Utah dominates the all-Pac-12 conference team

Ryan Kostecka

Utah's berth in the Pac-12 championship game didn't end how it would've liked. 

As a team the Utes were blown out by Oregon, falling 37-15. But as far as individual performances are warranted, Utah showed its dominance when eight of its players were named to the all-Pac-12 first team.

Running back Zack Moss was the headliner of the group, being named as the Pac-12's Offensive Player of the Year. Moss led the conference in rushing with 1,359 yards (113.25 yards per game) and touchdowns (15).

“Winning the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year is a great honor to me and is greatly appreciated,” Moss said in a statement. “Shout-out to my teammates and coaches for putting me in the position to even be considered for this award, let alone win it.”

Head coach Kyle Whittingham was also named as Pac-12 Coach of the Year.

Utah placed a total of seven seniors and one junior — although Jaylon Johnson is expected to declare for the NFL draft — on the first team, including a breakdown of three players on offense and five on defense.

Quarterback Tyler Huntley and offensive tackle Darrin Paulo represented the Utes on offense while the defense had players from every level make the team. The defensive line was led by tackle Leki Fotu and end Bradlee Anae; Francis Bernard was the lone linebacker; while Julian Blackmon and Johnson led the secondary.

Anae, Fotu and Johnson are all repeat selection from last year's all-Pac-12 first team when the Utes had a program record nine players be recognized.

Utah also placed a total of nine players on either the second team or honorable mention — but the future bodes well as eight of the players are expected back next season. Highlighting the second team are tight end Brant Kuithe, who really emerged in the second half of the season, and defensive end John Penisini.

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