Utah, Washington vie for Rose Bowl spot in Pac-12 title game
Line: Washington by 5.
Series Record: Washington leads 11-1.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
While the rest of the Power Five conference title games have playoff implications, the Pac-12 game has a more traditional prize with the winner getting a berth in Rose Bowl. The Utes have never played in the Rose Bowl, while the Huskies were last there following the 2000 season.
Utes run D vs. Huskies RB Myles Gaskin. Utah brings the Pac-12’s top run defense into the game but will have its hands full with Gaskin, who ran for 143 yards in the first meeting between the teams and is the third-leading rusher in Pac-12 history. Gaskin was banged up in a loss to Oregon and missed a loss at California. The Huskies’ only loss with a healthy Gaskin was in the opener against Auburn.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Utah: QB Jason Shelley. Shelley is 3-0 as the starter after Tyler Huntley was sidelined with an injury. Shelley has completed 54 of 96 passes for 723 yards this season and has not committed a turnover in his three starts.
Washington: LB Ben Burr-Kirven. The Huskies top linebacker has double-digit tackles in 10 of 12 games this season and is the leader of the Pac-12’s No. 1 ranked defense. Burr-Kirven’s 155 total tackles are tied for the most in the nation and the second most for a Washington player since 1989.
FACTS & FIGURES
Utah makes first appearance in Pac-12 title game. … Washington won its only previous trip to the title game over Colorado in 2016. … Washington won first meeting 21-7 at Utah in September. … Huskies are playing same team twice in a season for first time since 2010 against Nebraska. The Utes last did it in 1945 vs. Denver. … Utah K Matt Gay has made 21 straight FG tries. … Utes LB Chase Hansen leads the Pac-12 with 22 tackles for loss. … Washington QB Jake Browning’s 38 wins as a starter are the most for a QB in Pac-12 history. … The Huskies are 18-1 the past three seasons when they have a runner reach 100 yards rushing.