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All season, I’ve observed how the developing story of Utah’s 2018 football team has been everything I could ask from a newspaper perspective.
The ending remains to be written, with two more stops: Friday's Pac-12 championship game vs. Washington and then a bowl game, possibly the iconic Rose Bowl vs. former Utah coach Urban Meyer's Ohio State team.
Is that too much to ask? Maybe so. No matter how this season ends, it has been rewarding to cover. To this point, my favorite scene was seeing senior linebackers Chase Hansen and Cody Barton walk together toward the sideline, after a fourth-down stop clinched last Saturday’s win over BYU in their final game at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Barton labeled it “kind of just a calm moment … peaceful, relaxing,” amid the frenzied home crowd.
Hansen joked about his mother’s saying the scene was “pretty cute,” but he also treasured it. “We kind of gravitate toward each other,” he said. “It was a good representation of our closeness and our excitement to be able to get to where we’re at and the work we’ve put in.”
The weekly roundup
Just when you wondered if anything new could happen in the rivalry, Utah trailed 20-0 at halftime — and rallied to win. (TRIB)
That reversal made columnist Gordon Monson suggest the Utes may keep beating BYU forever. (TRIB)
Here’s Monson on the Pac-12 title game’s matchup. (TRIB)
Utah’s offense came to life in the last 20 minutes, behind quarterback Jason Shelley. (TRIB)
The Utes all season proved they were not “just a regular team.” (TRIB)
Washington will be Utah’s first and last Pac-12 opponent of 2018. (TRIB)
The Huskies' Jake Browning and Myles Gaskin will meet Utah for a fifth time in their careers. (TRIB)
Ute fans have responded well to the program’s first appearance in the Pac-12 title game. (TRIB)
Ute cornerback Julian Blackmon knows that absorbing criticism is part of the job. (TRIB)
The Utah men’s basketball team is halfway through its nonconference schedule, amid some discouraging moments and the loss a rotation player. (TRIB)
I stopped by Olympus High to see future Ute players Rylan Jones and Matt Van Komen and got rewarded with a great game. (TRIB)
The Ute women’s volleyball team rallied to earn a tie for sixth place in the challenging Pac-12 and an invitation to the NCAA Tournament, beginning Friday in Provo with BYU as the host. (TRIB)
John Canzano of The Oregonian has done exceptional reporting in an ongoing series about the Pac-12′s leadership and administrative issues. (ORE)
Austin Meek of the Eugene (Ore.) Register-Guard praises the Utes' performance in his Pac-12 awards. (R-G)
Pac-12 expert Jon Wilner projects Utah to the Sun Bowl. (MERC)
Dirk Facer of the Deseret News captured the Barton brothers' shared experience. (DNEWS)
• The Ute women’s basketball team continues to be a good story. Utah is 6-0 after Monday’s 89-62 win over Seattle of the Western Athletic Conference, behind senior forward Daneesha Provo’s career-high 27 points. The Utes will host Utah Valley, another WAC team, on Saturday. The 5:30 p.m. tipoff immediately follows the 3 p.m. men’s game vs. Tulsa at the Huntsman Center.
• Three Ute women’s soccer players made the Pac-12′s All-Academic first team: Max Flom (3.99 GPA in political science), Natalie Kump (3.99 in chemistry) and Hailey Skolmoski (3.94 in human development and family studies).