Utah Extends Bowl Winning Streak
by Dave Congrove
December 23, 2009
A year after going 5-0 in bowl games, the PAC-10 can't get off the mat. On back-to-back nights, the Mountain West handed the PAC-10 convincing losses as Utah ripped Cal 37-27 in the Poinsettia Bowl the day after BYU manhandled Oregon State 44-20. Meanwhile, the MWC improved to 3-0.
This was Utah's 9th straight bowl win and it snapped Cal's 4-bowl winning streak, just as BYU had snapped Oregon State's 5-bowl winning streak a day earlier.
California jumped out to a 14-0 lead after the first quarter, scoring its second touchdown on a 30-yard return of a Utah QB Jordan Wynn interception. But the Utes followed with 3 Wynn touchdown passes and a Joe Phillips field goal to take a 24-14 lead at intermission.
Another Phillips field goal extended Utah's scoring run to 27 unanswered points before Cal got on the board again to cut its deficit to 27-21. The Utes then scored 10 more points on Phillips' third field goal and the 27-yard return return of Kevin Riley's intercepted pass to build a 37-21 cushion.
The Golden Bears tried to make things interesting at the end as Riley's 24-yard TD pass to Jeremy Ross made it 37-27 with 1:46 left. However, Riley's attempted 2-pt. conversion pass failed under heavy pressure and the ensuing onside kick attempt was recovered cleanly by Utah.
Utah had possession of the ball for 10:56 longer than Cal and won the turnover battle 3-1.
Wynn is a true freshman who was called on to replace junior college transfer Terrance Cain in the second half of the Wyoming game on Oct. 31 with his team trailing 10-3. He rallied the Utes to a 22-10 victory that day and has been the starter ever since.
Wynn finished the Poinsettia Bowl 26-of-36 for 338 yards, 3 TD's and 1 INT. It was quite a homecoming performance for the kid that led Oceanside High to two section championships at Qualcomm Stadium.
Utah improved to 13-3 overall in bowl games and hasn't lost a bowl since 1996. Cal saw its bowl record drop to