Huskies return to Rose Bowl after 18 years

The Washington Huskies defeated the Utah Utes in a defensive struggle 10-3 to win the Pac-12 Championship and earn a trip to the Rose Bowl. The Huskies and the Utes brought to the game the Pac-12’s #1 and #2 defenses and it showed. Neither team were able to punch the ball on offense, it would be up to Husky corner, Byron Murphy to take things into his own hands to win the day.

With the game deadlocked near the end of the 3rd quarter, a pass from the Utes QB Jason Shelly was mishandled by his receiver and bounced into Byron Murphy’s hands where he raced 65 yards to put the Huskies ahead for good. With echoes of Mason Foster against Arizona, the lucky bounce finally went the Huskies way this evening.

“The ball came up and I just knew I had to make a play,” Murphy said. “The opportunity was there. I just had to make sure I took it.”

Jordan Miller would get in the fun on the very next series with an INT of his own. It would be one of 3 interceptions on the day, 2 of which were by Murphy.

“They play the kind of game we want to play,” linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven said. “They play a physical brand of football. They want to run the ball down our throats and I think we’re built to play that kind of game.”

Near the end of the game, the Utes were marching and a missed pass interference may have give the Utes hope with 30 seconds left. But ultimately, the game is played 60 minutes and hoping for one penalty did not erase the stifling defense the Huskies played over the course of the whole game.

“You know, life isn’t easy. A Pac-12 championship, is not going to be easy,” coach Chris Petersen said. “It’s not reality. If it happens, go buy lottery tickets because it’s not going to be like that. That’s just luck. It is a grind, it’s hard.”

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Abraham DeWeese is an avid local sports fan and a “Man-About-Town” in the Seattle sports scene. He's a lifelong resident of the Seattle area, living in the beautiful Greenlake neighborhood.