Utah Utes football: Near-flawless performance gives Utes something to shout about
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah's 56-3 homecoming win over San Jose State wasn't televised.
Too bad. The 13th-ranked Utes (4-0) put on a prime-time performance in their largest margin of victory since beating UTEP by a similar score in 1997.
Execution in all three phases of the game, including no turnovers and just one penalty for five yards, lifted Utah to its 20th consecutive victory at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
"I thought it was a great effort by our players," said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham. "They played an exceptionally clean game."
So clean, in fact, that the Utes didn't have a single penalty until a false start call on their final series of the game.
Whittingham, for obvious reasons, was pleased to come oh-so-close to being penalty free.
"That was good. We've been stressing that ever since week one when we had a bunch of penalties," Whittingham said. "Each week it's gotten less and less."
It was among a handful of positives for the Utes.
"All three phases were clicking tonight," Whittingham said. "We were pleased with all the production on offense and defense and special teams."
Quarterback Jordan Wynn, who missed two games with a thumb sprain on his throwing hand, resumed his role as Utah's starter. The sophomore completed 14-of-18 passes for 124 yards and two touchdowns.
"My arm felt good," Wynn said. "It was good to be back out there and I'm happy to get a solid team win."
It didn't take long for Utah to get on the scoreboard. After the defense held San Jose State to three plays and a punt, the Utes used a little trickery on their first play from scrimmage — and it paid off.
Sophomore Reggie Dunn ran 43 yards down the left sideline for a touchdown on a reverse, after taking a handoff from running back Eddie Wide.
"We wanted get Reggie Dunn the ball in his hands and he made the most of it," Whittingham said. "He's fast. He's maybe the fastest guy on the team."
The play took just 10 seconds to complete and gave the Utes a lead they never surrendered.
"We had been working on that play for two weeks now," Dunn said. "I got a good pitch from Eddie Wide and as soon as I caught it, I knew I was gone."
In the seconds that followed, there was a very brief momentum shift.