came down to the following three things:
1. The first drive of the second half was crucial. Looking back if feels like the air was taken out of the defense after hearing that Wynn wouldn’t be coming back. After holding Polk in check for most of the first half they allowed a long run to start the second half which turned into a touchdown. Polk is a beast. From what I’ve seen he is the best running back in the conference.
2. Washington seemed to make the adjustments at half and the Utes couldn’t counter. I can’t really blame the defense. Without Wynn the offense couldn’t move the football and Washington dominated time of possession.
3. Jordan Wynn’s injury. Sure there was the team’s mental aspect but the only thing Jon Hays showed that he has over Jordan Wynn right now is arm strength. Despite his arm, Jordan has been able to make the right decisions, show pocket presence and move the offense. That was evident in the first half when they were able to move the ball on the Washington defense.
So where does Utah go from here? I don’t believe all is lost. It isn’t looking like Jordan will be able to play this week, and there is a possibility that he end up being out for the season. It will be interesting to see how Norm Chow handles Jon Hays, and particularly the play calling. I believe Hays will get the first shot. Shreve better get ready as well.
The opening line for this coming Saturday has Arizona State favored by three points. If the news comes down that Wynn is out, and he likely is, expect the spread favoring ASU to increase. Utah will have a shot. Arizona State is a completely different team away from Tempe. As fans we need to do our part to make sure Arizona State doesn’t feel at home.