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

NameRecordATSOffenseDefenseDiffATS HomeATS AwayOU RecordOU HomeOU Away
Utah Utes9-37-530.8319.2511.584-23-37-54-23-3
Washington Huskies9-33-928.0016.5011.51-52-43-92-41-5
Power Stats
Yards Per Point
NameOffenseDefenseDifferential
UTAH13.4516.42-2.96
WASH15.0418.86-3.82
Yards Per Pass
NameOffenseDefenseDifferential
UTAH12.4111.241.17
WASH13.708.984.72
Yards Per Rush
NameOffenseDefenseDifferential
UTAH4.782.961.82
WASH4.553.620.93
Team Records

Utah Utes

NameRecordHomeAwayATSATS HomeATS AwayOffenseDefenseDiff
Overall9-35-14-27-54-23-330.8319.2511.58
vs Conf6-33-13-26-33-13-230.7820.899.89
Last 33-02-01-02-11-11-032.3319.6712.66

Washington Huskies

NameRecordHomeAwayATSATS HomeATS AwayOffenseDefenseDiff
Overall9-36-03-33-91-52-428.0016.5011.50
vs Conf7-24-03-22-70-42-326.6718.568.11
Last 33-02-01-01-20-21-032.3320.3312.00

Supergrid

TitleStatRankStatRank
Away Team Overall Scoring vs Home Team Overall Defense30.455716.5010
Home Team Overall Scoring vs Away Team Overall Defense28.007618.5516
Head To Head Summary
NameRecordATSOUScoreRushYPRPACPPYTYTO +/-
Utah Utes1-53-34-220.67132.333.6330.0052.78184.83317.172.33
Washington Huskies5-13-34-228.83160.504.1530.1766.85242.50403.001.33

Head To Head Detail

DateAwayHomeScoreLineTotalOU ResultARYAPYATYATTHRYHPYHTYHTTAway Team AttemptsHome Team AttemptsAway Team CompletionsHome Team Completions
Sep 15, 2018WASHUTAH21-717215532711231382613
Nov 18, 2017UTAHWASH30-3311729341011233544770
Oct 29, 2016WASHUTAH31-2419918638512131633760
Nov 7, 2015UTAHWASH34-2319115534631242573814
Nov 10, 2012UTAHWASH15-341335518821602774371
Oct 1, 2011WASHUTAH31-141852264111173053225

Pac-12 Championship Betting Odds & Trends

Team Last 5 Games

Utah Utes

DateOpponentscoreResultlineATS Resultoffensive rush yardsoffensive passing yardsoffensive total yardsdefensive rush yardsdefensive passing yardsdefensive total yardsturnoversLocation
Nov 24, 2018BYU35-27W-10.5/45L/O1551412961532043570H
Nov 17, 2018COLO30-7W-7/47W/U16922139034162196-3A
Nov 10, 2018OREG32-25W-6/51W/O232262494117288405-1H
Nov 3, 2018ARIZST20-38L-7.5/54.5L/O1781473252512855362A
Oct 26, 2018UCLA41-10W-11/54W/U325145470127164291-2A

Washington Huskies

DateOpponentscoreResultlineATS Resultoffensive rush yardsoffensive passing yardsoffensive total yardsdefensive rush yardsdefensive passing yardsdefensive total yardsturnoversLocation
Nov 23, 2018WSHST28-15W3/50W/U258229487851522370A
Nov 17, 2018OREGST42-23W-32.5/58.5L/O275228503134229363-2H
Nov 3, 2018STANFO27-23W-9.5/44L/O17719437177347424-3H
Oct 27, 2018CAL10-12L-12/46L/U91159250911512422A
Oct 20, 2018COLO27-13W-17/50L/U2011503511191442631H

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