Estimated read time: 20-21 minutes
The Utah Utes scored 27 unanswered points to erase an early Cal lead before eventually going on to win 37-27, extending their nation best bowl win streak to nine. The MWC improves to 3-0 in bowl games this season.
Jordan Wynn, who threw an early interception that was returned for a touchdown, rebounded in a big way, finishing 26 of 36 for 338 yards and three touchdowns.
|Final Stats||!(http://www.ksl.com/images/team_logo/ncaa/utah.png) Utah||!(http://www.ksl.com/images/team_logo/ncaa/california.png) Cal|
|Time of Possession||35:28||24:32|
Time Remaining: 1:46 Fourth Quarter
Score: (23) Utah 37, Cal 27
Cal gets into the endzone on a good 24 yard pass from Riley to Jeremy Ross. Cal fails on the 2 point conversion, making the score 37-27.
Utah recovers the onside kick and can now run the clock out.
Time Remaining: 5:00 Fourth Quarter
Score: (23) Utah 37, Cal 21
The Utes chew up some clock and pin Cal on their own 1 yard line following another great punt by Sean Sellwood. Cal will have just over six and a half minutes to get back in this game.
Stevenson Sylvester just intercepted a Kevin Riley pass and returned it 25 yards for a Utah touchdown. Utah now leads 37-21.
Things just got even worse for Cal as Robert Johnson just intercepted another Riley pass. Utah will have it on the Cal 39 yard line.
Time Remaining: 9:02 Fourth Quarter
Score: (23) Utah 30, Cal 21
Big play for the Utes as Jordan Wynn threw a quick out to David Reed, and after a shifty move Reed turned on the jets and took the pass 40 yards down to the Cal 15 yard line. Utah runs the hook and ladder and picks up eight yards, but now face a 4th and 2. Joe Phillips connects from 25 yards out to make it a 2 score game again, 30-21.
Cal moves the ball to midfield, but Utah comes up with a big stop on third down, sacking Kevin Riley to force a Cal punt and keep them out from scoring. Utah will take over on the 34 yard line after a 15 yard kick catch interference call on Cal.
Time Remaining: 0:39 Third Quarter
Score: (23) Utah 27, Cal 21
Defense comes up big for the Utes as Lamar Chapman forces a Kevin Riley fumble and Mike Wright recovers for the Utes. First and ten for Utah on the Cal 14 yard line. This time, the Utes come away with points as Joe Phillips connects from 29 yards out to make it 27-14.
Cal finally gets back into the end zone, putting together a great drive. Cal goes 77 yards in six plays, capped off by a 1 yard TD run by Shane Vereen. The TD cuts the Utah lead to six, 27-21.
Time Remaining: 4:26 Third Quarter
Score: (23) Utah 24, Cal 14
Utah forces another Cal three and out. Riley had his fullback wide open in the flat on third and short, but his pass was overthrown. Cal only has two first downs since the first quarter. Utah will take over on their own 43 yard line following the punt.
Utah moves down to the 25 yard line of Cal, but the Utes are unable to convert on 4th and short. Cal will take over on downs.
Time Remaining: 9:54 Third Quarter
Score: (23) Utah 24, Cal 14
Utah pushes Cal back 1 yard on their opening possession of the half. Utah will take over on their own 39 yard line after the punt.
The Utes get to midfield and appeared to score a touchdown on a flea flicker pass from Shaky Smithson to David Reed, but the play was called back as the Utes had 5 players in the backfield. The drive stalls and Sean Sellwood pins the Golden Bears on their own 5 yard line with a fantastic punt.
Score: (23) Utah 24, Cal 14
After falling behind early, Utah scored 24 unanswered points to take a 24-14 lead into halftime against the Cal Golden Bears.
Jordan Wynn was 15 for 21 for 225 yards and three touchdowns, putting the early interception that was returned for a touchdown behind him.
After giving up a touchdown run to Shane Vereen, Utah's defense suffocated Cal's offense, holding them to 28 yards in the 2nd quarter. Meanwhile, the Utes piled up 180 yards in that same time period.
