The Washington Huskies and Utah Utes fought for the Pac-12 Football Championship on Saturday night in San Jose, California. Both teams were fighting for a shot at the Rose Bowl as well.
I just never thought that these two teams would be fighting just to score a touchdown or any type of points.
Washington came in as a slight favorite over Utah. The Huskies were playing in their second Pac-12 Championship game and the Utes were entering into their first conference title game.
Through out the first quarter the Huskies dodged a few near misses with interceptions. Jake Browning had a couple of throws bounce around in the air, but the Utes could not come down with the ball.
Washington got the ball deep down in Utah territory and decided to go for it on a fourth and six. However, Jake Browning’s pass was broken up and the Huskies had to turn the ball over on downs. The Huskies were getting some things going on offense and finished with 99 yards of offense in the first quarter.
Utah could not muster anything in the first quarter. The Utes had a paltry 24 yards of offense in the first quarter.
With all that being said, the score was tied at 0-0 at the end of the first quarter. Which was the first scoreless quarter in Pac-12 Football Championship history.
If these two teams were trying to impress for the Rose Bowl it wasn’t going well for either team.
Washington finally broke the scoring drought for either team with a 29 yard field goal with 3:08 left in the first half. It was 3-0 Dawgs.
Football is about halftime adjustments.
One thing was obvious, the defenses for both Washington and Utah traveled well. The offenses not so much.
With about 1:08 left in the third quarter the first turnover for Utah happened. It was a big one, especially in this game.
Jason Shelley, Utah quarterback, threw a pass downfield which bounced off the receivers leg. Off of that bounce, Husky defensive back, Byron Murphy took the interception 66 yards for the pick six. If the offense can’t score, why not the defense?
Washington went up 10-3.
The fourth quarter is where you find out what you’re made of. It was gut check time for the Utah Utes.
It was control the clock time for Washington. The Huskies just wanted to keep the chains moving.
The Huskies kept the offense going and were looking to put the game away on a field goal late in the game. However, Utah, being the never say die team, blocked the attempted field goal.
Utah takes the ball, tries to get their drive started. The Husky defense showed up again by picking off Jason Shelley for a third time in the game.
“They played really well today. We did just enough on offense to not give the ball away. We took care of the ball and our defense had a hell of a game. It was pretty impressive.” Jake Browning mentioned.
Washington doesn’t do anything with the Ute gift and has to punt.
Utah gets one more chance. I wasn’t to sure how many chances you wanted to give to Utah. It all came down to a fourth down play for Utah.
The fourth down play was broken up and the celebration was on for Washington.
It wasn’t without controversy though. Many Ute fans and especially head coach Kyle Whittingham thought it was defensive pass interference.
“Did you see what I saw? I don’t know how I can say anything without getting fined, but I’m used to it.” Coach Whittingham said after the game.
In a game where the score was something that most Pac-12 fans were not used, the fans got to appreciate some defense for once.
With the win, Washington gets a date at The Rose Bowl.
“This is what we play for! That’s what everybody should play for is the conference championship. I can’t say enough about these guys. We do it the hard way sometimes, and this was one of those times we did it the hard way again. But they did it. That’s the most important thing.” Coach Petersen said.
Coach Petersen is right. You can win pretty or you can win ugly, but a win is a win is a win.
Especially if the win puts you in The Rose Bowl.