What to watch: No. 4 Washington vs. No. 17 Utah

David Pollack's Next Generation: Utes have surprise star RB (0:54)

Utah RB Joe Williams returned to the team two weeks ago after a month-long retirement and has since scored five touchdowns. ESPN college football analyst David Pollack explains how he's given No. 17 Utah a spark as No. 4 Washington comes to town. (0:54)

No. 4 Washington (7-0, 4-0) visits No. 17 Utah (7-1, 4-1) this weekend for one of the biggest Pac-12 games of the season. ESPN FPI gives Washington a 79.2 percent chance to win this game.

Here's what to watch for in this Top-25 matchup:

What's on the line: At this point in the season Washington is the only likely shot the Pac-12 has at making the College Football Playoff (ESPN.com's Heather Dinich outlined a route for Utah to make the playoff -- it’s possible, but quite unlikely). However, if the Huskies drop this game they open the door to plenty of doubts from the committee when it comes down to those final rankings. We've seen through two years in the playoff that the majority of teams enter with a loss, but the Huskies' weak strength of schedule would likely preclude them from that group. A one-loss Pac-12 team that played a soft schedule, even if it is a Pac-12 champion, would be an easy team for the committee to leave out. -- Chantel Jennings

Spreading the love: As Jake Browning continues to emerge as a Heisman Trophy candidate (Westgate now has his odds at 7-1); he's doing his part to make sure all of his receivers are getting a cut of the success. The Huskies have 10 players who have caught at least one touchdown. That's tied for the most in the FBS with Louisville and Oregon. That creates a nice chess match with Utah's defense, which has an FBS-high 22 turnovers this season and is tied for the FBS lead with 14 interceptions. -- Kevin Gemmell

Quarterback pressure: Both of these teams excel at getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks, so Browning and Utah QB Troy Williams, as well as their respective offensive lines, will have to be on their P's and Q's. Washington leads the conference with 25 sacks but star pass rusher Joe Mathis has been injured and likely won't play this weekend. Look for linebacker Psalm Wooching, who's second on the team in sacks, to step up in his absence. But Utah isn't too far behind Washington. The Utes have 22 sacks this season and are led by defensive end Hunter Dimick (six sacks). -- C.J.

He's back: The Joe Williams retirement lasted from Sept. 13 to Oct. 11. Since coming back he's racked up 511 yards and five touchdowns in two games. A big chunk of that came in last week's 52-45 win over UCLA, where he posted 332 rushing yards (11.4 yards per carry) and four touchdowns. For his efforts he was named the Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week. His yards were the fourth-best mark in Pac-12 history and the most in the FBS this season. Can he do it against a Washington rush defense that has only yielded eight touchdowns on the ground? -- K.G.

The other Williams: Don't forget, Utah's Williams started his career at Washington, where he appeared in five games and started one. Right now he leads the Pac-12 with 10 completions of at least 40 yards. He ranks fourth in the conference in passing yards and has five games of at least 200 passing yards. He can run, too. He's rushed for four touchdowns in the last three games. -- K.G.

Turnovers: Turnover margin is often one of the biggest indicators of which team won the game, but when it comes to Utah-Washington you've got two teams that are fantastic in turning over opponents. Utah has forced opponents into a Pac-12-best 22 turnovers while Washington has forced 19. Likewise, both the Utes and Huskies have turned those turnovers into points, with Utah scoring 71 points off its opponents' turnovers and Washington scoring 62, which is -- again -- the best and second-best rank in the Pac-12. Both of these defenses are strong, physical units that will look to make the most out of any missed opportunities by the opposing offense. Chances are that whichever team wins the turnover margin will also be the team that wins the game. -- C.J.