Update on the Keys to the Game for Utah
- Win the battle up front - Check. After a poor 1st quarter of blocking, the Utes stepped it up in the second. Jordan Wynn threw for 15 completions and 225 yards and 3 touchdowns.
- Contain Vereen - Check. Other than his 36 yard touchdown run, Vereen has 43 yards on 11 carries.
Keys to the Game for Cal
- Get out early - Check. Cal held a 14-0 lead after Eddie Young returned a Jordan Wynn pass for a touchdown. It wasn't quite a big enough lead as the Utes battled back.
- Slow down Eddie - Check. Wide only has 25 yards on 13 carries.
Time Remaining: 0:43 Second Quarter
Score: (23) Utah 24, Cal 14
The Utes hold Cal to just two yards on their next possession. Cal only has five yards so far in the second quarter. Utah's defense has suffocated the Golden Bear's offense. Utah will take over on their own 28 yard line after the punt.
The Utes have used the shovel pass twice in this game, and both times Eddie Wide has taken it for huge gains. This time, Wide runs for 29 yards after the catch. First and ten Utes on the Cal 30 yard line. Jereme Brooks runs the post route to perfection and Jordan Wynn throws a beautiful ball for another touchdown, this time from 21 yards out. Utah now leads 24-14. There was no backside safety help for Cal on the play, who only rushed three guys.
Time Remaining: 4:58 Second Quarter
Score: (23) Utah 17, Cal 14
Stevenson Sylvester has been a monster defensively, coming up with big play after big play. Utah has held Cal to only 16 yards on their last two possessions. Aiona Key tips the Cal punt, which only goes 27 yards. Utah will have great field position on their own 44 yard line.
Jordan Wynn drives the Utes down the field, completing another pass to Kendrick Moeai for a 15 yard touchdown. Moeai has 2 TDs on the season, both in this game. Wynn was solid on the drive, completing 2 passes to David Reed and another to Jereme Brooks, in addition to the touchdown. Utah now has the lead 17-14.
Time Remaining: 9:31 Second Quarter
Score: Cal 14, (23) Utah 10
Utah's defense holds their ground and forces a Cal punt. Cal will start on their own 24 yard line following the punt. That was a big defensive stop for the Utes. Now it's in the hands of the Utah offense to try to tie this game up.
Jordan Wynn hooks up with Jereme Brooks for a big 27 yard gain up to the Cal 48 yard line. Utah is upping the tempo of the offense, and that is really keeping Cal's defense from making adjustments and substitutions. Utah has to settle for a 28 yard field goal attempt, and Joe Phillips knocks it through to cut the Cal lead, 14-10.
Time Remaining: 1:35 First Quarter
Score: Cal 14, (23) Utah 7
Shaky Smithson returns the kickoff 61 yards to set the Utes up with good field position on the Cal 30 yard line. Cal's run defense has been solid, giving no ground to the Utes' rushing attack. Utes gamble on 4th and short, go hurry up and pick it up with a quick handoff to Eddie Wide. Utah scores on a 6 yard play-action pass from Jordan Wynn to tight end Kendrick Moeai. Moeai did a great job keeping his foot inbounds while making the catch. Cal challenged the play, but the play stood as called.
Time Remaining: 5:55 First Quarter
Score: Cal 14, (23) Utah 0
Utah picks up 5 on first down, but after a sack and a false start, the Utes are unable to convert a 3rd and 15 deep in their own territory. Cal will start on their own 46 yard line following the punt.
Cal QB Kevin Riley connects with Marvin Jones for 10 yards and a Golden Bear first down inside Utah territory. Two plays later, Shane Vereen breaks off a 36 yard run off the left side for a touchdown. Cal strikes first, 7-0.
Jordan Wynn's first pass of their next drive is intercepted and easily returned for another Cal touchdown. Cal extends the lead, 14-0. The throw was right to Cal LB Eddie Young. Terrible read by Wynn and this one is already looking ugly.
Time Remaining: 9:54 First Quarter
Score: (23) Utah 0, Cal 0
Utah will start the game on their own 19 yard line following the opening kickoff. Jordan Wynn connects with Eddie Wide for a big 45 yard gain, bringing back the shovel pass to take the Utes into Cal territory. However, the Utes stall and will be forced to punt. Cal will start on their own 20 following the punt.
