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Utah Football: A Tale of Two Seasons (Week 9)

(Editor’s note: Ty Cobb is the photo editor at The Daily Utah Chronicle.)

With TCU on the horizon, everyone has been so focused on pulling out a second win that I was worried we’d ignore the ever-present threat of the Lobos.

However, all my fears (and everyone else’s) were for naught as we not only beat them, we kicked their sorry asses to next week; I almost feel sorry for them.

With freshman quarterback Jordan Wynn getting his first start, Utah safely avoided the trap and made their match up against TCU a showdown for the Mountain West Conference Championship.

Last year in Albuquerque, the U also came away with a win, but it wasn’t very convincing as we only scored 13 points. It was a hard-fought game as previous games against New Mexico have been.

Utah at New Mexico, 2008, img1

Utah at New Mexico, 2008, img2

Utah at New Mexico, 2008, img3

Even with the team not looking its best against the Lobos, I personally hit a zone that night in New Mexico. My best photos were from that game, including a crucial block against a Lobos kick that made the difference between win or lose.

Utah at New Mexico, 2008, img4

Utah at New Mexico, 2008, img4

Utah at New Mexico, 2008, img6

Utah at New Mexico, 2008, img7

Utah at New Mexico, 2008, img8

After David Reed fumbled a punt in the second quarter, New Mexico had the ball on the Utah 42-yard line and moved down the field before attempting a field goal. I watched as James Aho approached the ball, swung his leg back and kicked it. But instead of it sailing through the up-rights, Aiona Key jumped above the line and blocked the ball, and I snapped my camera, capturing the moment forever. Utah left with a 13-10 win, and I had my picture of the year.

Utah at New Mexico, 2008, img10

As I said earlier, usually games against New Mexico are difficult, but with the Lobos suffering from a new head coach and such a bad offseason only comparable to ones the Oakland Raiders face, this year’s game was almost too easy.

Wynn started just as I hoped and threw to Jereme Brooks for a 69-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter that gave Utah an early lead.

New Mexico at Utah, 2009 img1

New Mexico at Utah, 2009 img2

New Mexico at Utah, 2009 img3

Our offense kept rolling, finishing with 45 points and 557 yards. They had finally executed the big win everyone was looking for.

New Mexico at Utah, 2009, img4

New Mexico at Utah, 2009, img5

New Mexico at Utah, 2009, img5

New Mexico at Utah, 2009, img7

New Mexico at Utah, 2009, img8

New Mexico at Utah, 2009, img9

As soon as the game against the Lobos was over, attention turned to the showdown against TCU just as it did last year. However, the roles are reversed this year as they are the undefeated team hoping for a shot at the BCS, and Utah is the team with an early loss to a nonconference team. We’re aiming for any chance at a BCS game, along with a shot at the Conference Championship.

Even with a freshman QB, and having to go to Amon G. Carter Stadium on Saturday, I feel the Utes will give TCU a run for their money, just like TCU did last year when they came to Rice-Eccles Stadium for the first black out.

New Mexico at Utah, 2009, img10

In J. Wynn I trust.