No. 12 TCU Horned frogs -2.5 (9-1) 7-2 ATS, 4-5 O/U at No. 10 Utah +2.5 (9-0) 4-4 ATS, 7-1 O/U Thursday, November 6 Rice-Eccles Stadium, (45,017) Salt Lake City, Utah 8:00 p.m. EST
By Wilson of Predictem.com
The Utah Utes may need to a stronger showing this weekend at home as they nearly were victims of an upset last week against New Mexico. The Utes managed to escape with a 13-10 win but it didnt come easy. Meanwhile, the TCU Horned Frogs croaked all over the UNLV Rebels in Las Vegas last week 44-14. The Utes and the Horned frogs will start the football weekend early this Thursday night in Salt Lake.
Utah remains unbeaten at 9-0, and looking for a second BCS Bowl bid in four years. Last weeks win over New Mexico 13-10 was nothing to write home about, but it is a W and they managed to avoid the loss in route to their tenth straight win dating back to last year. The Utes are 17-1 in their last 18 games.
The Utes QB, Brian Johnson, was 23-of-32 for 195 yards and 1 TD with 1 INT as well. Johnson earned his 22nd career win as a starter and helped keep the Utes record perfect so far this season.
The Utes are averaging 36.1 points per game which is significant as they will be tested offensively this week by an extremely tough and tenacious TCU defense. TCUs defense is incredibly fast, and they also are the second ranked scoring defense in the country. The Horned Frogs are only giving up 10.8 points per game! I believe the only team better right now, defensively, is USC who allows around 8.5 points per game to their opponents.
TCU comes into this weeks contest with a 9-1 record. The Horned Frogs handled the Rebels in the desert last week quite easily as QB Andy Dalton tossed three touchdowns, gained 151 yards on 16-of-29 through the air. Dalton has nine touchdown passes in his last three games since returning from an earlier injury.
The Utes will find surely plan for TCUs defense as the Horned Frogs lead the nation in rush defense, even though they allowed 106 yards on the ground versus the Rebels. The Frogs also boast the second best scoring defense in the country which is just another dimension that Utah must address this week in preparation.
TCU is averaging 36 points per game which is comparable to the Utes but the Utes defense allows nearly 18 points per game to their opponents. The difference in this game may be on the defensive side of the ball albeit a close match-up.
As week 11 of the college football season gets under way the stakes get higher and higher. TCU must clean up their penalty factor as well. The Horned Frogs had 10 penalties against UNLV for a total of 95 yards. They will not get away with that many penalties in Salt Lake. They also turned the ball over twice, which is another no-no against an undefeated team. To win this game, TCU must shake off their mental mistakes from last week, (even though the score was lopsided) and come out with undying attitude and effort as the Utes are a higher caliber team than the Rebels.
Utah won this matchup last year 27-20 at TCU. Almost all sportsbooks in Vegas and online have this game in TCUs favor at 2.5, but it may tighten as the week ages. I like this game to be a close one as both teams put up some numbers. However, it is Utah that has that perfect record on the line and another shot at a BCS bid.
Wilsons Pick: TCU just has too many weapons and has played much better opponents than Utah has and this will prove to be the difference in this game. Lay the points with the Horned Frogs. Luck to ya.