Coach: Pat Fitzgerald
Northwestern Players to watch:
**Sophomore LB Paddy Fisher (6-4/245)
Fisher finished second on the team with 92 total tackles. He also led the team with three forced fumbles. The Katy, Texas, native finished with at least 10 tackles in three games this season and now has 205 tackles over last two seasons, the second-most among all Big Ten players.
Senior CB Montre Hartage (6-0/196)
Hartage elevated his play in his senior season, finishing the year with 47 total tackles (37 solo) and ranking 16th in the country and third in the Big Ten with 1.4 passes defended per game.
*Junior DE Joe Gaziano (6-4/280)
Gaziano earned All-Big Ten honors for the second-consecutive season after leading the Wildcats’ defense with 6.0 sacks and 11.0 tackles for loss. Over the last two seasons, his 15 sacks are tied for the second-most in the Big Ten during that span.
**Sophomore RT Rashwan Slater (6-3/290)
Slater started all 12 games for the Big Ten West Division champion Wildcats and ranks No. 1 among Big Ten tackles with at least 375 snaps with a pass-blocking efficiency rating of 98.5. He has allowed just one sack and 13 total pressures in 475 snaps this season, according to PFF.
Coach: Kyle Whittingham
Utah Players to watch:
Senior P Mitch Wishnowsky (6-2/220)
Wishnowsky has placed 22 punts inside the 20-yard line, including nine punts at or inside the 10-yard line, and has 19 punts of 50+ yards. In his career, Wishnowsky is averaging 45.7 yards per punt and just nine of his 170 punts have been touchbacks. His 61 punts of 50+ yards ranks second all-time at Utah and he has placed 72 punts inside the 20-yard line.
*Junior K Matt Gay (6-0/228)
Gay, the 2017 Lou Groza Award winner and All-American, leads the Pac-12 in field goals made (24) and is fourth in the nation in field goals per game (1.85). He leads the nation in field goals made (10) beyond 40 yards and leads the league in scoring (8.8 ppg).
Senior LB Chase Hansen (6-3/230)
Hansen has played in 43 career games with 35 starts. He has 114 tackles this year (70 solo), including 22 tackles for loss. He also had five sacks, two interceptions (one for a touchdown) and four pass breakups. His 164 career solo tackles is tied for seventh all-time at Utah.
**Sophomore CB Jaylon Johnson (6-0/190)
Johnson has started all 13 games, seven at left corner and six at right corner. He is tied for the Pac-12 lead with four interceptions and leads the Pac-12 with 126 interception return yards. He also has four pass breakups and 40 tackles (2.0 TFL, 1.0 sack) so far this year.
San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl
Northwestern 31, Utah 20