Utah Defense Came To Play In Pac-12 Championship Game

Nov 30, 2018, 10:11 PM
Myles Gaskin #9 of the Washington Huskies is tackled by Corrion Ballard #15 of the Utah Utes during...
Myles Gaskin #9 of the Washington Huskies is tackled by Corrion Ballard #15 of the Utah Utes during the Pac 12 Championship game at Levi's Stadium on November 30, 2018 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Though they came up short as team, the Utah Utes were in the game for the most part thanks to a stellar effort by the defense in the Pac-12 Championship Game.

Because Utah’s offense failed to get going for the entirety of the game, it was up to the Ute defense to keep the squad afloat. They had their work cut out for them. Washington dominated the time of possession, holding the ball for 38:32 compared to just 21:28 by the Utes.

It must have been exhausting to be on the field that long, but the Utah defenders were resilient, allowing just three points by the Washington offense. The Huskies’ lone touchdown came on a 66-yard interception return by Bryon Murphy, who had another pick in the contest and was named MVP of the game.

Defense Gave The Offense Chances

The defense was highlight by a couple big plays that kept Utah alive. Unfortunately once the Ute offense got the ball back, they were unable to capitalize.

In the second quarter, Javelin Guidry picked off a bobbled pass with the Huskies close to the Utah red zone. But the Utes soon handed the ball back to Washington after a quick 3-and-out.

Then late in the game, with the Huskies threatening to go up by 10 and put the game out of reach, John Penisini came up with a big block on the kick keep Utah in position to tie the game. However, Jason Shelley was picked off by Murphy again to end that opportunity for the Utes.

‘Toughest Team’ In Whittingham Era

Following the game, head coach Kyle Whittingham stated that his team “was the toughest team he has ever had.” With a defensive performance like they showed Friday night in the Pac-12 Championship Game, it’s easy to see why.


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Utah Defense Came To Play In Pac-12 Championship Game