No. 20 For Utah Football Ices 20th Straight Season With Pick Six

Sep 17, 2023, 1:39 PM

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah football recorded their 20th straight season with a pick six against Weber State and Lander Barton who happens to wear No. 20 was the one to check the box.

Utah’s 20 consecutive seasons with a pick six is the longest active streak in college football dating back to 2004. To put it in further perspective. Barton, a sophomore for the Utes, would have been a year old at best when the streak began.

Whew. We feel old.

Utah Defense’s ‘RSNB’ Mentality Key To Pick Six Streak

Utah football head coach Kyle Whittingham was asked about the long-standing streak for the Utes and why he thought the defense seems to take a least one to the house every year.

“I think it’s a five-year time span- when you go back those five years, we’ve taken the ball away more than anybody in the country as far as picks and fumble recoveries,” Whittingham said. “We have a lot of opportunities and you’re going to get some touchdowns out of them. That’s probably the biggest reason I can tell you. We have a defense that is a bunch of ballhawks and is really good at turning the ball over.”


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A Recent Crash Course On Utah Football’s Pick Six Streak

Utah came thisclose to ending their streak of consecutive seasons with a pick six in 2020. In a shortened five-game season for the Pac-12 due to Covid-19, there weren’t a ton of opportunities to take the ball away on defense.

Add in trying to pretty much replace an entire defensive unit that had just been Drafted and the task became even harder for Utah. Enter freshman (at the time) cornerback Clark Phillips III.

In the Utes’ last game of the season against Washington State, with barely any time left on the clock, Phillips III got his hands on a Jayden de Laura pass and took it to the house in the south endzone at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Streak saved.

The Utes fared much better in the interception department in 2021 with three.

Senior linebacker Devin Lloyd accounted for two pick sixes that year- one against Stanford and the other in the Pac-12 Championship Game against Oregon. Phillips III was also in on the action for Utah, ironically, in the same game he saved the streak in the year before.

In 2022 it was once again Phillips III who kept the streak intact, this time against Oregon State.

Barton joins a pretty prestigious club of pick-six players for the Utes that includes guys like Francis Bernard, Julian Blackmon, Deshawn Richard, and Eric Weddle along with the aforementioned Phillips III and Lloyd.

Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on XInstagram, and Threads: @BodkinKSLsports

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No. 20 For Utah Football Ices 20th Straight Season With Pick Six