Five Players That Stood Out In Utah’s Loss To Washington

Nov 30, 2020, 4:26 PM
Kamari Pleasant #24 of the Washington Huskies breaks a tackle by Clark Phillips III #8 of the Utah ...
Kamari Pleasant #24 of the Washington Huskies breaks a tackle by Clark Phillips III #8 of the Utah Utes in the fourth quarter at Husky Stadium on November 28, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah’s defense was strong in their 24-21 loss to Washington, despite the inexperience on that side of the football.

The Utes had a 21-0 halftime lead on the road before the Huskies held Utah scoreless in the second half while dropping 24 unanswered points. Despite the loss, Utah had plenty of big performances from their young squad.

This week’s list features four true freshmen and a junior.

Here is the Crimson Corner’s five standout performers from Utah’s heartbreaking loss to Washington.

Ty Jordan, Running Back

For the second straight game true freshman Ty Jordan was Utah’s leading rusher. He finished with 97 yards on 10 rush attempts, while also hauling in four receptions for 31 yards. His longest run was 46, which set up a Utah touchdown. The only downfall from his performance against the Huskies was a costly fumble in the second half.

Jordan continues to be a bright spot for Utah’s offense. Kyle Whittingham said after the game that Jordan is looking like he is separating himself from the other three running backs.

“He’s one of our playmakers,” Whittingham said. “When we talked about getting the ball in playmakers’ hands, he’s certainly one them.”

Faybian Marks, Cornerback

Starting nickel Malone Mataele didn’t play against Washington. That forced Utah to move Clark Phillips III to nickel and freshman Faybian Marks to outside corner. While the Utes showed many different looks on defense, Marks made some great plays when Utah was in their nickel package.

In the first quarter, Marks picked off Dylan Morris. It was the first turnover for Washington in 2020. Later in the first half, Marks nearly had another interception, which he would’ve taken to the house if the ball didn’t bounce off his chest. Marks finished with two tackles, one interception for 28 yards and a pass breakup.

Bryan Thompson, Wide Receiver

Thompson had a great start to the game. His first catch was a beautiful one-handed grab down the field for 33 yards. Jake Bentley connected with Thompson for 19 yards to get the Utes into Washington territory on the last drive before halftime. Four plays later in that possession, Bentley threw a 13-yard touchdown to Thompson with 42 seconds left in the first half.

The junior receiver finished with 3 receptions for 65 yards and one touchdown. He averaged 21.7 yards per reception against Washington. In 2019, Tyler Huntley threw a bunch of deep passes to Thompson. The Moreno Valley, California native had 18 receptions for 461 yards and 3 TD’s last season. He averaged 25.6 yards per reception as a redshirt sophomore.


Clark Phillips III, Cornerback

After racking up 9 tackles in his collegiate debut on November 21 against USC, true freshman cornerback Clark Phillips III was impressive once again. He finished with 4 tackles in Utah’s loss to Washington. The highly-touted defensive back made some key plays in Seattle.

In the first half, Washington was approaching the red zone when Dylan Morris threw a pass to the end zone on third down to Terrell Bynum. Phillips stayed with Bynum and was able to cover the receiver to the point that he didn’t have a chance to catch it. What was more impressive is that Phillips covered the play and didn’t make any contact to the receiver that would cause a flag to be thrown.

Later in the game, defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley called a corner blitz and Phillips nearly sacked the quarterback.

Phillips was seen playing nickel when the Utes were in that package. He was getting a good chunk of reps at that position early in fall camp before moving outside and earning the starting spot. Whittingham said during camp that the nickel position is the most difficult one to learn in Utah’s scheme in the secondary. Looks like those reps are paying off.

4 tackles, nice breakup in the end zone on third down and nearly got a sack.

Nate Ritchie, Safety

The Lone Peak star racked up 5 tackles, including a tackle for loss in his collegiate debut against USC. Ritchie followed that up with second-most tackles on the team with 7 against Washington.

With already two starts under his belt, the true freshman has shown his physicality, while also making plays at the line of scrimmage. Ritchie played a big part in Utah’s ability to stop Washington’s rushing attack. He has a great nose for the ball.

Utah will host Oregon State on Saturday, December 5 at 8:30 p.m. MST on ESPN.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASportsYou can download and listen to the podcast, here.

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