Clark Phillips III Keeps Utah’s Pick-Six Streak Alive In 2020 Season Finale

Dec 22, 2020, 9:25 PM
Clark Phillips III - Utah Utes - Washington State Cougars...
Clark Phillips III #8 of the Utah Utes runs back an interception for a touchdown, as he is chased by Liam Ryan #63 and Max Borghi #21 of the Washington State Cougars during their game on December 19, 2020 at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah true freshman cornerback Clark Phillips III kept the Utes’ pick-six streak alive in the 2020 season finale.

Entering the season, the Utes had 16 straight seasons with at least one interception returned for a touchdown. Going into the game against Washington State, Utah didn’t have a single pick-six in their previous four games.

With over two minutes left in the game, Clark Phillips III picked off Jayden de Laura and returned it for a 36-yard touchdown to put Utah ahead 45-28. It was the final score of the season. It was also the first career interception for Phillips.

Before the Phillips pick, Utah’s defense had 6 interceptions but none of them made house calls. Vonte Davis and Nephi Sewell each had two interceptions this season. Faybian Marks and Zemaiah Vaughn each had one pick.

Since 2004, Utah had 246 interceptions, 39 returned for touchdowns. The last time the Utes didn’t have a pick six in a season was in 2003. They had 8 interceptions as a team but none were returned for TD’s.


In 2004, Utah hauled in 16 interceptions, with two being returned for touchdowns. Jonathan Fanene’s only INT of the season was for a 76-yard touchdown against Utah State. Steve Fifita had a 6-yard pick six versus UNLV.

Morgan Scalley led the Utes with six interceptions. Eric Weddle had four picks. Fanene, Fifita, Corey Dodds, Marquess Ledbetter, Sione Po’uha and Ryan Smith each had one.


During the 2005 season, Utah managed to only get one pick six out of 15 interceptions. That was when Eric Weddle returned a pick for a 24-yard touchdown against Arizona in the season opener.

Casey Evans led the Utes with five interceptions. Weddle had four. Shaun Harper added two picks. Steve Tate, Tim Harris, Ryan Smith and Kyle Brady each recorded one.


In 2006, Utah recorded 17 interceptions with five being returned for touchdowns. Eric Shyne returned a interception for a 21-yard score against Utah State. Stevenson Sylvester returned his only INT of the season for a 45-yard TD versus the Aggies. Against San Diego State, Eric Weddle had two picks that he returned for touchdowns. Both were from 30-yards out. J.J. Williams made a 22-yard house call versus UNLV.

Weddle led the Utes with 7 interceptions. Eric Shyne added 3 picks. Sylvester, Williams, Steve Tate, Joe Jiannoni, Malakai Mokofisi, Brice McCain and Shaun Harper each had one.


During the 2007 season, the Utes hauled in 17 interceptions with one being returned for a touchdown. That was Martail Burnett’s long INT of the season for a 55-yard touchdown against TCU.

Sean Smith led Utah with 4 interceptions. Steve Tate and Robert Johnson each had 3. Paul Kruger, Joe Jiannoni, Burnett, Joe Dale, Brice McCain, R.J. Rice and Justin Jones all had one pick.


In 2008, Utah recorded 19 interceptions, with 3 being returned for touchdowns. Sean Smith had a 25-yard pick six against Wyoming. Delshawn Richard had two interceptions returned for touchdowns in the same game and they were 1:10 apart. He had an 89-yard and 38-yard interception returns for scores against San Diego State.

Sean Smith led the Utes with five interceptions. Robert Johnson had four. Deshawn Richards and Joe Dale each had three. Paul Kruger, Greg Newman, Brice McCain and Chaz Walker each had one.


During the 2009 season, the Utes hauled in 17 interceptions with three for touchdowns. Robert Johnson had a 64-yard pick six against UNLV. Joe Dale returned a pick for a 30-yard score versus San Diego State. Stevenson Sylvester’s only interception of the season went for a 27-yard touchdown against California in the Poinsettia Bowl.

Johnson led Utah with six interceptions. Mike Wright and Lamar Chapman each had two. Dale, Ryan Lacy, Justin Jones, Christian Cox, R.J. Stanford and Brandon Burton each had one.


In 2010, Utah hauled in 12 interceptions with just one pick six. That lone INT for a touchdown came from Matt Martinez’s only interception that he returned for a 36-yard TD against New Mexico.

