Bryson Barnes, Top Utah vs. Northwestern Players to Watch – SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl

Written By PlayPicks Staff on December 9, 2023

The SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl sees the Utah Utes and the Northwestern Wildcats hit the field on Saturday, December 23, 2023. The matchup kicks off at 7:30 PM ET and airs on ABC.

The Utes won 23-17 last time out when they met the Colorado Buffaloes. In their most recent outing, the Wildcats took on the Illinois Fighting Illini and picked up the win by a final score of 45-43.

Last time out for the Utes, Luke Bottari finished with six completions on 10 attempts (60.0%) for 61 yards plus two rushing touchdowns. Jaylon Glover carried the ball 17 times for 107 yards. Mikey Matthews snagged two passes for 19 yards.

For the Wildcats in their last game, Ben Bryant completed 24 of 32 passing attempts (75.0%) and totaled 234 yards through the air, completing two touchdown passes but giving away two interceptions and one touchdown as a runner. Cam Porter had 16 rushing attempts and finished with 69 yards. Cam Johnson found paydirt once, and ended the contest with seven catches for 124 yards.

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Utah Players to Watch

  • Bryson Barnes has passed for 1,517 yards while completing 58.5% of his throws (134-of-229), with 12 touchdowns and nine interceptions (168.6 yards per game). He’s also rushed 73 times for 279 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 31 yards per game.
  • Ja’Quinden Jackson has 153 carries for a team-high 742 rushing yards (67.5 per game) and four touchdowns.
  • Glover has 513 yards on 121 carries (42.8 ypg), with two rushing touchdowns.
  • Devaughn Vele has hauled in 43 receptions for 593 yards, best on his team, and three touchdowns. He averages 59.3 receiving yards per game.
  • Money Parks’ stat line this year shows 30 catches for 289 yards and two touchdowns. He puts up 24.1 receiving yards per game.
  • Matthews has caught 29 passes for 261 yards, averaging 21.8 yards per game this year.

Northwestern Players to Watch

  • Bryant leads his team with 1,585 passing yards (198.1 per game) and has a 61.7% completion percentage (150-of-243), throwing 11 touchdown passes and six interceptions.
  • Porter has picked up a team-high 618 rushing yards (51.5 yards per game) and scored four touchdowns.
  • So far this year Anthony Tyus III has rushed for 217 yards on 45 carries (21.7 ypg), with one rushing touchdown.
  • Johnson has 50 catches and paces his team with 684 receiving yards (57 ypg) while scoring five touchdowns.
  • Bryce Kirtz has hauled in 44 catches for 633 yards (57.5 yards per game) and four touchdowns.
  • A.J. Henning is averaging 32.8 yards per game, racking up 39 receptions for 361 yards and four touchdowns.

Utah Recent Stat Leaders

  • Jason Siaosi has helped spur the Utes’ defense with in their last three games.
  • With 11 tackles and one sack, Cole Bishop has been a significant contributor to the Utes’ defense in their last three games.
  • Zemaiah Vaughn has helped spur the Utes’ defense in their last three games with eight tackles in games.
  • A big piece of the Utes’ defense, Nate Ritchie has eight tackles in their last three games.

Northwestern Recent Stat Leaders

  • Tyler Gant has been causing chaos on defense, amassing eight tackles in the Wildcats’ last three games.
  • For the Wildcats in their last three outings, Richie Hagarty has totaled four tackles.
  • Xander Mueller has been wreaking havoc on defense, recording 19 tackles and two interceptions in the Wildcats’ last three games.
  • Grayson Metz has recorded 19 tackles and two interceptions for the Wildcats in their last three games.

Utah vs. Northwestern Odds

Favorite Spread Favorite Spread Odds Underdog Spread Odds Total Over Total Odds Under Total Odds
Utah -6.5 -110 -110 41.5 -110 -110

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Team Stat Comparison

Utah Northwestern
Off. Points per Game (Rank) 24.5 (85) 22.8 (105)
Def. Points per Game (Rank) 19.8 (18) 23.8 (49)
Turnovers Allowed (Rank) 10 (33) 9 (24)
Turnovers Forced (Rank) 10 (97) 13 (60)

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