What Utah Can Capitalize On Against Northwestern In Holiday Bowl

Dec 2, 2018, 9:49 PM
Clayton Thorson #18 of the Northwestern Wildcats throws a pass against the Ohio State Buckeyes duri...
Clayton Thorson #18 of the Northwestern Wildcats throws a pass against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the Big Ten Championship at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 1, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The University of Utah will have a tough test on New Year’s Eve when they take on Big Ten runner-up Northwestern in the Holiday Bowl.

The bowl matchup with be the third time that the Utes and Wildcats have faced each other with the first meeting dating back to 1927 as Northwestern beat Utah 13-6 in Evanston, Illinois. In 1981, Utah returned the favor with a 42-0 win on the road.

Since 2003, Northwestern has appeared in 10 bowl games with a 3-7 record. But they are bowl eligible for four straight seasons and have won their last two games. They beat Kentucky last season in the Music City Bowl.

Both Utah and Northwestern have never played in the Holiday bowl.

Northwestern 2018 Season

The Wildcats finished the season with an 8-5 overall record and 8-1 in the Big Ten and won the west division.

A rocky start to the season saw the Wildcats beating Purdue but lost to Duke during week two. They lost to Akron and No. 14 Michigan before they ended their three game losing streak.

They won their next four games against Michigan State, Nebraska, Rutgers and Wisconsin before losing to Notre Dame. Northwestern won their last three games versus Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois to wrap up their regular season.

The Wildcats lost to Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship 45-24.

They are coached by Pat Fitzgerald, who is in his 13th season at the helm.

Wildcats Offense

Senior quarterback Clayton Thorson has thrown for 2,942 yards, 15 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

Freshman running back Isaiah Bowser racked up 796 yards and six touchdowns while Jeremy Larkin added five scores.

Northwestern Defense

Their sophomore linebacker Blake Gallagher is the anchor of their defense with 120 tackles, including six and a half for a loss.

Joe Gaziano leads the team with six and a half sacks while Jordan Thompson is second on the team with three sacks.

The leaders in the secondary are J.R. Pace and Nate Hall with three interceptions each.

Utah will face Northwestern in the Holiday Bowl at SDCCU Stadium in San Diego, California on Monday, December 31. The game will begin at 5 p.m. on FS1.

  • Utah Utes Scoreboard

  • Utah Utes Team Leaders

  • Utah Utes Standings

Utah Utes

Michelle Bodkin

Former Utes Talk NFL Draft Process

Pro Day is a wrap for the Utes and now it's time to wait and see where the rest of the NFL process takes the hopefuls till Draft Day.
10 hours ago
Chandler Holt

Utah Ute Senior Brandon Carlson Declares For Upcoming NBA Draft

Utah Utes Senior Branden Carlson took to Twitter to announce that he will be declaring for the upcoming 2023 NBA draft.
1 day ago
Michelle Bodkin

Andy Ludwig: This Is The Place, Coach Whitt Is The Guy I Want To Work For

Ludwig stayed on with Kyle Whittingham after being courted by Notre Dame and giving some details as to how that whole situation played out.
2 days ago
Utah Utes - Lauren McCluskey...
Michelle Bodkin

ESPN To Air New Investigative Documentary About Lauren McCluskey

It's been nearly four and a half years since Utes' track and field star Lauren McCluskey was murdered by her ex-boyfriend on the Utah campus.
2 days ago
Michelle Bodkin

Kyle Whittingham’s Thoughts On The First Day Of Spring Ball

Utah football is officially in spring ball mode and head coach Kyle Whittingham had some thoughts to give the media after day one.
3 days ago
Michelle Bodkin

Alissa Pili: Culture Is A Big Part Of Our Success

The Utah women's basketball team is Sweet 16-bound and Alissa Pili believes the Utes' success is largely due to the culture they have built.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.
KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.
Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.
ksl sports logos...
KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Jimmy Buffett

Get your Hawaiian shirts ready.
Iron Maiden tour...
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden returns to Utah in 2022 with The Legacy of the Beast tour.
What Utah Can Capitalize On Against Northwestern In Holiday Bowl