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Washington vs. Utah: Huskies Have Come Up Big Defensively This Season

The Huskies may not always stop the opposition as they work the football down the field, but they have earned a reputation of a team capable of coming up with big stops and bending instead of breaking in close games. As the Salt Lake Tribune explains, UW has made a habit of late-game heroics.

The Huskies are giving up 453.2 yards of total offense, but are utilizing the "bend but don't break" philosophy to its fullest extent.

The Huskies kept Cal out of the end zone to preserve a 31-23 victory, forcing a turnover on downs, after the Bears drove 85 yards to Washington's 2-yard line.

Earlier in the year, cornerback Desmond Trufant made an interception late in the game to preserve a 30-27 win over Eastern Washington.

While UW did 'break' instead of 'bend' in the second half against Nebraska, their ability to keep the opposition from blowing a game wide open is going to be crucial in conference play. That begins with Utah this weekend, a team that has succeeded in the red zone this season.

Opponents are still finding success - scoring 18 out of 20 trips to the red zone, including 11 touchdowns - but the defense is finding ways to get things done when it must, said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham.

"They get the stops when they have to," Whittingham said. "They bend a little through the course of a game, then they get the stops."

Something will have to give Saturday, since Utah's offense has done well in the red zone this year.

Will the 'Dawgs be able to slow the Utes down a steal a victory in Salt Lake City? Or will their fortunate ways end in a hostile road environment? We'll find out Saturday.