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Utes Lose To Washington 10-3 In Pac-12 Championship Game

Dec 1, 2018, 11:44 AM | Updated: Feb 14, 2023, 12:43 pm

Jake Browning #3 of the Washington Huskies passes the ball against the Utah Utes during the Pac 12 ...

Jake Browning #3 of the Washington Huskies passes the ball against the Utah Utes during the Pac 12 Championship game at Levi's Stadium on November 30, 2018 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Utah had an opportunity to play in their first ever Rose Bowl. All that they had to do was beat No.11 Washington in the Pac-12 Championship game. No. 17 Utah lost 10-3 in a defensive battle.

In a game that did not see an offensive touchdown, the game had to be won by the defense. Washington made just one more play than Utah.

The Utes finished with just 188 yards of total offense while the Huskies racked up 306 yards. Utah quarterback Jason Shelley threw for 137 yards and three interceptions. The running game couldn’t do much but as they rushed for just 51 yards.

Washington quarterback had 187 passing yards and one interception. Defensive back Byron Murphy was named the MVP of the game with two interceptions.

Three Points Scored In First Half

Washington was able to drive down the field and was on Utah’s 23-yard line approaching the red zone when they went for a questionable fourth down. Utah broke up the pass and took over deep in their own territory.

Utah couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity as they were forced to punt on their first drive of the game, going three-and-out.

With 14:12 left in the second quarter, Browning threw the ball to Provo High School product Ty Jones who couldn’t catch the ball and the ball deflected off of his foot with Utes defensive back Javelin Guidry intercepting the pass.

The Huskies had the ball with over three minutes left in the game, they went for it again on fourth down in the red zone and Browning scrambled for the first down. Utah’s defense held up and forced Washington to hit a 29-yard field goal to lead 3-0 with 3:08 left in the first half.

It took the Utes 14:45 to get into Washington territory. A sack from safety Taylor Rapp pushed the Utes out of field goal range and the Huskies lead the Utes 3-0 at halftime.

Utah finished the first half with just 61 yards of total offense and had 3 first downs, while Washington racked up 162 yards and 10 first downs.

Pick-Six The Difference

The Utes had a great start in the second half with a 27-yard pass from Shelley to high school teammate Jaylen Dixon.

Utah continued their aggressive approach in the second half with a 17-yard pass to Demari Simpkins. The Utes settled for a 52-yard field goal from Matt Gay that grazed the upright to tie the game with 11:17 left in the third quarter.

Washington had another productive drive when they got the ball back but was stalled by a holding call by offensive lineman Kaleb McGary. The Huskies faced a long fourth and 12 where Utah’s defense stopped them for the second time.

Wide receiver Britain Covey was injured on the kickoff return to start the third quarter, Utah found out late in the third quarter after he was evaluated that he would not return.

A touchdown was finally scored with 1:05 left in the game as Shelley threw to wide receiver Siaosi Mariner but as he was falling on the ground, the ball hit his leg and deflected into the hands of defensive back Byron Murphy who returned the ball 66-yards for a touchdown. Washington held a 10-3 lead.

Byron Murphy #1 of the Washington Huskies returns an interception for a touchdown against the Utah Utes during the Pac 12 Championship game at Levi's Stadium on November 30, 2018 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Byron Murphy #1 of the Washington Huskies returns an interception for a touchdown against the Utah Utes during the Pac 12 Championship game at Levi’s Stadium on November 30, 2018 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Utah’s attempt to tie the game was cut short when Shelley threw a deep pass to wide receiver Solomon Enis and Huskies defensive back Jordan Miller intercepts the ball and gives Washington the ball at their own six-yard line with 13 seconds left.

Washington’s next possession went for 10:03 on 17 plays for 73 yards but the Utes hopes stayed alive with 5:10 left in the game as defensive tackle John Penisini blocked Washington’s 38-yard field goal.

That hope was short lived as three plays into the drive, Shelley is picked off by Murphy again. Shelley threw his third interception in his last five pass attempts.

After the Huskies were forced to punt, Utah had one last chance to tie the game. Facing a forth and 12 with 32 seconds left in the game, Shelley’s pass to Mariner was broken up by Murphy and Washington comes away with a 10-3 win and the Pac-12 Championship.

Up Next

The Utes will find out where they will play their bowl game on Sunday.

“We get to play together again. Just give us a city and give us an opponent and we’ll be there,” said Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham after the game.

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Utes Lose To Washington 10-3 In Pac-12 Championship Game