Whoever starts at quarterback for Utah can certainly expect to take some hits from the opposition. Wide receiver coaches, meanwhile, shouldn't have any reason to be afraid of being purposely hurt within their own team.
The 17th-ranked Utes won't name a starting quarterback until game time Saturday night when they face a winless New Mexico team that has been playing under the cloud of continued developments regarding an altercation between coaches.
Terrance Cain started the first seven games for Utah (7-1, 4-0 Mountain West Conference), but coach Kyle Whittingham replaced him with freshman Jordan Wynn in the third quarter of a 22-10 win over Wyoming last Saturday. Wynn threw for 82 yards and a touchdown to help the Utes rally to 19 straight points.
Coach Whittingham commented on the quarterback change:
Cain's numbers against Wyoming weren't bad going 10-13 for 121 yards. However, the offense seemed stagnant and couldn't move the ball down the field -- his go to play all season has been a slant to David Reed. On the drive he did put the Utes in the red zone it ended up scoreless with a false start between two sacks.
"I believe the time to make change is when you need to, not necessarily when thing aren't going well and you are in panic mode. We are trying to get better. We would like to blow people out, but that's not happening. We are trying to find the right combination."
Cain has been steady throughout the season and hasn't been terrible by any means, leading the Utes to a 6-1 record before last week's game. However, when Wynn came in the game the offense was flowing and he was throwing the ball down field something Cain did rarely. Coach Whittingham is impressed with the freshman and thinks the offense is capable of better performances as they least try to remain tied atop the Mountain West.
If Wynn gets his first start it will be against a conference opponent in disarray. The Lobos (0-8, 0-4) have lost 12 straight and their coaches don't appear to be in any position to guide them out of their rut.
New Mexico coach Mike Locksley was back on the sideline for a 23-20 loss to San Diego State last Saturday. He missed a game while serving a 10-day suspension after being accused of throwing a punch at receivers coach J.B. Gerald on Sept. 20.
Utah has one of the MWC's top receivers in David Reed, who has 52 catches for 754 yards and four scores. He averaged a season-low 8.4 yards on seven receptions versus the Cowboys.
Utah rushed for 198 yards -- but only four from Wide -- in a 13-10 win at New Mexico on Nov. 1, 2008. Reed was held to one catch for 11 yards.
This year things won't be so good for the Lobos. Expect Jordan Wynn to start as the Utes blowout New Mexico en-route to next week's showdown in Fort Worth against top 10 TCU.