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Pac-12 Championship: Utah Utes vs Washington Huskies

Pac-12 Championship Football Game

Defense May Reign Supreme in Pac-12 Championship Game

Without decorated quarterbacks Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen and Luke Falk barking signals, the Pac-12 took on a more defensive tone in 2018. That’s certainly reflected in tonight’s Pac-12 championship game. The showdown at Levi’s Stadium pits No. 17 Utah Utes against No. 11 Washington Huskies.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, FOX.

LINE: Washington -5; O/U: 45.

Both teams boast top-20 defenses in the FBS in total D and scoring D.  The Huskies are allowing 311.3 yards and 16.5 points and the Utes only allowing 315.8 yards and 19.3 points per game.

Washington will be playing in its second Pac-12 title game in three years. Utah is making its first appearance since joining the conference in 2011.

“It’s our first trip to the championship, and I’m proud of our guys for continuing to persevere and fight this season,” Utes coach Kyle Whittingham said at his Monday media gathering. “We overcame so many obstacles and so much adversity. They are a great group to be around, and this has been one of the most enjoyable years of coaching for me.”

Both Teams Have Something to Prove in Pac-12 Championship

The Utah Utes are 9-3 on the season and feel they have something to prove after suffering late season Injuries.

The adversity Whittingham was talking about centers on the early-November injury losses of starting quarterback Tyler Huntley and tailback Zack Moss. The duo had accounted for 84 percent of the Utes’ total offense in the first nine games.

Freshman Jason Shelley has stepped in at quarterback. He’s averaged only 208 passing yards over the last three contests. Shelley has also rushed for 112 yards and accounted for six touchdowns with no turnovers.

Defensively, safety-turned-linebacker Chase Hansen has notched a conference-most 22 tackles for loss to pace a unit. The squad has been the Pac-12’s stingiest against the run with 100.3 yards allowed , which also ranks fifth nationally.

The Utes figure to have the edge in the kicking game. They rank in the top 14 nationally in field goals made (23) and net-putting average (40.6).

The Washington Huskies are 9-3 on the season as well and feel they have underachieved with the record they have. They felt they had a College Football Playoff team.

The Huskies have the advantage of health and experience. Just in the backfield they have the senior duo of Jake Browning and tailback Myles Gaskin.

Browning averaged a career-low 224.3 passing yards this season. He is the school’s career passing yards leader and Pac-12’s all-time winningest quarterback.

Gaskin is averaging 107.6 yards on the ground and is the school’s all-time leader in rushing yards and touchdowns.

Senior linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven is tied for the lead nationally with 155 tackles. He leads a defense which ranks second in the conference against the run at 121.8 yards allowed per game and passing at 189.4 yards per game.

With a 21-7 road win at Utah on Sept. 15, Washington has won five of the six meetings since Utah entered the Pac-12. Gaskin rushed for 143 yards and a TD on 30 carries. The Huskies’ defense forced three turnovers and had a trio of fourth-down stops.

PREDICTION: Washington 23, Utah 13

Recent Form

Name Record ATS Offense Defense Diff ATS Home ATS Away OU Record OU Home OU Away
Utah Utes 9-3 7-5 30.83 19.25 11.58 4-2 3-3 7-5 4-2 3-3
Washington Huskies 9-3 3-9 28.00 16.50 11.5 1-5 2-4 3-9 2-4 1-5
Power Stats
Yards Per Point
Name Offense Defense Differential
UTAH 13.45 16.42 -2.96
WASH 15.04 18.86 -3.82
Yards Per Pass
Name Offense Defense Differential
UTAH 12.41 11.24 1.17
WASH 13.70 8.98 4.72
Yards Per Rush
Name Offense Defense Differential
UTAH 4.78 2.96 1.82
WASH 4.55 3.62 0.93
Team Records

Utah Utes

Name Record Home Away ATS ATS Home ATS Away Offense Defense Diff
Overall 9-3 5-1 4-2 7-5 4-2 3-3 30.83 19.25 11.58
vs Conf 6-3 3-1 3-2 6-3 3-1 3-2 30.78 20.89 9.89
Last 3 3-0 2-0 1-0 2-1 1-1 1-0 32.33 19.67 12.66

Washington Huskies

Name Record Home Away ATS ATS Home ATS Away Offense Defense Diff
Overall 9-3 6-0 3-3 3-9 1-5 2-4 28.00 16.50 11.50
vs Conf 7-2 4-0 3-2 2-7 0-4 2-3 26.67 18.56 8.11
Last 3 3-0 2-0 1-0 1-2 0-2 1-0 32.33 20.33 12.00

Supergrid

Title Stat Rank Stat Rank
Away Team Overall Scoring vs Home Team Overall Defense 30.45 57 16.50 10
Home Team Overall Scoring vs Away Team Overall Defense 28.00 76 18.55 16
Head To Head Summary
Name Record ATS OU Score Rush YPR PA CP PY TY TO +/-
Utah Utes 1-5 3-3 4-2 20.67 132.33 3.63 30.00 52.78 184.83 317.17 2.33
Washington Huskies 5-1 3-3 4-2 28.83 160.50 4.15 30.17 66.85 242.50 403.00 1.33

Head To Head Detail

Date Away Home Score Line Total OU Result ARY APY ATY ATT HRY HPY HTY HTT Away Team Attempts Home Team Attempts Away Team Completions Home Team Completions
Sep 15, 2018 WASH UTAH 21-7 172 155 327 1 123 138 261 3
Nov 18, 2017 UTAH WASH 30-33 117 293 410 1 123 354 477 0
Oct 29, 2016 WASH UTAH 31-24 199 186 385 1 213 163 376 0
Nov 7, 2015 UTAH WASH 34-23 191 155 346 3 124 257 381 4
Nov 10, 2012 UTAH WASH 15-34 133 55 188 2 160 277 437 1
Oct 1, 2011 WASH UTAH 31-14 185 226 411 1 17 305 322 5

Pac-12 Championship Betting Odds & Trends

Team Last 5 Games

Utah Utes

Date Opponent score Result line ATS Result offensive rush yards offensive passing yards offensive total yards defensive rush yards defensive passing yards defensive total yards turnovers Location
Nov 24, 2018 BYU 35-27 W -10.5/45 L/O 155 141 296 153 204 357 0 H
Nov 17, 2018 COLO 30-7 W -7/47 W/U 169 221 390 34 162 196 -3 A
Nov 10, 2018 OREG 32-25 W -6/51 W/O 232 262 494 117 288 405 -1 H
Nov 3, 2018 ARIZST 20-38 L -7.5/54.5 L/O 178 147 325 251 285 536 2 A
Oct 26, 2018 UCLA 41-10 W -11/54 W/U 325 145 470 127 164 291 -2 A

Washington Huskies

Date Opponent score Result line ATS Result offensive rush yards offensive passing yards offensive total yards defensive rush yards defensive passing yards defensive total yards turnovers Location
Nov 23, 2018 WSHST 28-15 W 3/50 W/U 258 229 487 85 152 237 0 A
Nov 17, 2018 OREGST 42-23 W -32.5/58.5 L/O 275 228 503 134 229 363 -2 H
Nov 3, 2018 STANFO 27-23 W -9.5/44 L/O 177 194 371 77 347 424 -3 H
Oct 27, 2018 CAL 10-12 L -12/46 L/U 91 159 250 91 151 242 2 A
Oct 20, 2018 COLO 27-13 W -17/50 L/U 201 150 351 119 144 263 1 H

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