College football: Utah trounces sloppy BYU 54-10
To see photos of the Utah-BYU game, please visit •
Pregame • bit.ly/qoPO5V
First quarter • bit.ly/pSzarl
Second quarter • bit.ly/nO9nQE
Third quarter • bit.ly/nFhfV2
Fourth quarter• bit.ly/omNglq
Provo • Jake Heaps is a better quarterback than Jordan Wynn, BYU's linebackers are too talented and home-field advantage for the Cougars would give them the edge the Utah Utes heard all those reasons and others as to why the Cougars would beat them Saturday.
They heard them, then proved them all wrong as the Utes stunned BYU with a 54-10 victory at LaVell Edwards Stadium in front of 63,742.
With both offenses struggling to find their identities under new coordinators, a low-scoring, defensive battle was predicted for Saturday. Instead, the Utes enjoyed their most decisive win since 1922, when they beat the Cougars 49-0 in Salt Lake City.
That win was back in the days when Utah was dominating the series. Saturday's game was supposed to be about two virtually equal teams finding their way, but suffice it to say the Utes were more efficient in finding their identity.
Not only did the Utes pound their rival, they scored the signature win of the day for their new league as other PAC-12 teams struggled.
Now the Utes have to wonder what the future might hold after they return from the bye week. If they can hang with USC on its own field and thoroughly thump the Cougars, then why should anyone think they won't be able to handle what Washington, Arizona State or any of the other PAC-12 teams that struggled Saturday throw at them?
Sure, BYU made it easy on the Utes by committing seven turnovers, leading to four Utah touchdowns and a field goal.
But the knock on the Utes early in this football season was their inability to take advantage of opportunities given to them. That they were able to convert against the Cougars on a day when they lost Tony Bergstrom, their top offensive lineman, to injury and overcome a nonexistent first-half running attack revealed the Utes might have more to them in 2011 than anyone thought as they enjoyed a rare rout of the Cougars.
"If you go back in the history of this game, it's never like this," Wynn said. "To get a win like this, it's huge for us and throughout the program and the fans and everything. All around it's a big win."
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham added the point of emphasis this week was the game didn't have to be as close as recent games.
The Utes were obviously in a jovial mood.
BYU, meanwhile, goes into a short week reeling with one of its worst performances in Bronco Mendenhall's coaching career.
He, like the rest of the Cougars, seemed stunned at how quickly the game got out of control.
"They out-coached and out-played us and basically out-executed us from the beginning to win," Mendenhall said. "The turnovers were huge, but they were the better team today."
The Utes scored 40 second-half points and rushed for 242 yards, 215 of which came in the second half, while holding the Cougars to just 11 yards on the ground.
"Our defense was crazy tonight," Utah defensive end Joe Kruger said. "Every person on the field played like a champ."
The debate over which quarterback is more talented can and probably will continue, but at least on Saturday Wynn, whose health and skills have been questioned and analyzed all season, was the guy who persevered, finishing 16 for 30 for 239 yards and two touchdowns with one interception.
Heaps was 27-for-50 for 305 yards and a touchdown with one interception.
Wynn took his share of shots by BYU's defense and momentarily left the game in the second quarter after one hard hit to the chest.
But he shook off the hit then shook off BYU by leading the Utes on a 6-play, 63-yard drive that culminated with a 30-yard pass to Jake Murphy to give the Utes a 14-10 halftime lead.
That series gave the Utes' offense a boost of confidence as Utah found its rhythm immediately on their first possession of the second half. Wynn and Dres Anderson connected for a 59-yard touchdown pass, making it 21-10 to start the second-half rout.