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SALT LAKE CITY -- All the talk around the Utes loss last week has been about the injury to starting quarterback Jordan Wynn. The Utes lost more than just their home opener against the Huskies when Wynn went down with an injury to his non-throwing shoulder. Wynn, a junior for California, started all of last year and part of his freshman year.
With the new void at quarterback the Utes look at junior college transfer Jon Hays to start. Around the nation most are looking for who Hays is and what the Utes can do with him. The Paradise Post, Hays' home town paper in California, talks about the success other quarterbacks have had at Butte College. "Hays is the second former Road-runner to start at Utah, following in the footsteps of Chico High product Brett Ratliff," according to the Paradise Post. Other quarterbacks are Aaron Rodgers of the Packers and Rodgers younger brother Jordan, who plays at Vanderbilt.
With the injury to Wynn the expectations nationally for the team change from a contender in the Pac-12 South to a team struggling to hold on. Arizonasports.com wrote, "The Utes were seen as the only real contenders -- besides the Sun Devils -- in the Pac-12 South, but the team is 0-2 in conference play and now without its quarterback."
ESPN's Pac-12 blog puts Utah into a new category as possibly finishing in last place in the conference, "It seems like the Utes have too many good players, are too good on defense and are too well-coached to completely flop." They may be too good, but they are now in the conversation which is bad news for Ute fans.
Most publications still expect the Utes to at least compete through the rest of the season. ESPN has them at number six, but the ranking was based on the expectation that Wynn would play. The Husky Haul,Athlon Sports and Cliff Kirkpatrick, Oregon State's beat writer all have them at seven in the conference. Kirkpatrick wrote, "Utes finding it's harder to win on a regular basis in a tough conference when all the teams are good."
With Wynn out expectations have been lowered for this team in Pac-12 country, and with a tough game coming up with Arizona St. the Utes may have to wait another week for their first conference victory.