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No one who witnessed Utah’s statistical domination of USC in a 41-28 victory at Rice-Eccles Stadium in October should have been completely surprised by the Utes' presence on the All-Pac-12 football team, announced this week.
That's the number of first-team selections for each school. In what universe could that happen?
Utah’s showing is a tribute to the players themselves, of course, and to the coaching staff that recruited and developed them. Among the Utes honored were offensive guard Jordan Agasiva, who didn’t receive a lot of publicity this season, and defensive tackle Leki Fotu, who didn’t have big statistics. But they were not unnoticed by the people who had to coach against them in the Pac-12.
USC’s lack of first-team choices is partly explained by injuries to edge rusher Porter Gustin, from Salem Hills High School, and linebacker Cameron Smith. But this is only the second time since 1957 that the Trojans were not represented on the all-conference first team.
Utah’s first appearance in the Pac-12 championship game will be memorable, thanks to some tough breaks. (TRIB)
The Utes' loss to Washington created some anxiety about bowl selections. (TRIB)
Columnist Gordon Monson made a case for the Utes in the Holiday Bowl. (TRIB)
And the persuasiveness of Ute athletic director Mark Harlan helped make that happen. (TRIB)
Here’s the full rundown of the Utes on the All-Pac-12 team. (TRIB)
My first look at Northwestern suggests the Wildcats are a lot like Utah. (TRIB)
The 2019 football season starts less than eight months after the Holiday Bowl. Here’s Utah’s schedule (TRIB).
Chris Kamrani caught up to former AD Chris Hill, who was prominent in an Oregonian series scrutinizing the Pac-12 office. (TRIB)
Alex Vejar witnessed ex-Ute center Jakob Poeltl’s career-high performance in a loss to the Jazz (TRIB).
I hurried home from a 10-3 football game to see a 23-17 (at halftime) basketball game. But then the Utes' offense improved against Tulsa. (TRIB)
Larry Krystkowiak focuses on defense, but he’d also like his team to score more consistently. (TRIB)
The Ute women’s basketball team remained unbeaten, defeating Utah Valley. (TRIB).
Here’s how the Utah-Northwestern matchup developed, from the Holiday Bowl organizers' perspective. (U-T)
Northwestern is known for its journalism school; here’s the view from the Daily. (DAILY)
Jon Wilner analyzed the Utes' breakthrough to one of the Pac-12′s top-tier bowls. (MERC)
• The timing of the men’s basketball Zions Bank Beehive Classic will enable fans to get to the Huntsman Center for a third in-state rivalry game Saturday, and this one’s free. The Utah women’s team will host BYU at the Huntsman Center (7 p.m.) in a Red Out promotion that offers free admission to anyone wearing red. The Utes will try to win an eighth straight game to start the season.
• Ute football players making the Pac-12′s All-Academic first team included receiver Britain Covey (3.85 GPA, business); defensive lineman Nick Heninger (3.73, business administration) and defensive back Jaylon Johnson (3.62, business). Second-team picks: defensive back Terrell Burgess (3.29, kinesiology) and punter Mitch Wishnowsky (3.53, kinesiology and physical education teaching). Honorable mention: offfensive lineman Jordan Agasiva, defensive back Marquise Blair, offensive lineman Nick Ford, defensive back Javelin Guidry, quarterback Tyler Huntley, tight end Jake Jackson, defensive back Josh Nurse, offensive lineman Darrin Paulo, defensive linemen John Penisini and Hauati Pututau, quarterback Jason Shelley, receiver Demari Simpkins, defensive lineman Mika Tafua and running back Mason Woodward.
• The Ute men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs have had a strong fall season, breaking records and earning national recognition. The men are ranked Nos. 19 and 21 in the Coaches and CollegeSwimming.co polls and the women are Nos. 27 and 28. The Utes collectively have broken 10 school records and two men’s relay teams' best times are among the top 10 in the country. The Utes will resume their schedule Jan. 25-26 vs. BYU at Don Reddish Pool.