Brian Blechen led the Utes with 4 interceptions. Chaz Walker, Justin Taplin-Ross and Brandon Burton each recorded two, with Conroy Black adding one interception.


During the 2011 season, the Utes recorded 19 interceptions and only two returned for touchdowns. Derrick Shelby returned his only INT of the season for a 21-yard touchdown against Pittsburgh. Conroy Black had a 67-yard pick six versus UCLA.

Black led the Utes with four interceptions. Brian Blechen and Mo Lee each had three picks. Matt Martinez and Ryan Lacy had two interceptions apiece. Eric Rowe, Reggie Topps, Quade Chappuis and J.J. Williams each had one.


In 2012, Utah had 8 interceptions with one returned for a touchdown. That was when Joe Kruger returned his only INT of the year for a 24-yard touchdown against Norther Colorado in the season opener.

Ryan Lacy led the Utes with two picks, while Trevor Reilly, Eric Rowe, Brian Blechen, Reggie Topps, Mo Lee and Kruger had one each.


During the 2013 season, the Utes had just three interceptions but managed to return one for a touchdown. That was when Keith McGill returned a pick for a 19-yard touchdown against UCLA.

Trevor Reilly and Michael Walker had one interception each in 2013.


In 2014, Utah recorded 12 interceptions with three of them being returned for touchdowns. Eric Rowe returned a pick for an 11-yard touchdown against Washington State. That was his only interception of the season. Tevin Carter had a 27-yard pick six versus UCLA and Domnique Hatfield took his only INT to the house against Colorado.

Gionni Paul had four picks to lead the Utes. Carter had two, while Marcus Williams, Brian Blechen, Jason Fanaika and Jacoby Hale each had one.


During the 2015 season, the Utes hauled in 22 interceptions with three taken to the house. Justin Thomas had a 55-yard pick six in the season opener against Michigan. The other two house calls came in the Las Vegas Bowl against BYU when Tevin Carter returned an interception for a 28-yard touchdown and Dominique Hatfield had a 46-yard pick six.

Marcus Williams led the Utes with 5 interceptions. Gionni Paul and Hatfield each had four, Thomas and Cory Butler-Byrd each had three. Carter recorded two interceptions and Brian Allen added one.


In 2016, Utah’s defense had 19 interceptions with two being returned for touchdowns. Sunia Tauteoli had a 41-yard pick six in Week 2 against BYU at home. Then Chase Hansen took an interception for a 34-yard touchdown against Arizona State.

Marcus Williams led the Utes with 5 interceptions, Brian Allen had 4 picks and Hansen recorded 3. Tauteoli, Jordan Fogel and Reggie Porter each had two picks, while Dominque Hatfield added one.


During the 2017 season, the Utes had 14 interceptions, one of them was returned for a touchdown. Javelin Guidry’s only interception of the season was taken for a 14-yard touchdown in Tucson against Arizona.

Julian Blackmon had 4 interceptions and Corrion Ballard had two. Kavika Luafatasaga, Sunia Tauteoli, Boobie Hobbs, Filipo Mokofisi, Jaylon Johnson and Kenric Young each had one pick.


In 2018, Utah had 15 interceptions. Three were returned for touchdowns. Chase Hansen had a 40-yard pick six against Northern Illinois. At Stanford, Jaylon Johnson had that famous 100-yard interception return for a touchdown. In the regular season finale, Julian Blackmon sparked the Utes comeback against BYU with a 27-yard pick six.

Johnson led Utah with 4 interceptions. Hansen and Marquise Blair each had two picks. Blackmon, Cody Barton, Corrion Ballard, Javelin Guidry, Francis Bernard, Pita Tonga and Fua Pututau each had one.


During the 2019 season, Utah had 14 interceptions. Four of those were returned for touchdowns. In the season opener against BYU, both Francis Bernard and Julian Blackmon made house calls in Provo.

Over one month later, Devin Lloyd took his lone interception for a 64-yard touchdown against Oregon State in Corvallis. In Seattle against Washington, Jaylon Johnson had a 39-yard pick six.

Blackmon had 4 interceptions, Johnson and Bernard each had two, while Lloyd, Terrell Burgess, Javelin Guidry, Tareke Lewis, JaTravis Broughton and Pita Tonga each had one.

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

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Clark Phillips III Keeps Utah’s Pick-Six Streak Alive In 2020 Season Finale