We the Week 4 matchup between Utah Utes and the Oregon Ducks set to kick off at 8:30 EST. Sturday evening, with College Football odds currently favoring Oregon by 13.5.
Oregon's Pushover Snooze Fest Last Time Out.
Final Score: Oregon 61, Georgia State 28 1. Jeff Lockie got the start for an injured Vernon Adams, and it was Oregon straight from the beginning. The Ducks’ defense got the first score of the evening off of a 41-yard interception return for a score from Tyree Robinson, while the offense stalled twice leading to two Aidan Schneider field goals. Georgia State got in the game with a one-yard Nick Arbuckle run, and then the Ducks rolled with 20 second quarter points for a 33-7 lead. 2. Lockie threw two touchdown passes including an 11-yard play to Johnny Mundt after GSU scored on a 75-yard Robert Davis catch. The Oregon D got back in the act in the fourth on a 52-yard Joe Walker fumble return for a score, followed up by an 87-yard Taylor Alie scoring dash. 3. Schneider hit four field goals from 26 and three from 40.
Poor Showing Against Georgia St.
Last week Oregon's Jeff Lockie completed 23-of-31 passes for 228 yards and two touchdowns, while Royce Freeman ran ten times for 101 yards and a score. Oregon averaged six yards per carry, running for 311 yards. The Ducks only converted 5-of-15 third down chances, but converted both fourth down attempts. It is a bit concerning anytime a defense gives up 28 points to a team that has won only 4 of their last 38 games, and this could hint to larger issues when the Utes come to town.
Utes Dominate Fresno St.
There were two key running performances in Utah's last outing, with both Devontae Booker and Kendal Thompson getting in on the action. A. Despite rushing for over 100 yards against Utah State, this felt like this was Booker’s first real breakout performance of 2015. What he did to Fresno State all night long was what Ute fans were expecting to see this season, as he spun out of tackles, fought for yardage and sped past defenders for touchdowns. He finished the night with 156 yards on the ground with two touchdowns and also had 56 yards through the air (he led the team in both categories). I’m not quite sure Booker has reached the Heisman hype that Utah football has built around him yet, but he’s finally showing just how dangerous he can be for the Utes.
If you look at Kendal Thompson’s stat line, he probably deserved to be mentioned first as he finished Saturday night’s game 19-for-25, throwing the ball for 159 yards with a touchdown. He also spread the ball out to eight different receivers and kept the Bulldog defense on its toes with his sneaky run game. However, there were too many instances in this game where I thought that Thompson made a bad read in the option or a bad throw into the secondary (that interception was terrible). Look, he did manage the game and eventually got the job done, , but the difference between when I watch Thompson play and when I watch Travis Wilson’s insight and day, and Ute fans should look forward to having the San Clemente native back this weekend against Oregon.
College Football Picks/Preview of Ducks/Utes
There’ll be a clash of styles at Autzen Stadium this weekend when No. 13 Oregon hosts No. 17 Utah. The Utes are a self-made, roll-up-the-sleeves program that never wins with style points, while the Ducks are all flash, from their play on the field to their Technicolor uniforms. For Oregon, every game going forward is a must-win, at least as it pertains to the College Football Playoff hunt. The Ducks’ three-point loss to Michigan State two weeks ago, while commendable, chiseled away some margin for error. After torching Georgia State last weekend without QB Vernon Adams, Oregon hopes to have its starting quarterback under center once again. Utah has rebounded from back-to-back losing seasons in 2012 and 2013 by winning nine games in 2014. They are now starting this year 3-0, and while the Utes have tidily taken care of Michigan, Utah State and Fresno State, few seem to be paying attention. When the South Division race is discussed, Utah rarely gets any love. That will all change if the team that’s so conveniently overlooked will be impossible to ignore if it stuns the defending Pac-12 champion.
College Football Odds & Prediction
Nothing about this game will be easy for Oregon, and we believe that the Ducks are in for a 60-minute struggle, as they are facing off against a veteran Utah team. But while the Utes will occasionally control tempo, dictate field position and bloody a nose or two, they won’t have the necessary pop to close the gap after Oregon hits on a couple of big plays downfield. By forcing Utah’s quarterback to beat them, the Duck defenders will prevent Booker from running wild. After surviving this game, Oregon will exit the weekend a more battle-tested squad.
When it comes to our College Football picks here, we like Oregon to sneak by with the win, but recommend a play on the Utah Utes+13.5 and Under 65.5 on the game. Final score here Oregon 37 Utah 27.
Free College Football Pick: Utah Utes +13.5 and Under at Bookmaker