Fresh off an impressive win over Michigan, the Utes will try to keep momentum high with another victory, this time over in-state rival Utah State. Let's break down the odds and see where the value is.
If the College Football Odds are anything to go by, we should be expecting a relatively comfortable win for the Utes. You can see why oddsmakers have priced Utah out as 12-point favorites, considering they looked great in their win over the Wolverines. Some sportsbooks have the number even as high as 13.
Should we be expecting a shootout or a low-scoring affair tonight? It looks like the latter, as the O/U is down at 44.5 points, one of the lower totals on the college football odds board for the entire weekend.
Talk about an early test. While many of the other top programs had easier matchups, the Utes opened the 2015 season with a home showdown against Michigan. Utah did just enough to get the victory, holding on for the 24-17 triumph to delight the home crowd.
While Travis Wilson didn't have his best statistical game - he finished with 208 passing yards, zero passing touchdowns, and one interception - he did do some damage with his legs and make enough plays to ensure Utah finished on the winning side. He ran 12 times for 53 yards and a score, and he got a lot of help from Devontae Booker, who carried the ball 22 times for 69 yards and a TD while also catching seven passes for 55 yards.
Defensively is where Utah really shined brightly, however, as it's never easy to shut down a team that has a lot of quality athletes like Michigan. The Utes will be hoping to find similar success against the Aggies tonight.
Utah State Aggies
In what was one of the uglier games of the week, the Aggies survived to win 13-9 at home over Southern Utah. They were putrid offensively, failing to get into the end zone, but fortunately their defense was able to stuff the Thunderbirds.
Individually, Chuckie Keeton completed just 16-of-33 passes for 110 yards and one interception, while no wideout was able to record more than 29 receiving yards. The running game fared a little better, with LaJuan Hunt totalling 80 yards, but still didn't do all that much to instill confidence in this offense ahead of this clash with Utah. The Aggies need to be execute better when they have the ball if they want to have any chance; it's as simple as that.
Keeton's debut as the starter obviously didn't go so well, and we'll have to see if he's able to bounce back in a much more difficult matchup this evening.
NCAA Football Pick
The Aggies showed some great determination last week, and they were excellent defensively, but we anticipate they'll have more trouble dealing with the Utes out on the road on Friday night.
A letdown is always a possibility after a big win like the one Utah earned over Michigan, but we have faith that Travis Wilson and company will be focused on the task at hand and won't let that happen. The Utes will have to earn everything they get against their rivals, but it's hard picturing them falling short in front of the home fans against what quite frankly is an inferior opponent across the board.
As a result, we're going to be adding Utah to our collection of College Football Picks for Friday night. Look for a strong effort out of the Aggies, but don't expect them to be able to hang around for the full four quarters. We like the Utes to cover the 12 points as favorites this evening.
College Football Pick: Utah Utes -12 at 5Dimes.