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Week 9: “Battle In Salt Lake City” Washington vs. Utah

October 22, 2016: UCLA Bruins during the game against the Utah Utes at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. (Photo by Adam Davis/Icon Sportswire)


Since 2011, the Huskies are 2-1 against the Utes and have won those games by 18 points per game. Last year, Utah picked up a 27-17 win in Seattle.



The offense is averaging 48 points per game and is rushing for 227 yards on the ground along with passing for 259 yards per game against opposing defenses.

Quarterback Jake Browning is completing 68% of his passes for 1,709 yards with 26 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Browning has done an excellent job of protecting the football and has looked very comfortable in his second year in Chris Peterson’s offensive scheme. Browning knows where he wants to go with the football and is very confident in his “reads and progressions”. Browning’s decisions are one of the main reasons why the Huskies are converting 48% of their third down attempts this year.

Running back Myles Gaskin leads the team with 727 rushing yards averaging 6.2 yards per carry with 6 touchdowns. He is tough inside runner that can move the chains and wear down the Utes defensive front seven.

Wide receivers John Ross and Dante Pettis have combined for 61 receptions for 943 yards with 17 touchdowns. Both players are smooth route runners and have great hands in catching passes at the highest point.

Defensively, the Hukies have a physical front seven that remind many of the great defenses led by late head coach Don James in Seattle. Washington is allowing 14 points per game and is giving up 145 rushing yards per game along with 173 passing yards to opposing offenses.

Washington is near the top in total sacks in FBS with 25 overall through the first seven games and leads the nation in turnover margin at +14.

The defense has feasted on putting teams into third down and long situations and has held opposing teams to 31% of their third down attempts.



The Utes are a methodical blue collar offense that wants to pound the football between the tackles and work off of play action with quarterback Troy Williams. The offense is averaging 29 points per game and is rushing for 214 yards on the ground and passing for 218 yards through the air this year.

Williams has completed 55% of his passes for 1,725 yards with 7 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. He is a streaky signal caller that throws a good intermediate ball, but has struggled with deep throws outside the hash this season.

Running back Joe Williams recently retired from football and was asked to come back onto the team after the Utes were decimated by injuries at the position. Williams inflatable water slide exploded for 332 yards last week with four touchdowns in the Utes road win at UCLA. Williams seems reborn and gives the Utes a powerful back who can hit the hole with speed at the point of attack.

Utah has converted 37% of their third down situations and must do a better job this Saturday to get the home win.

Wide receiver Tim Patrick leads the team with 24 receptions for 429 yards with five touchdowns.

Defensively, the Utes are allowing 119 rushing yards per game and have held opposing offenses to 21 points per game.

Utah has done an excellent job in forcing pressure this season and has recorded 22 sacks on the year. Utah must get pressure on Browning early to force him into mistakes. The Utes are holding opponents to 36% on third downs and have been very opportunistic with +8 in turnover margin.

Utah’s weakness is in the secondary which is allowing 243 passing yards per game. Utah has struggled with speed teams this year and will need to contain the Huskies wide receivers in this match-up.











About Joseph Lisi

Joseph Lisi is a member of the FWAA (Football Writers Association of America), the Maxwell Football Club and the National Football Foundation. He is the owner of the website: www.goforthe2.com and hosts a weekly college football radio show on SB Nation Radio and FNSTY Sports Radio from 10-12pm EST every Saturday morning. Listen live at: www.sbnationradio.com or www.fntsy.com/radio. Joseph is a former college football researcher for ABC Sports and has been featured on: SportsXRadio with Ken Thomson, ESPN Radio, Sirius XM Radio, FNTSY Sports Network, the Sid Rosenberg Show (640 AM Sports-South Florida), 1560 AM CBS Sports Melbourne, FL and multiple media outlets throughout the nation. Joe appears every Friday with Ken Thomson on SportsXRadio for the Football Fiasco in which every game on the college board is broken down during the show. Follow Joe on Twitter: @goforthe2

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