Former Husky Troy Williams and new running back sensation Joe Williams leads Utah in a battle against the Huskies that has College Football Playoff implications.
When/where: 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Rice-Eccles Stadium (Fox Sports 1, 1000 AM, 97.7 FM).
Coach: Kyle Whittingham has a 102-47 (.685) in his 12th season with the Utes, including a 59-39 Pac-12 record. He’s 1-2 against Washington. Prior to taking over the head coaching duties in 2005, he was the defensive coordinator at Utah. He’s been on the Utes coaching staff since 1994.
Record: 7-1 overall, 4-1 in Pac-12.
Early line: UW is an 11-point favorite.
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Last season: Utah was 0-8 all-time against Washington before finally breaking through for its first win – a 34-23 victory – on wet and wild Nov. 7, 2015 night at Husky Stadium. Washington fell behind 24-13 at halftime. The Huskies were in position to tie the game late in the fourth quarter before Utah sacked Jake Browning and recovered a fumble – UW’s fifth turnover. He had 257 yards while completing 23 of 39 passes for a touchdown and an interception. UW outgained Utah 382 to 354, but the Utes scored two touchdowns on turnovers, including a 54-yard fumble return for a TD. Utah tied for first in the Pac-12 South last season. The Utes finished 10-3, including a 35-28 win over BYU in the Las Vegas Bowl.
Last week: Utah pulled away from UCLA in the fourth quarter and held on for a 52-45 victory at the Rose Bowl on Saturday.
RB Joe Williams ran for a school-record 332 yards and four touchdowns (3, 43, 64 and 55 yards) during the greatest rushing day in Utah history on Saturday against UCLA. He quit football last month and missed four games before returning last week when injuries decimated Utah’s depth. The 5-foot-11, 205-pound senior has 511 rushing yards in the past two games while averaging 8.1 yards per carry. In the first two games, he had 75 yards on 22 carries (3.4 avg.).
QB Troy Williams began his collegiate career at Washington and made one start for the Huskies, a 24-10 loss to No. 14 Arizona State at Husky Stadium on Oct. 25, 2014 as a redshirt freshman. He transferred in 2015 to Santa Monica College where he played one season before joining Utah. Williams has started all eight games for the Utes. He averages 215.6 yards, which ranks fifth in the Pac-12. Williams has just seven TD passes, five interceptions and completes 55.9 percent of his passes.
WR Tim Patrick hasn’t caught a pass in the past three games, but the 6-5, 210-pound senior is Utah’s No. 1 receiver. He leads the team in receiving yards (429) and receptions (24). He’s been slowed by an unspecified injury and has been used as a decoy in recent games.
DE Hunter Dimick is second in the Pac-12 with 9.5 tackles for loss. The 6-3, 272-pound senior is fourth in the conference with six sacks. Dimick has 36 tackles.
P Mitch Wishnowsky leads the Pac-12 and ranks second nationally among FBS players with a 48.1 punting average. He’s dropped 15 punts inside the 20 and has booted 15 attempts 50 yards or longer.
By the numbers:
5 – Sacks allowed by Utah last Saturday to UCLA.
14 – Utah’s fourth-down attempts, which ranks third in the Pac-12. The Utes have converted 10.
22 – Utah’s takeaways (8 fumbles and 14 interceptions), which is first in the Pac-12.
35:30 – Utah’s average time of possession, which is first among FBS teams.