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Game Balls for the Loss to Washington

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Utah v Washington Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

It looked promising didn’t it? The Utah Utes were on the brink of an upset against the Washington Huskies. Unfortunately, the game did not play out as Utah fans would have liked, but there was still a lot of solid play from the Utes on Saturday. Here is who I am giving my game balls to:

Offense: Tyler Huntley

Although it wasn’t enough, Tyler Huntley ran all over Washington’s defense on Saturday. The quarterback threw for 293 yards and two touchdowns while completing 19 of 27 passes. In the first quarter, Huntley found Raelon Singleton for a 40-yard strike, which was the first 40-yard gain given up by the stingy Washington defense in the 2017 season. That play set up a touchdown to tie the game at 7-7. Huntley completed back-to-back first down throws later in the first quarter. That lead to a Utah field goal. That was all good, but I would argue that Huntley’s biggest play came with 10:50 left in the game — a five-yard rushing touchdown. He is the first quarterback to throw for more than 200 yards on the Huskies in Seattle this year, and no quarterback has thrown for more yards against the Huskies in Seattle since Chris Petersen’s first year as head coach in 2014.

Defense: The entire defense

I am giving this to the entire defense this week. Although there were a lot of great plays made by individuals, it was the entire defensive line that stepped up. Utah was without two of their starters due to injury, and they managed to control Washington’s run game. Washington’s Myles Gaskin had a big receiving night, but he only managed to lock in 52 rushing yards.

Terrell Burgess led the Utes with eight tackles for the night.

Special teams: Mitch Wishnowsky

Coach Kyle Whittingham called a fake punt facing fourth-and-17 from his own 27 early in the fourth quarter. Punter Mitch Wishnowsky held onto the ball and got the first down — barely, but he still got it. Wishnowsky also executed and recovered the onside kick call perfectly. Those calls by Whittingham proved to be critical in-game decisions.