Utah-New Mexico Preview

BY foxsports • September 14, 2010

Utah quarterback Jordan Wynn had an impressive debut against New Mexico in 2009, and is hoping to return to action in time for an encore performance.

Wynn hopes his sprained thumb will heal in time for the 14th-ranked Utes' game against Mountain West Conference rival New Mexico on Saturday.

He suffered the injury in Utah's season-opening win over Pittsburgh and was held out of last Saturday's 38-10 victory over UNLV. Wynn's status for this game is unknown.

Wynn threw for 297 yards and two touchdowns in the Utes' 45-14 win over the Lobos last season, the best starting debut by a true freshman quarterback in school history.

Though he is itching to get back on the field, Utah (2-0, 1-0 MWC) might play it safe with Wynn until he has fully recovered.

"It's a little bit of everything. It was kind of hard to get my grip at first and there's still a little bit of pain when I throw," Wynn said Monday. "But it feels a little better than last week, so we'll see."

Coach Kyle Whittingham, who earned his 50th career win last week, won't make a decision about who will be under center until later in the week.

"We are relying on the medical staff to make that determination. We will see how things progress this week in practice," Whittingham said. "I can't give you a solid answer, but as we progress through the week it should be apparent."

Terrance Cain stepped up in Wynn's absence in Utah's conference opener, improving to 8-1 as a starter. He completed 13-of-20 passes for 207 yards and two touchdowns, including a 55-yard scoring pass to Shaky Smithson.

Smithson also had a 77 yard punt return for a touchdown and was named the MWC's special teams player of the week.

"He had a rough week (last time out against Pittsburgh), but he bounced back well and really helped us with his performance in the punt return game," Whittingham told the Utes' official website. "I'm really happy that he experienced some success."

Utah's six-spot climb in the AP Poll to 14 is its highest ranking since being No. 16 on Nov. 8, 2009.

After posting a 1-11 record in 2009, New Mexico's struggles have continued. The Lobos (0-2, 0-0) were shut out 72-0 by No. 5 Oregon in their opener and routed 52-17 by Texas Tech at home last Saturday. The 52 points were the most the Lobos have surrendered at home since a 55-14 loss to Oregon State on Dec. 24, 2003.

New Mexico has allowed 124 points on the season, the most of any team in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

"We are going to be fine," linebacker Joe Stoner told the Lobos' official website. "We have 48 hours to think about what we did wrong, come Monday we are going to get it corrected and we are going to get ready for Utah."

Quarterback B.R. Holbrook was 30 of 50 for a career-high 323 passing yards and a touchdown against Texas Tech, but was picked off twice and sacked four times.

Utah has won three straight over New Mexico and leads the overall series 32-17-2.

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