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GAME WEEK: Utah vs. BYU, Utes edition

GAME WEEK: Utah vs. BYU, Utes edition



Estimated read time: 12-13 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

Utah (1-1, 0-0 Pac-12) hosts No. 25 Brigham Young (2-0) in Homecoming on Saturday, Sept. 15. The sixth-annual Deseret First Duel Rivalry game will kick off at 8:00 p.m. MT in Rice-Eccles Stadium and will be televised nationally on ESPN2. The game is sold out. Radio is ESPN700 AM (espn700sports.com).

> Utah leads the series with BYU 55-34-4, although the Cougars don't recognize six games (split equally 3-3) when it was known as the Brigham Young Academy. With or without those six games, this is the second-longest rivalry in Utah history.

Utah (1-1) vs. BYU (2-0)
Game Notes
  • Utah (1-1, 0-0 Pac-12) vs. No. 25 BYU (2-0)
  • Date: Saturday September 15, 2012
  • Time: 8:15 p.m. MDT
  • Site: Rice-Eccles Stadium (45,017/FieldTurf)
  • TV: ESPN2
  • Utah Radio: ESPN700
  • BYU Radio: KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM 1160 AM
  • Series Record: Utah leads 55-34-4
  • Last Meeting: 2011 (Utah 54-10)
  • Kickoff Weather: Clear, temps in the mid- 70s

> Utah has won seven of the last 10 games with the Cougars, including a 54-10 victory in Provo last year. Utah has a two-game win streak going and has won four of the last five contests in Salt Lake City. For a complete series history and last year's recap, see the boxed inset on page 2.

> Utah is 56-31-4 all-time in Homecoming games and 1-0 against BYU (30-21 in 1968). Utah is 8-6 in homecoming games played in Rice-Eccles Stadium, which opened in 1998.

> Utah and BYU competed in the same conference for 113 years until parting ways last year when the Utes began membership in the Pac-12 Conference and the Cougars went independent.

>Jordan Wynn, Utah's starting quarterback since his true freshman season in 2009, is retiring after injuring his shoulder in last week's game at USU. Wynn has had three shoulder surgeries since 2010. See Wynn Retires for more.

> Saturday's game will mark the 14th-straight sellout of Rice-Eccles Stadium. The Utes have sold out every home game since 2010.

WYNN RETIRES

Jordan Wynn, who in 2009 was named the Poinsettia Bowl MVP to cap the best season ever by a Utah true freshman, announced today that he is retiring from the sport after his fourth shoulder injury since 2010. Wynn was beginning his fourth season as the starter but was only a junior in eligibility due to a medical extension from the NCAA for his season-ending injury last year. He finishes his career with a 14-7 record and played in 22 games total. Wynn has had three shoulder surgeries (two to his left arm) and the extent of his latest shoulder injury is still being evaluated. He leaves the field ranked eighth in career passing yards at Utah (4,637), completing 60-percent of his pass attempts (375-of-621). He is one of 11 quarterbacks in school history to throw for 4,000 yards and his 33 touchdown throws are the sixth-most by a Ute quarterback. Wynn had 11 games with 200 or more passing yards, four of which were 300-yard games. In six quarters this season, Wynn completed 25-of-38 passes (65.8%) for 247 yards and two touchdowns (one interception). ### CONNECTIONS

Three of Utah's coaches played at BYU, including head coach Kyle Whittingham from 1978-81. As a senior, he was the Western Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year and a first-team all-WAC linebacker. Ute defensive coordinator Kalani Sitake played fullback for the Cougars in 1994 and 1997-2000 and receivers coach Aaron Roderick was a BYU receiver from 1997-98. Cougar defensive line coach Steve Kaufusi was at Utah from 1994-2001 as a graduate assistant, defensive line coach and defensive ends coach. Former Ute defensive lineman Jason Kaufusi (2000-03) is now a BYU defensive graduate assistant. ### RIVALRY SERIES

Standings for two rivalry trophies will be contested in Saturday's game: the Deseret First Duel and the Beehive Boot. The Deseret Duel is awarded to Utah or BYU, while the Beehive Boot is contested by Utah, BYU and Utah State. Utah has won three of the five Deseret Duel trophies and has taken possession of the Beehive Boot 12 times. BYU has captured the boot 22 times and USU seven times. In 2010, both Utah and USU beat BYU but did not play each other, and the Aggies were awarded the boot by a media vote. Utah is 0-1 this season in Beehive Boot competition after last week's overtime loss to USU. ### GET RED-DY

The annual Paint the Town Red competition begins in downtown Salt Lake City on Sept. 10 and a winner will be picked by a panel of judges on Oct. 19. Every fall, downtown businesses are encouraged to join the contest by decorating their business or store front in a University of Utah theme ... Utah's only UNIGHT parade and pep rally of 2012 will be held on Friday, Sept. 14 from 6-7 p.m. at the Gateway Mall. The Utah band, cheerleaders, dance team, Swoop, members of Utah athletic teams, Homecoming royalty and other student groups will participate in the free event. The parade route will start on Rio Grande Street and finish at the Olympic Fountain Plaza ... href=" http://www.theredmovement.com/ ">Click here for more information on both Paint the Town Red and UNIGHT. ### OUTSIDE THE LINES

Click here for a complete list of Homecoming activities ... Saturday at 5:30 p.m., fans lined up at the corner of Guardsman Way and 500 South will participate in the pre-game Ute Walk ... The Runnin' Ute men's basketball team will welcome fans at the gates ... The annual ROTC ball run--this year from Provo to Salt Lake City--will end with a presentation of the game ball before kickoff ... Governor Gary Herbert will attend the game ... The bands from both schools will perform together at halftime. ### IN THE HUDDLE

