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Utah players run onto the field as they prepare to play Washington in the Pac-12 Championship game at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara on Friday, Nov. 30, 2018.

THE BASICS

SDCCU HOLIDAY BOWL

No. 22 Northwestern (8-5) vs. No. 17 Utah (9-4)

  • Kickoff: Monday, 5 p.m. MST
  • SDCCU Stadium (70,561)
  • Natural grass
  • TV: FS1
  • Livestream: Fox Sports Go (requires subscription)
  • Radio: ESPN 700AM
  • Series: Tied 1-1
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, temperatures in the low 60s.

THE STAKES

  • For Northwestern … The Wildcats have won two consecutive bowl games and are pursuing their fifth such victory overall.
  • For Utah ... The Utes are seeking their first 10-win season since 2015. They’re also 5-0 in bowl games since joining the Pac-12 in 2011.

THE TRENDS

  • For Northwestern … After a 1-3 start, the Wildcats have only lost to national powers Notre Dame and Ohio State.
  • For Utah ... The Utes are 17-4 all-time in bowl games. They’re an NCAA-best 11-1 under head coach Kyle Whittingham.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

AP
Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson (18) throws during the first half of the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game against Ohio State, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
  • CLAYTON THORSON, Northwestern quarterback: The senior enters the game with 15 TD passes and 14 interceptions.
  • MATT GAY, Utah kicker: The sure-footed senior and 2017 Lou Groza Award winner could play a pivotal role in his final game with the Utes.

KEY MATCHUP

  • Northwestern’s pass defense vs. Utah’s pass offense: The Utes are 87th in the nation with 209.2 yards per game in the air. The Wildcats are 106th defending the pass, giving up 258.1 yards.

QUOTABLE

"Well, I say a lot in Chicago: We're not your father's Northwestern. Back in the day, it was obviously a different time. Quite frankly, the support that our players received was not where it is today.”

— Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald (San Diego Union-Tribune)

“These guys are hungry. Ten wins is a big deal and these guys understand that. It has been a fun group to coach all season long. They are locked in and they want to win."

— Utah defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley

NEXT UP

  • Northwestern opens its 2019 season Aug. 31 at Stanford. Utah is at BYU on Aug. 29.

NORTHWESTERN SCHEDULE

  • Aug. 30 — at Purdue, Won 31-27
  • Sept. 8— Duke, Lost 21-7
  • Sept. 15 — Akron, Lost 39-34
  • Sept. 29 — Michigan, Lost 20-17
  • Oct. 6 — at Michigan State, Won 29-19
  • Oct. 13 — Nebraska, Won 34-31 (OT)
  • Oct. 20 — at Rutgers, Won 18-15
  • Oct. 27 — Wisconsin, Won 31-17
  • Nov. 3 — Notre Dame, Lost 31-21
  • Nov. 10 — at Iowa, Won 14-10
  • Nov. 17 — at Minnesota. Won 24-14
  • Nov. 24 — Illinois, Won 24-16
  • Dec. 1 — vs. Ohio State, Lost 45-24
  • Dec. 31 — vs. Utah (5 p.m., FS1)
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UTAH SCHEDULE

  • Aug. 30 — Weber State, Won 41-10
  • Sept. 8 — at Northern Illinois, Won 17-6
  • Sept. 15 — Washington, Lost 21-7
  • Sept. 29 — at Washington State, Lost 28-24
  • Oct. 6 — at Stanford, Won 40-21
  • Oct. 12 — Arizona, Won 42-10
  • Oct. 20 — USC, Won 41-28
  • Oct. 26 — at UCLA, Won 41-10
  • Nov. 3 — at Arizona State, Lost 38-20
  • Nov. 10 — Oregon, Won 32-25
  • Nov. 17 — at Colorado, Won 30-7
  • Nov. 24 — BYU, Won 35-27
  • Nov. 29 — vs. Washington, Lost 10-3
  • Dec. 31 — vs. Northwestern (5 p.m., FS1)