The 22nd-ranked Northwestern Wildcats used a furious third quarter rally to overtake the 17th-ranked Utah Utes, 31-20. Led by a defense that forced timely turnovers and 2018 SDCCU Holiday Bowl Offensive MVP Clayton Thorson, the Wildcats scored 28 unanswered points in the third stanza. DraftNasty’s Corey Chavous takes us inside the game with this photo collage.
22 Hansen working pass rush counter with 30 Barton in the pregame
Utah All-Pac-12 linebacker Chase Hansen, pictured, would have been huge for the Utes in this game but did not play due to an undisclosed injury. The player he's doing drills with -Utes captain and LB Cody Barton- finished his 2018 campaign with 116 tackles, four quarterback sacks, 10.5 tackles for losses and six pass break-ups.
6 Anae final copy of forced fumble
Utah's Bradlee Anae (No. 6 pictured) forces a fumble versus Northwestern running back Isaiah Bowser (No. 25 picutred) in the fourth quarter. He finished 2018 with 51 tackles, eight quarterback sacks, 15.5 tackles for losses, two forced fumbles and three pass break-ups.
18 Thorson releases for this third quarter TD
The Wildcats were down 20-3 at halftime before a furious third quarter rally featured 28 unanswered points. Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson (No. 18 pictured) threw this third quarter pass to offensive lineman Trey Klock (No. 39 pictured) to put the Wildcats up 24-20.
Pace and Thorson MVPs
Sophomore safety JR Pace was named the 2018 Holiday Bowl Defensive MVP (7 tackles, 1/2 TFL, 34-yard fumble return, one interception and one pass break-up). Thorson was named the 2018 Holiday Bowl Offensive MVP after completing 21-of-30 passes for 241 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.