With quarterback Jordan Wynn retiring after reinjuring his left (non-throwing) shoulder late in the second quarter of last Friday's game at USU, senior Jon Hays and freshman Travis Wilson are now listed as the co-starters. Both Hays and Wilson played against USU, although Hays got the majority of the reps ... Starting left guard Jeremiah Tofaeono will return to the lineup this week against BYU. He missed the USU game with a sore knee ... Sean Sellwood leads the nation in punt average (52.6). He tied a school record against Utah State with six punts of over 50 yards ... Safety Tyron Morris-Edwards' jersey says Morris on the back because there is not room for his full name. He prefers to be referred to as Morris-Edwards. ### TWO MINUTE DRILL

Utah has not scored in the first quarter in its first two games and opponents have not scored on the Utes in the second or third quarters ... Dating back to last season, Utah is 9-0 when John White rushes for 100 yards. He netted 96 in last week's OT loss to USU ... White, currently 17th in career rushing yards at Utah (1,734), needs 40 yards to jump into a 14th-place tie with current Utah student coach Quinton Ganther (1,774 yards from 2004-05). Ganther was drafted in the seventh round by Tennessee in 2006 and also played for Washington, Seattle and Buffalo ... After two games, opponents are converting on just 21% of their third down attempts (6-28) ... Utah is 5-9 in the red zone (all touchdowns), while opponents are 3-3 (all TDs). Quotes from Kyle Whittingham's Weekly Press Conference

Opening Statement:
I was disappointed in our play against Utah State. We didn't play well and we didn't coach well in any phase of the game. We played sub-par, and give credit to Utah State because they played well. As far as our own situation, we have a lot of work to do and a lot of improvements to make. We have a lot of tough football games on the horizon.

Jordan Wynn is injured to the point that we had a conversation with him, and he's going to hang up the football. He's going to move on with life after football. He fought the good fight and came back, but this is the fourth time he has injured his shoulder and he is going to move on. We really appreciate what Jordan has brought to our program and the toughness and resiliency he has shown. If he was my son, I'd probably encourage him to do the same thing.

Jon Hays and Travis Wilson will battle this week for the starting job. Jon has the upper hand - we know what his capabilities are and he won a lot of games for us last year. We've seen enough good in Travis that we will give him a shot to run with the ones as well to see what he can do. We won't name a starter, we'll trot one out on Saturday and that will be our guy.

We have rivalry week in week three. It's not as foreign to us as it was last year, it's not as different a feeling. It's an emotional game on both sides.

On concerns of the Utah State game:
Everything. Every phase, every position group. There is not one redeeming value that came out of the game. We didn't coach the way that we expect to coach. It was a complete downer across the board.

We'll rely on senior leadership to rise up and make sure things are getting done. We can't panic - we'll stick to what we believe in and not make wholesale changes. That often does more damage than good. Right now we'll stay the course, get the seniors to rally up and make sure the work ethic is there, the team is focused, and that everything is done the right way.

On Jordan Wynn:
It's tough, no doubt. He's come back three times. He's got his degree in hand, and that's a positive, and the reason that you're here. To do that in three and a half years is remarkable. He spoke to me about the possibility of getting into coaching. He's a tough kid and I want to reiterate that we appreciate what he's done for us and what he's given the program. He's going to stick around - he is enrolled in classes. He'll continue with the semester and continue to come to meetings and he'll give assistance to Jon and Travis. That's going to be his role for the next 10 weeks.

On the quarterbacks:
One is going to be the starter. If Jon starts, Travis will have a set package of plays. Travis is a different type of quarterback. We wouldn't reverse those roles.

On Jon Hays:
He is a lot better this year. I don't think we have to reel in and modify the offense because of the progress he's made. He came in with a minute to go in the second half and put up 20 points, so that's 40 points if he had been in there the entire time. He's markedly improved, and we have a lot more confidence in him now. There were a lot of unknowns last year.

He is a very capable thrower. We're going to see the same run/pass ratio, and the same type of personnel groups as we've shown with Jordan. We'll make changes as per our opponent, but it won't be what we did last year.

On Joe Kruger:
The incident was not on tape on the coaches copies. He is cleared to play the game in its entirety this week, was the message we got from the Pac-12 office. It was termed `striking an opponent' or something to that nature. That was a bit of good news, we needed some positive news.

On the offensive line:
We're trying to get the best combination out there, whether Miles Mason moves back to guard and maybe we lave Sam Brenner outside. That's a work in progress. That's a place you like to have solidified but we haven't been able to do that. We haven't been able to get continuity. It turns out we saw weak links on Friday night, and we're trying to get it fixed.

The run game starts with movement at the line. We did not get that at all on Friday night. That's where it starts, and that's why we got so many yards last year. The offensive line did a nice job blocking the run game last year, which is what we need to do.

On the defensive backfield:
There are three guys in the mix to play next to Quade Chappuis - Tyron Morris-Edwards, Terrell Reese and Michael Walker. We'll see which one comes out. Not to count out Eric Rowe. We're not saying he is completely out for the game, it's a work in progress and we'll see how he progresses.

On how the rivalry has evolved:
That's a good question. It's still in the infancy of the transition with the differences that have shown up. It's not as different as last year. With the hiatus, I don't think I can answer that right now. It's definitely changing, and I think everyone will have a better idea 4-to-5 years from now. Right now it feels very similar and not much different than it ever has. The game itself gets attention. There is not much I need to do from a coaching or psychological standpoint to get the guys going.

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