Good Monday to you all. With each passing day, we're inching closer and closer to the season.
Can you feel it?
Last night I watched the 2009 Poinsettia Bowl on ESPNU. It was fun revisiting that game because it was certainly one of the more impressive bowl wins in recent memory. Sure, it doesn't stack up to the Sugar Bowl victory - but it was still pretty impressive nevertheless.
What I found great about this performance was the fact Utah managed to come back from a fourteen-point hole early and didn't wilt when the Golden Bears roared back, cutting the deficit to seven.
That's when the game could've gone Cal's way. Instead, the Utes kept things steady (especially on defense) and managed a few big plays to pull away in the fourth quarter. Outside of that stretch in the third, when it was a seven-point game, the contest was never really close in the second half and a Utah victory never felt jeopardized.
It's pretty remarkable how steady the Utes have been in bowl games recently - and I'm not just talking about their nine consecutive wins. Those are impressive, of course, however, it's the way the Utes are winning. Since their unremarkable 10-6 victory over SC in the 2001 Las Vegas Bowl, Utah's bowl wins have been fairly decisive and rather stellar performances:
2003: 17-0 win over So. Miss in the Liberty Bowl
2004: 35-7 win over Pitt in the Fiesta Bowl
2005: 38-10 win over Georgia Tech in the Emerald Bowl
2006: 25-13 win over Tulsa in the Armed Forces Bowl
2007: 35-32 win over Navy in the Poinsettia Bowl
2008: 31-17 win over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl
2009: 37-27 win over Cal in the Poinsettia Bowl
That's a pretty solid stretch of wins. The closest game was against Navy a few years ago and it probably shouldn't have been that close.
Utah's average bowl score since 2003 is 31-15. I'm not sure you'll find any team capable of topping that margin (16 points).
Anyway, it was interesting watching and I'm excited to see what Jordan Wynn can do for an encore. We'll get that chance in less than three weeks!