San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl: Northwestern vs. Utah Fearless Prediction, Game Preview

San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl: Northwestern vs. Utah Fearless Prediction, Game Preview

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San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl: Northwestern vs. Utah Fearless Prediction, Game Preview

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Why Utah Will Win The San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl

There’s little to no downfield passing from the Northwestern offense to worry about. There are plenty of timely plays, and there are a whole slew of opportunistic moments, but even with an NFL talent like Clayton Thorson winging it, the Cats average a paltry 6.2 yards per attempt. Considering the secondary was a wee bit of an issue at times throughout the Pac-12 season, it should catch a little break. And when it comes to running the ball …

– Washington was effective at grinding out a few yards on Utah, but not really. Northwestern’s run defense is good, but Utah’s is special, with a tough defensive front that doesn’t get gouged. Arizona State was the only team to run for over 200 yards on a Ute D that allowed fewer than 100 yards six times. Northwestern can run the ball, but it’s not about to go off, partly because …

The Utes live in offensive backfields. Starting with All-Pac-12 star Chase Hansen and his 22 tackles for loss, and helped by end Bradlee Anae and his 14.5 plays behind the line, the team came up with 103 tackles for loss on the season including 16 against Colorado and 12 against Oregon. Hansen is iffy for the game with an undisclosed injury, but the Utes should produce no matter what. The Northwestern offensive line was dead last in the Big Ten in sacks allowed.

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