Utah football: 'Abysmal' turnover margin irks coach
The Utah Utes are bowl-eligible, off to their third 6-0 start and boast a Top 10 ranking. Yet all of those bragging points and even Saturday's home game against Colorado State are overshadowed for the Utes by one nagging stat turnovers.
"There are a lot of positives but the turnover margin this year has been abysmal," said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham shortly after the Utes' 30-6 win at Wyoming on Saturday.
The No. 9 Utes (6-0, 3-0) beat Wyoming convincingly despite three interceptions thrown by quarterback Jordan Wynn.
Another less-than-perfect outing this week should bring a similar result since Colorado State (2-5, 1-2) is struggling in the MWC like Wyoming.
The Rams are coming off a 43-10 win over UNLV, their first league victory since beating Wyoming in 2008. Quarterback Pete Thomas threw for 233 yards and three touchdowns and Leonard Mason ran for 121 yards and a touchdown.
But the Utes don't want to win mistake-filled games now, not with TCU, Air Force and Notre Dame looming on the schedule.
"It was definitely a good learning experience," Utah lineman Tony Bergstrom said of the Wyoming win. "But we know we have a lot of problems to fix. We watched little things we did wrong all last week that we didn't get corrected and they knew what we needed to correct too. Those things were magnetized."
Wynn was 16-of-25 for 230 yards and two touchdowns Saturday, but threw two interceptions in the end zone.
His third set up Wyoming's eight-play, 42-yard scoring drive in the fourth quarter that ended the Utes' chances of getting their first shutout against Wyoming since 2007, when they beat the Cowboys 50-0.
Wynn, who had just two interceptions for the season prior to Saturday, clearly was bugged by his mistakes after the game.
"I need to take care of the football," he said. "I forced a few passes and there are some little things I need to do better."
The good news for the Utes is, aside from the turnovers, the offense continued to move the ball effectively while the defense had another solid outing against the Cowboys. Mistakes were made, but plenty of good things happened too.
"The turnovers weren't good and we gave up a sack," offensive lineman Zane Taylor said. "We could have scored more and been a lot better in the red zone, but stuff happens."
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CSU's season results
Sept. 4 • L, Colorado, 24-3
Sept. 11 • L, Nevada, 51-6
Sept. 18 • L, at Miami (OH), 31-10
Sept. 25 • W, Idaho, 36-34
Oct. 2 • L, TCU, 27-0
Oct. 9 • L, at Air Force, 49-27
Oct. 16 • W, UNLV, 43-10
P Colorado State (2-5) at Utah (6-0), 4 p.m.
TV • The Mtn.