Ames, Iowa • The No. 10 Utah Utes say they aren't sure why they are so good in the second quarter. They don't care if they ever find out the reason, as long as the magic keeps on working for them.
The Utes (5-0) scored 31 unanswered points in the second quarter Saturday to overcome a horrendous start to beat Iowa State 68-27 in front of 43,195 at Jack Trice Stadium.
While the win wasn't a surprise given the Utes' ranking and Iowa State's record, the way they dominated the Big 12 team should add more credibility to their unbeaten streak. The Utes have been described by some as a paper tiger since their wins have come against some of the worst programs in the nation and Pitt turned out to be a lesser team than expected.
The Cyclones (3-3) had at least a little more national respect than San Jose State or New Mexico did and were just six-point underdogs to the Utes. However, the Utes dominated the Cyclones like they have all their other recent opponents: by taking control in the second quarter and cruising in the second half.
The Utes' 68 points is the most for the program since defeating Wyoming 69-14 in 1983 and is the most it has ever scored against a BCS team.
"That is what you get when you combine a great defense, solid special teams and an explosive offense," Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said.
The Utes also get a good marker in the web of comparisons made in the national college football scene. Iowa only beat the Cyclones 35-7 when the Hawkeyes were ranked No. 9. The Utes came to town and scored a bigger win.
"This was a statement game for us," Utah offensive lineman Zane Taylor said. "I don't think people gave us enough respect, but they have to now with that score."
Quarterback Jordan Wynn was 23 of 31 for 325 yards and two touchdowns and Shaky Smithson had a 78-yard punt return, threw a 32-yard touchdown pass and caught a 61-yard touchdown pass to lead the offense.
"It's my first road win and to get that is huge," Wynn said. "To come in against a Big 12 team and still put up as many points as we did after that bad start was great. We came together. We didn't start pointing fingers or anything. We got tighter and started rolling."
The victory is the first over the Cyclones for the Utes, who lost four games to Iowa State in the 1970s.
Saturday's game looked like it could add to that losing streak when Utah running back Eddie Wide fumbled and quarterback Jordan Wynn threw an interception in the first quarter.
The mistakes led to Iowa State scores and had the home crowd thinking they might see the Cyclones beat their first Top 10 team since 2005.
Instead, the few who remained to the end saw one of the program's worst losses.
The stadium was almost half empty by halftime after the Utes dominated the second quarter.
Utah entered the game outscoring opponents 70-7 in the second period, but Saturday's showing was the best effort of the season for any Utah team in a quarter since the program started tracking the stat in 1968.
Smithson threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to DeVonte Christopher on a reverse play, putting the Utes up 17-14 to start the scoring frenzy.
Matt Asiata scored on a 1-yard run, Eddie Wide scored on a 2-yard run and Smithson caught a 61-yard touchdown pass from Jordan Wynn.
Joe Phillips kicked a 25-yard field goal with one second remaining before the half to add the exclamation mark for the quarter.
In the second quarter alone, Wynn was 12-of-16 for 171 yards as the Utes rolled up 280 yards of offense.
By contrast, Iowa State had just 79 yards of total offense, including three yards rushing, in the second quarter.
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R IN SHORT • The Utes remain undefeated with the win over the Cyclones.
KEY MOMENT • Shaky Smithson throws a 32-yard touchdown pass to DeVonte Christopher on a reverse play, making it 17-14 to spark Utah's big second-quarter effort.
KEY STAT • The Utes' 31 points in the second quarter are the most for a Utah team since the school started keeping the stat in 1968.
Scoring in bunches
• Utah's 68 points is the most for the program since defeating Wyoming 69-14 in 1983 and is the most it has scored against a BCS team.
• Utah scored 31 points in the second quarter, the most since Utah started keeping the stat in 1968.
• Reggie Dunn returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter, the seventh 100-yard kickoff return in Utah history