Shane Vereen breaks off a 27 yard run right through the middle of Utah's defense to set them up with great field position. Utah holds on the next three plays to force a Cal punt. Both defenses gave up big plays, but were then able to buckle down and force punts. Utah will start their second possession on their own 12 yard line.
!(http://www.ksl.com/emedia/slc/1614/161493/16149307.jpg)**Keys to the Game for Utah**
- Win the battle up front - The Utes will need to protect Jordan Wynn and give him enough time to move the ball down the field.
- Contain Vereen - Cal running back Shane Vereen has done a nice job in filling in for injured back Jahvid Best. Cal is 2-0 when Vereen rushes for over 100 yards. The Utes will need to contain him to help get Cal's offense off the field.
Keys to the Game for Cal
- Get out early - Utah has fallen behind big in all three of their losses. Against Oregon and BYU they were able to battle back, but still ended up losing. Make the Utes play catchup and force Wynn into making mistakes
- Slow down Eddie - Cal has a very good rush defense. Keeping Utah's ground attack contained and putting more pressure on freshman QB Jordan Wynn could be big for the Golden Bears
Utah's offensive line vs. Cal's defensive line. Watch specifically for the battle between All-American Zane Beadles and Cal's Tyson Alualu.
Expectations were sky high for the California Golden Bears this season. Starting the year at No. 12, Cal rose all the way up to No. 6 after a 3-0 start. Talk started about this being the year that Cal would win the Pac-10. Then the Golden Bears took a trip to Autzen, where it all came crashing down in a 42-3 loss to the Oregon Ducks. Cal would finish the season 8-4
|Statistical Analysis||!(http://www.ksl.com/images/team_logo/ncaa/utah.png) Utah||!(http://www.ksl.com/images/team_logo/ncaa/california.png) Cal|
|Points per Game||29.3||29.3|
|Penalty Yards (average)||72.1||50.8|
|Avg. Time of Possession||30:42||29:33|
|3rd Down Conversion||39%||37%|
|4th Down Conversion||29%||25%|
|Red Zone Scores||36-44||34-42|
|Kickoff Return Average||22.0||20.3|
|Punt Return Average||8.8||13.0|
Utah's strong point this season has been the play of their defense. The Utes only give up just over 300 yards per game and are holding opponents to an average of just under 20 points. However, their biggest weakness on defense is Cal's biggest strength on offense - the run game. Backup RB Shane Vereen has done a solid job in filling in for injured back Jahvid Best. If Vereen gets into a rhythm early on, it could spell trouble for a Utah defense that has been susceptible to the run.
The Utes have won eight straight bowl games, while Cal has won four in a row, making it tough to pick against either team! The Utes have struggled in games of equal or greater opponents this season, losing to TCU, Oregon and BYU. Can Wynn win the big game? We will find out tonight.
MY PREDICTION: Utah 23, Cal 21. Let me know what you think. Post your predictions/questions in the comment board.
- Bowl foes have scored 17 points or less in seven of the Utes' last eight bowl games (2007 - Utah 35, Navy 32 was the only exception)
- Utah owns the nation's longest active bowl win streak at eight games and is headed to its seventh-straight bowl.
- Utah is 11-3 all-time in bowl games and its .786 postseason winning percentage is the best in the nation of the 72 schools with at least 10 bowl appearances.
- Utah has a 1,000-yard rusher and receiver in the same season for only the second time in school history. With a bowl game still remaining, junior Eddie Wide has 1,032 rushing yards and senior David Reed has 1,085 receiving yards. The only other Ute tandem to accomplish the feat in the same year was Keith Williams (1,076 rushing) and Bryan Rowley (1,011 receiving) back in 1991.
- Since Jordan Wynn made his first start against New Mexico, Utah is 16-of-16 in the red zone with 11 touchdowns and five field goals
- Utah is ninth in the nation (second in the conference) in pass efficiency defense (100.1) and is tied for 10th (third in the MWC) in opponent third down conversions (56-of-181, 30.9%)
- Running back Eddie Wide leads the MWC in rushing yards (1,032)
- Receiver David Reed leads the MWC and is 14th in the nation in receiving yards per game, averaging 90.4 yards.
