#17 Utah at #11 Washington 8 PM / 5 PM PT Fox
- The Utes take on the malamutes in the conference title game tonight in Santa Clara. Utah is coming off a dominant win over rival BYU while washington is coming off a snowy Apple Cup win over the Cougs. Can the Utes muster enough offense with its backups to keep it close? Can the huskies’ defense show up again like it has throughout the year? The school that wears purple won the first match 21-7 in early September. Utah clinched the South thanks to ASU losing to Oregon while their opponent needed every bit of their schedule with a win over Wazzu to clinch the North.
Utah prospects to watch
1. Chase Hansen 6’2 220 LB RS Senior
- Hansen has been a terror for opposing offenses to line up against. He’s a stat sheet monster, posting 101 tackles, 22 tackles for loss, 5 sacks, and two interceptions. I rewatched the Oregon tape and he was all over the place there too. An undersized linebacker prospect that moved from safety this past season. He generally is in the right area to make the tackle as evidenced in the screen below. Instinctive even for a first year linebacker convert. Hansen has accepted his invite to the Senior Bowl.
2. Bradlee Anae 6’3 254 EDGE Junior
- Anae is the Utes’ best pass rusher statistically. He leads the team with eight sacks to go along with 42 tackles and 13.5 tackles for loss. He has improved massively as a junior and it shows. The BYU tape is amazing. Here are some clips of him proving that he might just declare early.
That's an excellent shed and read move by Utah EDGE Bradlee Anae. He's one of the best in the Pac-12. pic.twitter.com/YUAHoXl905— Joseph Yun (@DuckinNoles247) November 25, 2018
#Utah EDGE Bradley showing up clutch on game deciding drive. First up, his sack on 3rd down. Solid get off plus speed to get past the hold by tackle and motor to get the sack. #DraftTwitter #HolyWar pic.twitter.com/II7FbSengk— Joseph Yun (@DuckinNoles247) November 25, 2018
3. Julian Blackmon 6’1 190 CB Junior
- Blackmon has the size and speed that NFL teams are looking for in corners these days. He hasn’t done much statistically for the Utes, however. Lateral agility is a major plus as he can go toe to toe with the best receiver and shut him down. Ball skills are a plus as well. Can flip his hips and turn on a dime. Could be considered as one of the better corners in the nation.
Washington prospects to watch
1. Myles Gaskin 5’9 191 RB Senior
- Gaskin has been a mainstay for the Huskies’ running game for four years now. He is the only running back in conference history to rush for 1000+ yards every year. Undersized runner that excels catching passes out of the backfield. Football IQ is above average. Knows how to work angles and cutback lanes to his benefit. Tree trunk legs. Plus speed and lateral agility. He’s very instinctive and makes the right cutback when the middle is perfectly clogged up by Utes.
2. Ben Burr-Kiven 6’0 222 LB Senior
- BBK is a stat sheet monster. He leads the entire country in tackles with a whopping 155 to go with one sack and an interception. He’s an athlete at the position. A bowling ball of energy. Ball skills are a plus. Size will limit him to a specialized role at the next level.
3. Myles Bryant 5’8 180 CB Junior
- Size wise, he compares to the Rams’ standout cornerback Lamarcus Joyner. He plays a lot bigger than what he’s listed at. Due to size, he won’t be CB1 but will still play a bit as the third cornerback at the next level. Lateral agility is a plus and instincts are as well. Versatile athlete with great speed.
4. Byron Murphy 6’0 175 CB RS Sophomore
- Washington’s other starter at corner is pretty good in his own right. He’s a solid athlete that will test well should he declare early for the draft. Pops off the screen when I watch him play. Doesn’t get beat often but when he does, he makes up for it.
5. Taylor Rapp 6’0 212 S Junior
- He is the best safety in the Pac-12 and possibly among the best in the nation. His 2018 season is just more evidence of this. He’s simply a play maker that flies around the field with calculative abandon. Versatile stat sheet as Rapp has posted 55 tackles, four tackles for loss, three sacks, two interceptions, and three forced fumbles.
6. Greg Gaines 6’1 332 DT / NT RS Senior
- The next man up in the Huskies’ recent trend of standout interior defensive linemen. He’s a classic space eating type of 3-4 nose tackle. A monster in the middle when rushing the passer. Lack of athleticism like his predecessors will hurt his stock a bit.
Note: My giphy account crashed when I was in the middle of writing this so I apologize for not having more gifs.
Note 2: All statistics were used from the Utah and Washington main sites and some from pro football reference.
Prediction: washington 28 Utah 24