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Originally published Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 5:21 PM

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White, Dunn power Utah over Washington State 49-6

Utah senior Reggie Dunn recently had a lightning-bolt Mohawk shaved into his head as a rally cap of sorts.

AP Sports Writer

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Utah senior Reggie Dunn recently had a lightning-bolt Mohawk shaved into his head as a rally cap of sorts.

It's working, as Dunn returned a kickoff 100 yards for the third time in two weeks Saturday and the Utes scored 49 points in their second straight blowout win - this one a 49-6 rout of Washington State.

"The message this week was just to play with passion and energy," said running back John White, who rushed for 101 yards and two TDs and caught an 18-yard scoring pass for Utah. "That's what it took today. We just went out there and pounded them."

The loss, meanwhile, was enough to make Washington coach Mike Leach want to pull out his hair.

"Our effort today was pitiful," said Leach, who is assured of the first losing season of his career. "Utah's team deserves a lot of credit. They're not that good; we're not that bad. Despite what the score was, they could have beat us by 100 today."

The loss was the sixth straight for Washington State (2-7, 0-6 Pac-12), which avoided being shut out with Jeff Tuel's 5-yard TD pass to Kristoff Williams on the game's final play.

Plenty of credit goes to Utah's defense, which shut down Leach's Air Raid attack even without injured cornerback Ryan Lacy. The Utes' defensive scheme had packages that included five in the secondary, three down linemen and three linebackers.

Leach was particularly irked that his offensive line couldn't handle the pressure when Utah rushed just two.

"Our five couldn't whip their two, which means if five of our guys went in an alley and got in a fight with two of theirs, we would have gotten massacred," Leach said. "That's just ridiculously inexcusable. It was one of the most heartless efforts up front I've seen; and our defensive line wasn't any better."

Utah (4-5, 2-4), which has won two straight, scored on five first-half-possessions in taking a 31-0 lead into the break.

White had 96 yards rushing on 15 carries by halftime and finished with 101. The Utes are now 11-0 when White rushes for 100 yards.

His 47-yard run around right end gave Utah a 7-0 lead with 9:04 left in the first quarter. He broke two tackles on the play, including one at the 30-yard line that gave him a clear path down the sideline.

Utah took a 14-0 lead on Travis Wilson's 5-yard TD pass to Max Moala with 3:46 left in the first. The big play in the drive was Wilson's 24-yard pass across the middle to Anthony Denham, who held on despite a high hit by Casey Locker that knocked Denham's helmet off and drew a 15-yard personal-foul penalty.

White's 2-yard touchdown run pushed Utah's lead to 21-0 with 12:07 left in the half. Four minutes later, Utah led 24-0 after Reggie Topps' interception set up Coleman Petersen's 20-yard field goal - his first in six games. Wilson's 18-yard TD pass to White gave Utah a 31-0 lead at the break.

At halftime, Utah held a 285-116 edge in total yards, 141-15 edge in rushing yards and 7-minute edge in time of possession.

Overall, Utah held a 453-255 advantage in total yards, limiting the nation's 120th-ranked rushing attack to minus-4 yards.

After starting 0-4 in Pac-12 play, Utah (4-5, 2-4) still has hopes of being bowl-eligible for the 10th straight season.

"We haven't arrived by any means," said coach Kyle Whittingham, who was coaching in his 100th game. "We're starting to figure it out."

He was impressed that Wilson is continuing to improve. He completed 17 of 21 passes for 171 yards, with two touchdowns and an interception in his fourth start.

Tuel was 23 of 45 for 232 yards for Washington State. He also was intercepted, fumbled and sacked six times.

It was a sharp contrast to last week's effort in which Tuel completed a school-record 43 passes for 401 yards in taking nationally ranked Stanford to the wire.

"All week we just focused on their spread passing game," said Topps, who had an interception, sack and tackle for a loss. "We knew a lot of this game would come down to defense, especially the DBs. We brought a lot of pressure with Star (Lotulelei) up front."

Then there was Dunn, who opened the second half with his school-record fourth career 100-yard return. He had an NCAA-record two 100-yard kickoff returns last week.

The NCAA indicated last week that Dunn had tied the NCAA record for career 100-yard returns, having also returned one in 2010 against Iowa State.

"Every time it is a kickoff return, I'm just watching and excited to see what's going to happen," said wide receiver Dres Anderson. "Every time Reggie gets a chance, a crease, he could break it."

Dunn took this one up the left hash, and bumped into one of his own blockers around the 25 before busting into daylight and scoring untouched.

"It knew it was going to happen again because before I went out there I saw it in the kickoff return team's eyes. They were ready to make it happen again," Dunn said.

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