GAME BLOG: (23) Utah 37, Cal 27

GAME BLOG: (23) Utah 37, Cal 27

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Final **Score:** (23) Utah 37, Cal 27

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![]( Utah![]( Cal
Time of Possession35:2824:32
First Downs2017
Total Yards388310

- - - - - -

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.

![](![](**Poinsettia Bowl Game Notes** No. 23 Utah Utes (9-3, 6-2 MWC) vs Cal Golden Bears (8-4, 5-4 Pac-10) **Date:** Wednesday, December 23, 2009 **Time:** 6:00 p.m. MT **Site:** San Diego, Calif. (Qualcomm Stadium) **TV:** ESPN, ESPN-HD **Radio:** KALL 700 Radio **Series Record:** Cal leads 4-2 **Last Meeting:** 2003 (Utah 31, Cal 24) **Kickoff Weather:** Clear; Temps: upper 50s
![](**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

Key Match-up
Utah's offensive line vs. Cal's defensive line. Watch specifically for the battle between All-American Zane Beadles and Cal's Tyson Alualu.

My Prediction

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![]( Utah![]( Cal
Points per Game29.329.3
First Downs225247
Penalty Yards (average)72.150.8
Avg. Time of Possession30:4229:33
3rd Down Conversion39%37%
4th Down Conversion29%25%
Red Zone Scores36-4434-42
Kickoff Return Average22.020.3
Punt Return Average8.813.0

For the Utes, 2009 was set to be a rebuilding year. Gone were NFL draft picks Paul Kruger and Sean Smith. Gone were Sugar Bowl MVP Brian Johnson and both coordinators. And it showed. The Utes struggled to get wins over Utah State and San Jose State before they headed north to take on Oregon. At the time, the Utes had a 16 game winning streak. However, the Ducks overpowered the Utes, winning 31-24. While the Utes went on to win their next 4 games, the offense seemed stagnant. Switching to freshman QB Jordan Wynn in the 2nd half against Wyoming, the Utes finished the season 9-3.

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.

\#23 Utah (9-3)
Cal (8-4)
Passing Offense
\#55 NCAA 220.2 YPG
\#50 NCAA 223.4 YPG
Rushing Offense
\#45 NCAA 169.4 YPG
\#37 NCAA 175.6 YPG
Total Offense
\#54 NCAA 389.6 YPG
\#46 NCAA 399.0 YPG
Scoring Offense
\#47 NCAA 29.3 PPG
\#47 NCAA 29.3 PPG
Rush Defense
\#57 NCAA 141.3 YPG
\#27 NCAA 117.1 YPG
Pass Defense
\#14 NCAA 172.8 YPG
\#108 NCAA 260.9 YPG
Total Defense
\#20 NCAA 314.2 YPG
\#70 NCAA 378.0 YPG
Scoring Defense
\#19 NCAA 19.7 PPG
\#54 NCAA 24.5 PPG
Turnover Margin
\#46 NCAA +.25 TPG
\#27 NCAA +.50 TPG
Special Teams
Field Goals Punting
Punting Punt Returns
![](**Utah Miscellaneous Stats**

  • 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).

Starting Lineups
![]( UtahOffense![]( Cal
\#3 Jordan WynnQuarterback\#13 Kevin Riley
\#36 Eddie WideRunning Back\#34 Shane Vereen
\#16 David ReedWide Receiver\#1 Marvin Jones
\#85 Jereme BrooksWide Receiver\#86 Verran Tucker
\#82 John PeelWide Receiver
Fullback\#33 Brian Holley
\#80 Chris JoppruTight End\#80 Anthony Miller
\#70 Tony BergstromRight Tackle\#72 Mitchell Schwartz
\#54 Tevita StevensRight Guard\#61 Justin Cheadle
\#77 Zane TaylorCenter\#54 Chris Guarnero
\#72 Caleb SchlauderaffLeft Guard\#Matt Summers-Gavin
\#68 Zane BeadlesLeft Tackle\#79 Mike Tepper
\#42 Nai FotuDefensive End\#44 Tyson Alualu
\#43 Lei TalamaivaoDefensive Tackle\#96 Kendrick Payne
\#44 Dave KrugerDefensive Tackle
\#41 Koa MisiDefensive End\#97 Cameron Jordan
\#10 Stevenson SylvesterOutside Linebacker\#9 Eddie Young
\#20 Mike WrightMiddle Linebacker\#10 Devin Bishop
Middle Linebacker\#18 Mike Mohamed
\#59 Kepa GaisonOutside Linebacker\#47 Keith Browner
\#25 RJ StanfordCornerback\#5 Syd'Quan Thompson
\#27 Brandon BurtonCornerback\#15 Bryant Nnabuife
\#17 Robert JohnsonFree Safety\#11 Sean Cattouse
\#12 Joe DaleStrong Safety\#25 Brett Johnson

Series Record: Cal leads 4-2
Sept. 11, 2003Salt Lake City, UTUtah 31, Cal 24
Sept. 9, 2000Berkeley, CACal 24, Utah 21
Nov. 14, 1964Berkeley, CAUtah 14, Cal 0
Nov. 16, 1963Salt Lake City, UTCal 35, Utah 22
Oct. 11, 1958Berkeley, CACal 36, Utah 21
Oct. 16, 1920Berkeley, CACal 63, Utah 0

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