Dunn's 2 100-yard returns lift Utah 49-27 over Cal

Associated Press Modified: October 28, 2012 at 2:01 am •  Published: October 28, 2012
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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Reggie Dunn had all the right moves for Utah in setting a school record with two 100-yard kickoff returns in a 49-27 victory over California on Saturday night.

His only problem was deciding which one he liked more.

"I liked the second one better," Dunn said before quickly correcting himself. "No, the first one because it sparked team and the crowd."

That it did, as put Utah on the board on its opening possession before a "blackout" crowd of 45,017.

Reggie Topps' 17-yard fumble return for a touchdown gave Utah a 14-3 lead with 2:13 left in the first quarter. The Utes led 28-6 at halftime after a 5-yard TD run by freshman quarterback Travis Wilson.

Like that, it was over.

So was a four-game losing streak for Utah (3-5, 1-4 Pac-12), which kept alive hopes of being bowl-eligible for the 10th straight year.

"After losing four in a row, we had to win this game," said Dunn, who had a 100-yard kickoff return in 2010 against Iowa State.

Dunn credited his blockers on the first after he brought the kick out of the end zone, cut left, then took a step back to the middle before getting an escort into the other end zone.

He wasn't sure Cal would give him an opportunity for a second.

"I wanted them to kick it to me again real bad," he said.

He made them pay on the opening play of the fourth quarter.

He took the kickoff up the middle, cut sharply left, then right, evaded a tackle by Steve Williams at the Cal 12-yard line and cut back left again for the score that put Utah up 49-13.

"Somebody had the angle on me, and it felt like my leg was cramping up, but I made a move on him, stepped out of the tackle and made a play for the team, another touchdown. ... It was a wonderful, wonderful, great feeling."

The only louder cheers were reserved for Utah freshman quarterback Travis Wilson, who peeled back on a first-quarter reverse to level linebacker Nathan Broussard.

The drive went nowhere, but made all the difference to his teammates.

"That showed you everyone on this team is all in and committed to winning," Dunn said. "It was great to see a guy sell out like that."

In his third start, Wilson completed 16 of 24 passes for 156 yards. His only interception was on a wrong route by his receiver.

It helped having offensive coordinator Brian Johnson on the sidelines for the first time this year.

"Maybe it created a little more of a connection," Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said. "It gave us a little bit of a spark."

Utah's defense got the push it needed from defensive line coach Chad Kauha'aha'a, who reminded players they weren't making enough sacks.

"We haven't been getting our job done," defensive end Joe Kruger said. "Our main focus was just getting to the quarterback."



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