Logan • Yep, the Utah Utes sure don’t want to come back here again. All it took was one short road trip for Utah’s season to become one of promise to being one in shambles.
The Utes, who lost to the Utah State Aggies 27-20 in front of 25,513 at Romney Stadium Friday, lost more than a game. They lost their quarterback, they lost state bragging rights and, thanks to a nationally televised broadcast, they lost national respect.
Utah (1-1), picked to finish second in the Pac-12 behind USC, can’t even claim to being the best team in the state after Friday. Up next is BYU, another rival aching for a chance to beat the Utes and avenge last year’s embarrassing loss.
No wonder Utah athletic director Chris Hill wants out of these games. The Utes don’t win much when they do win and when they lose, well, as witnessed Friday, they lose virtually everything.
Among the losses: Jordan Wynn. Again.
Determined to make it through the entire season after three shoulder injuries, the junior QB suffered No. 4 in the second quarter. He did not return, spending the second half on the sidelines in a sling. But X-rays were negative.
Whittingham said he didn’t know how long Wynn will be sidelined. But he did know this: Nothing good came out of Friday’s contest.
"We did enough wrong in this game to last us a while," he said.
There is this: The Aggies (2-0) are in the WAC. The Pac-12 title is still up for grabs. The problem is, the Utes don’t look like a team ready to tussle with USC, not when they can’t handle the Aggies.
"We need to re-examine everything we are doing and work harder in all areas, all phases — coaches, players, everybody," Whittingham said. "This is a lot about who we are and what we are made of because it doesn’t get any easier from here. It doesn’t get any easier from this point forward."
But forward they will go. With Jon Hays as their quarterback. For the second time in as many seasons, Hays had to step in to replace Wynn. He finished Friday’s game 12-for-26 for 154 yards and a touchdown and brought the Utes back from a 13-0 deficit to a tied-ball game, but he couldn’t save the Utes from the loss.
The Utes had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation, but a bad snap foiled a 52-yard field goal attempt by Coleman Petersen.
In overtime, Utah’s defense, the one many thought would be one of the best in the Pac-12, couldn’t keep Utah State quarterback Chuckie Keeton from finding a big seam and running for 23 yards to set up the game-winning touchdown run.
There was Utah’s game wrapped up in a few minutes of play. The offense couldn’t get it done, the defense couldn’t get the stop and the special teams failed.
The result left the Utes staring at a loss they never imagined would happen.
"It’s beyond disappointing," Utah receiver DeVonte Christopher said. "I can’t put it into words how disappointing. It’s a reflection of us coming out flat and not executing. We have a lot of things that need to get fixed. We need to get back into the film room and correct this game. Special teams, everything. We have to pick it up a lot."
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