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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Washington-Utah Preview Capsule

Associated Press

Matchup: No. 4 Washington (7-0, 4-0 Pac-12) at No. 17 Utah (7-1, 4-1), 3:30 p.m. (FS1)

Line: Washington by 10.

Series record: Washington leads 8-1.

What’s at stake: The biggest Pac-12 game of the season to date. The top team in the North facing the top team in the South in what could be a preview of the conference championship game. Both teams have conference championship and College Football Playoff possibilities resting on the outcome. Washington is likely to receive a playoff berth if it wins out. However, a one-loss Pac-12 champion is not a lock to make the semifinals.

Key matchup: Washington run defense vs. Utah RB Joe Williams. Utah has been re-energized the last two weeks after Williams came out of retirement. Williams posted a school-record 332 yards rushing last week and Utah had a combined 635 rushing yards the last two games. The offensive line has opened gaping holes. Washington is ranked No. 6 in the Pac-12 (145.4 yards per game) in run defense.

Players to watch: Washington: QB Jake Browning. The sophomore has taken significant strides this year and has thrown for 1,709 yards and 26 touchdowns (tied for No. 3 in the country) with a 199.62 quarterback efficiency rating (No. 2 in the country).

Utah: QB Troy Williams. The junior signed with Washington out of high school as one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the country and he’s been waiting for this moment since transferring. He’s thrown for 1,725 yards and given the Utes their best passing attack in years.

Facts and figures: The Utes improved to 8-1 in 2015 after beating Washington 34-23 but lost the next two games. … Utah is 2-7 against teams ranked in top five with the last win coming against No. 5 Stanford in 2013. … Utah’s No. 1 receiver, Tim Patrick, hopes to be 100 percent healthy this week. … Browning has thrown just two interceptions. … Washington leads the nation in turnover margin at plus-14. … The Huskies are No 4. in scoring offense (48.3 points per game) and No. 6 in scoring defense (14.6) to join Alabama, Michigan and Ohio State as the only teams in the top 10 nationally in both categories.