No. 17 Utah (8-1, 5-0 MWC) exploded for 38 unanswered points, including 21 in the third quarter, to bury hapless New Mexico (0-9, 0-5) 45-14 Saturday night.
Freshman quarterback Jordan Wynn earned his first start of the season after leading the Utes to 19 second-half points and a come-from-behind victory over New Mexico in relief of Terrance Cain the week before. Wynn passed for 297 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Lobos before being pulled in the fourth quarter of the blowout. Eddie Wide chipped in with 145 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground. Wide set a school record with his sixth consecutive 100-yard rushing game.
Utah has struggled out of the gates this season, scoring points on only two opening possessions in their nine games. The Utes got off to yet another slow start, going three-and-out on their opening possession and gaining just 18 yards on their first 8 plays before Wynn found a wide-open Jereme Brooks on a post route for a 69-yard touchdown pass. New Mexico responded quickly when Donovan Porterie hit Ty Kirk for a 59-yard touchdown. Utah's defense tightened up after the touchdown and did not allow the Lobos to run a play in Utah territory until midway through the third quarter.
Inconsistency on offense hindered the Utes in the first half and kept the game tighter than it really should have been as Utah took a 17-7 lead into the locker room. Utah ran for just 30 yards and 1.7 yards per carry in the first half while only converting 3 of 7 third down attempts. Wynn had a fine first half passing, completing 13 of 19 passes for 233 yards and a touchdown. Utah's offense really came alive in the third quarter, thanks to the running game and stellar play from the defense.
Wide got things going by taking the first carry of the second half off the right side for 14 yards. It was a sign of things to come for the Utah running game as the Utes tore up the Lobos defense running for 182 yards and 2 touchdowns on 18 carries in the quarter. Sausan Shakerin capped off the opening drive of the second half with a 20-yard touchdown on a screen pass. Wide started off the Utes next possession with a 31-yard run and Brooks ended it with a 29-yard run on a reverse. Utah punted the next time they had the ball in the quarter. On Utah's fourth "drive" of the quarter, Wide finished his night on the only play of the drive, breaking free for a 35-yard touchdown run to end the offensive explosion. The 21 points the Utes hung on the Lobos tied for the most points in a single quarter this season. Shakerin had a career game himself, running for 100 yards and added another 34 yards on 3 catches. Utah last had two players run for 100 yards a year ago when Darrell Mack and Matt Asiata both his the century mark against Air Force.
Utah's defense played a huge role all evening, but especially during the third quarter outburst. The Utes held the Lobos to three consecutive three-play drives while allowing just 18 yards on 14 plays in the quarter. Utah allowed 334 total yards, and 81 of those yards came in garbage time on the Lobos final drive of the game. Ryan Lacy and Brandon Burton recorded their first career interceptions while Chad Manis recorded his first career sack.
Wide passed DonTrell Moore for second place in the MWC record books with his sixth consecutive 100-yard rushing game. The MWC record is seven, set by BYU running back Luke Staley in 2001.
Wynn's 297 passing yards is the most by a Utah quarterback this season. Cain threw for 286 yards in the season opener.
Brooks set career highs with his 135 receiving yards and his 69-yard touchdown catch.
Utah fumbled the ball five more times against New Mexico, losing one. The Utes have now fumbled the ball 16 times on the season, losing 6. Despite the focus on ball security issues, Utah is on pace to match the 2008 Utes fumble numbers. Last season, the Utes put the ball on the turf 23 times and lost 9.