Cal Miscellaneous Stats
- Cal is a perfect 3-0 against current MWC teams in bowl games, most recently as a 42-36 winner over Air Force at the 2007 Armed Forces Bowl. Cal also defeated BYU, 35-28, at the 2005 Las Vegas Bowl and Wyoming, 17-15, at the 1990 Copper Bowl.
- Cal's fate has largely rested on the performance of its offense this season. Cal is averaging 40.1 points per outing in the team's eight wins, while the club is scoring only 7.5 points per contest in its four losses.
- Cal has outscored its opponents in the fourth quarter this season, 88-44.
- Cal's defense has stiffened up near its own red zone in 2009, allowing just 23 touchdowns on 40visits to the red zone by its opponents (57%).
- Cal began its bowl streak (7 in a row) at the Insight Bowl in 2003, followed by the first of two trips to the Holiday Bowl (2004), the Las Vegas Bowl (2005), a return to the Holiday Bowl (2006), the Armed Forces Bowl (2007) and the Emerald Bowl (2008). The Bears are 5-1 in bowl games under head coach Jeff Tedford - including a current four-game win streak - and own a 10-8-1 all-time mark in postseason contests. Prior to Tedford's arrival, Cal had earned bowl bids just five times since 1959, going to the Garden State Bowl (1979), Copper Bowl (1990), Citrus Bowl (1992), Alamo Bowl (1993) and Aloha Bowl (1996).
|!(http://www.ksl.com/images/team_logo/ncaa/utah.png) Utah||Offense||!(http://www.ksl.com/images/team_logo/ncaa/california.png) Cal|
|\#3 Jordan Wynn||Quarterback||\#13 Kevin Riley|
|\#36 Eddie Wide||Running Back||\#34 Shane Vereen|
|\#16 David Reed||Wide Receiver||\#1 Marvin Jones|
|\#85 Jereme Brooks||Wide Receiver||\#86 Verran Tucker|
|\#82 John Peel||Wide Receiver|
|Fullback||\#33 Brian Holley|
|\#80 Chris Joppru||Tight End||\#80 Anthony Miller|
|\#70 Tony Bergstrom||Right Tackle||\#72 Mitchell Schwartz|
|\#54 Tevita Stevens||Right Guard||\#61 Justin Cheadle|
|\#77 Zane Taylor||Center||\#54 Chris Guarnero|
|\#72 Caleb Schlauderaff||Left Guard||\#Matt Summers-Gavin|
|\#68 Zane Beadles||Left Tackle||\#79 Mike Tepper|
|\#42 Nai Fotu||Defensive End||\#44 Tyson Alualu|
|\#43 Lei Talamaivao||Defensive Tackle||\#96 Kendrick Payne|
|\#44 Dave Kruger||Defensive Tackle|
|\#41 Koa Misi||Defensive End||\#97 Cameron Jordan|
|\#10 Stevenson Sylvester||Outside Linebacker||\#9 Eddie Young|
|\#20 Mike Wright||Middle Linebacker||\#10 Devin Bishop|
|Middle Linebacker||\#18 Mike Mohamed|
|\#59 Kepa Gaison||Outside Linebacker||\#47 Keith Browner|
|\#25 RJ Stanford||Cornerback||\#5 Syd'Quan Thompson|
|\#27 Brandon Burton||Cornerback||\#15 Bryant Nnabuife|
|\#17 Robert Johnson||Free Safety||\#11 Sean Cattouse|
|\#12 Joe Dale||Strong Safety||\#25 Brett Johnson|
|Series Record: Cal leads 4-2|
|Sept. 11, 2003||Salt Lake City, UT||Utah 31, Cal 24|
|Sept. 9, 2000||Berkeley, CA||Cal 24, Utah 21|
|Nov. 14, 1964||Berkeley, CA||Utah 14, Cal 0|
|Nov. 16, 1963||Salt Lake City, UT||Cal 35, Utah 22|
|Oct. 11, 1958||Berkeley, CA||Cal 36, Utah 21|
|Oct. 16, 1920||Berkeley, CA||Cal 63, Utah 0|