QB Wynn, former WSFL kicker Phillips power Utes past Bears
SAN DIEGO — Utah quarterback Jordan Wynn and place kicker Joe Phillips had nothing to do with their program's eight consecutive bowl wins over the past 10 years.
But the two new additions to the program had plenty to do with bumping the Utes' streak up to nine in Wednesday's San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl.
The true freshman QB threw for 338 yards and three touchdowns, and the Snow College transfer was a perfect 7-for-7 with his extra-point and field goal kicks as Utah added Cal to its list of bowl victims and collected a 37-27 win in front of 32,665 at Qualcomm Stadium.
"It was talked about a lot," Wynn said of the streak. "That was our primary goal coming into the game, and as a quarterback the game gets thrown on your shoulders, but I saw it as another opportunity this program gives me, and hopefully I'll leave here with four wins and the streak still going."
After throwing an interception that was returned for a score and put his team down 14-0, Wynn showed why the Utes have put their trust in him for the last five games of the season.
"The bottom line is it didn't rattle him," Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said. "He stayed focused, and that's what he's all about. He's unflappable, he doesn't change and he has a great deal of confidence, and when Jordan started to make the throws we know he can make and the defense stiffened up, that was the tale of the game."
Wynn needed half of the first quarter to get settled into the game on a field where he had previously succeeded. A native of Oceanside, Calif. just up the road, Wynn led Oceanside High to two section titles at Qualcomm before heading to Utah. And with 80-100 friends and family in attendance for Wednesday's game, he said San Diego is starting to feel like a second home.
"It was kind of weird coming out of the (visiting) locker room," he said. "That's the first time I've been on that side, but there's a level of comfort here and it's great to get a win close to home."
Wynn set a Poinsettia Bowl record for passing attempts (36) and tied Colorado State's Justin Holland for the record of completions (26) and TD passes. The marks were also career highs as part of his first 300-yard passing game in college.
"They play a difficult defense. They drop a lot of guys," Wynn said. "I just had to relax and not force it in there, and it shows how good our wideouts are. They turned a lot of short passes and bubble screens into big plays."
When Wynn couldn't finish drives, Phillips stepped in. The Salt Lake City native who helped the Snow Badgers win a pair of Western States Football League titles in 2007 and 2008 set the bowl's record for most field goals, connecting from 28, 29 and 25 yards out in each of the last three quarters. He was also 4-of-4 on his extra-point attempts.
Florida State has the record for most consecutive bowl wins at 11 (1985-96), and Utah is now tied with Southern Cal for second place at nine.
But with the team's two primary scoring weapons back for another season, the Utes stand a good chance of making it 10 straight in 2010.