Offense - Zack Moss and Tyler Huntley
These two seniors came back to Salt Lake City for one thing and one thing only, to win a Pac-12 Championship. And now, thanks to their performance against the Washington Huskies, that dream is still alive for the Utes.
Zack Moss had yet another record-breaking performance in what may have been the best game of the running back’s career. The senior finished with yet another 100-yard rushing performance to go along with two scores, which breaks the all-time Utah record for total touchdowns. Moss was special for the Utes, making plays every time he was called on. But what else do you expect from an all-time great?
Tyler Huntley, injury and all, looked PHENOMENAL in the second half for the Utes. Huntley had just 30 yards of passing through the first 15 minutes but he turned it on when it mattered most for Utah. Huntley finished an incredible 11-12 passing with 184 yards in the second half, including 94 passing yards in the fourth quarter. The final stats aren’t going to show how impressive Huntley was, but it was truly a special performance by the senior quarterback.
Defense - Jaylon Johnson
The Utes were not looking good early in the second half. The Utes were down nine and had just fumbled away the ball for the second time. I’m going to be honest, I was starting to lose confidence in this Utah team. That was until future NFL defensive back Jaylon Johnson came away with the play of the year to give the momentum back to the Utes, this time for good.
The Utah corner isn’t necessarily known for making huge plays, mostly because opposing quarterbacks are too afraid to test him, but when Washington QB Jacob Eason decided he’d throw Johnson’s direction, the junior made him pay. Johnson’s 39-yard interception for a score wasn’t the game-winning touchdown, in fact, it didn’t even give Utah the lead. But what it did do was give Utah the confidence and momentum they needed to get out of Seattle with the win.
Johnson is almost certainly headed to the NFL following this season and he may have given us the defining moment of his Utah career in a 39-yard pick-six against Washington.
Special Teams - Julian Blackmon
Julian Blackmon gets the game ball on special teams for one reason, and one reason only, sealing the win with his onside kick recovery. Onside kicks always get the heart racing and the blood pressure up, but the moment the ball hit Blackmon’s hands Ute nation breathed a collective sigh of relief. And it was only fitting that another senior was able to help put this game away for the Utes.