Utah Utes wide receiver Jaylen Dixon (25) receives a block from Utah Utes tight end Hunter Thedford (85) during the first half of an NCAA football game at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019.

Utah Utes wide receiver Jaylen Dixon (25) receives a block from Utah Utes tight end Hunter Thedford (85) during the first half of an NCAA football game at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019. | Colter Peterson, Deseret News

In just three days’ time, the Utah Utes will take to the field in Santa Clara, California, for one of the most important games in program history. Utah takes on the Oregon Ducks in the Pac-12 championship game Friday night (6 p.m. MST, ABC).

As the final College Football Playoff rankings of the regular season come out on ESPN tonight, Utah could move up as high as No. 5 — its current ranking in both the AP Top 25 poll and the Coaches poll. If the Utes win their first-ever Pac-12 championship on Friday and No. 2 LSU defeats No. 4 Georgia in Saturday’s SEC championship game (2 p.m. MST, CBS), the No. 4 playoff spot should come down to either Pac-12 champion Utah or Big 12 champion Oklahoma or Baylor.

ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg breaks down why the Utes, given they take care of business against Oregon and LSU beats Georgia, should make their first appearance in the playoff. Rittenberg writes that the Utes are a team with “no obvious blemishes.”

It all starts with Utah’s defense, one of the best in the nation.

“Start with a defense that has held six opponents to seven points or fewer. Utah has two shutouts and hasn’t allowed a point in 10 halves this season. The Utes lead the nation in rush defense (56.3 ypg allowed) and rank in the top four in points allowed, total yards allowed and red zone defense,” Rittenberg wrote.

Utah’s offense has been one of the best ever at the school, led by Tyler Huntley …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News

      

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