The 21st-ranked Utah Utes will travel to LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday night to take on the BYU Cougars in a battle of 1-0 programs. The Utes defeated the Weber State Wildcats 40-17 last week as senior quarterback Charlie Brewer went 19-of-27 for 233 yards with a pair of touchdowns and an interception. The Cougars are coming off a 24-16 win over the Arizona Wildcats where sophomore quarterback Jaren Hall finished going 18-of-28 for 198 yards with a pair of touchdowns.
These teams are coming off solid games last week so it will be interesting to see how these programs fare against one another. Let’s take a closer look into these teams to decide where we should be betting here.
Line Movements & Weather
The Utah Utes have gone from -6 up to -6.5 or -7 while snatching up 62% of the bets.
The OU line started at 47, but is now anywhere from 49 to 50.5 with 51% of the bets coming in on the Over.
Gametime Weather: Cloudy skies with temps in the mid-60s.
Can Thomas continue to lead the way?The Utah Utes have to be able to run the ball efficiently as sophomore running back Tavion Thomas finished with 12 carries for 107 yards with a pair of rushing touchdowns against the Weber State Wildcats. His 8.9 yards per carry in that game is the highest of his career but he needs to be able to hold onto the football as he lost a fumble there as well. If he can figure out how to continue to run the ball at a great rate, the offense can be a threat.
The Utah Utes defensive unit went pretty well in their first game of this season as they allowed the Weber State Wildcats to score 17 points and allowed 270 total yards (213 passing, 57 rushing). They also were able to get the stops on third down as the Wildcats finished 6-of-16 on third down as well as going 1-for-2 on fourth down. Their rushing defense has been solid as they finished allowing 1.9 yards per carry, which will definitely help them be solid. If the defense can continue to step up, it will be a great chance for them to win the first two games of the season.
Out - DB R.J. Hubert
Catching the BallThe BYU Cougars are doing well offensively, especially with junior wide receiver Neil Pau’u playing well. He finished the game with the Arizona Wildcats with eight catches for 126 yards and two touchdowns. This was the first time that he finished with at least 100+ receiving yards. This will help quarterback Jalen Hall to get comfortable under center and really develop the offense.
The BYU Cougars are coming off a solid start this season on the defensive side of the ball as they allowed the Arizona Wildcats to score 16 points but allowed 426 total yards (345 passing, 81 rushing). Arizona was struggling on third down in that game as they went 5-for-17 but struggled as they allowed fourth-down conversions on all three attempts. They need to be able to force pressure though as the Cougars only recorded one sack and failed to get a turnover. If they can force Utah into mistakes, they can be a good team.
Out - WR Brayden Cosper and WR Kody Epps
Doubtful - WR Gunner Romney
Questionable - LB Jackson Kaufusi, LB Max Tooley, and DB Keenan Ellis
- BYU: 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games as a home underdog
- BYU: 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games
- Utah: 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games following a win
- Utah: 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games