College Football Pick
All is not lost for Utah. Far from it. The Utes, despite sitting behind USC and Colorado in the Pac-12 South standings, still have a shot to win the division if they can win out. They get a struggling Oregon team this weekend and were early -14 home favorites.
When these teams last met, it sort of started the downfall of Oregon football. The Ducks were ranked No. 13 at the time and were still considered one of the best teams in the country. Those thoughts are long gone, as they won’t even reach a bowl Game this year. In that meeting, Utah dominated every aspect of the Game on the road, winning 62-20.
The Utes continue to be underrated by almost everyone and they once again have a shot to head to the Pac-12 title Game. They’ve already beat USC and their only blemish record wise was at Cal and home to Washington. The one thing they can’t do is overlook Oregon ahead of their meeting at Colorado in the regular season finale.
Nothing has gone right for the Ducks this season and that’s seen in their one Conference win. Their defense has been atrocious, allowing almost 45 points per Game. They fell to new levels last Game giving up 52 points to a mediocre Stanford offense and had one stretch in which they allowed 50-plus points in three straight Games.
Expect the Utes to run the ball as much as possible, similar to last year when they ran for 273 yards. Joe Williams came back to the sport and is absolutely dismantling teams, averaging seven yards per carry and has at least 170 yards in the last Four Games to go with eight touchdowns in that period. Basically, no one has stopped him and that will likely be the case in this one. Expect Williams to be fed early and often and to possibly reach 200 yards. Quarterback Troy Williams can’t be forgotten as he threw for 296 yards and Four touchdowns last weekend, but he likely won’t be needed in this one. But if he’s called upon, Troy Williams has at least shown he can produce against weaker defenses.
On the other end, Utah was thought to have a good defense, but they’ve been suspect as of late giving up 45 points to UCLA and even allowing 26 against Arizona State wasn’t all that great. To help, Oregon is the opposite of consistent and have been beaten up by USC and Stanford the last two Games.
The Ducks may be able to score, but it’s hard to see that being enough on the road. since becoming starter, quarterback Justin Herbert has been fine, but most of his stats were accrued against bad defenses such as Cal and Arizona State. His numbers took a dive in the last couple Games. If the Ducks can get a running Game going behind Royce Freeman and Tony Brooks-James, there is a chance for them to cover, but Freeman has really struggled this season. He got back on track against Stanford, but hadn’t done much before that.
Our Pick – Utah -14