No. 4 Washington Huskies (7-0 SU, 4-3 ATS) at No. 17 Utah Utes (7-1 SU, 4-4 ATS)
College Football Week 9
Date/Time: Saturday, October 29, 3:30PM EST (12:30PM PST)
Where: Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City, UT.
TV: FOX Sports
by Wilson, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: UW -10/UT +10
Over/Under Total: 52
The University of Washington will face perhaps their most challenging game of the season this weekend in Salt Lake versus the Utah Utes. UW has been rolling through a mediocre schedule at best especially with Stanford and Oregon having down years. Although the Huskies are currently ranked No. 4 in the country I think a lot of eyes will be on them this Saturday as they face a legit Utah team who are coming off a nice win over UCLA. Will UW prove to be worthy of their high ranking or will it be the Utes who climb in the standings by pulling off the upset at home?
Offensively, UW is averaging 48.3 points per game. Huskys QB, Jake Browning, has already thrown for over 1700 yards this season and is 118-172 with 26 touchdown passes. Browning has only been picked off twice which should be a testament to his decision making and accuracy. Husky RB, Myles Gaskin, can be explosive if he gets free as he has 116 carries for 727 yards with 6 TDs heading into this contest. But it might be UWs defense who makes the difference in this gamethey are the real deal (at least thus far) and they like to stuff the run and the pass, and as the number one defense in the Pac 12 it will be interesting to see how Utah attacks the Huskies. Washington has only allowed 14.6 points per game this year. The biggest threat to the Huskies may be the Utahs Senior RB Joe Williams. Williams went off for 332 yards on 29 carries against UCLA last week, and helped get the win against the Bruins 52-45. He had an average of 11.4 yards per carry. The Huskies will need to definitely contain Williams or will take over the game.
This matchup will also set the tone for which team will be able to go after a Rose Bowl game on New Years Day. Even better for the Huskies, if they remain undefeated they will have a shot at the BCS Title. The other Pac 12 team in contention right now for the Rose Bowl is Washington State, who will face UW later this season. The Las Vegas sports books have the Huskies as a 10 point favorite with the money line at -380 for UW and +320 for Utah.
Another factor to pencil in for this contest that may favor the Utes is their running game as mentioned above in Joe Williams, and to go along with Williams is Utahs OT Garret Boles who is, according to Pro Football focus, the highest rated run blocking offensive tackle in the country with an 86.5 score. Basically, he will possibly need to be on his game if the Utes want to run over the Huskies. The QB battle highly favors UWs Jake Browning as he leads in nearly every category and the most obvious and important one is his 26 touchdown passes and 2 INTs this season to Utahs Williams who has 7 TDs and 5 INTs. The date is set for this showdown between the top two Pac 12 teams and Salt Lake City will be a buzz all week with anticipation. Utah has won a lot of games by one score and you can never count them out especially at home. In a game that will showcase two good teams with great running backs in Gaskin and Williams, QBs who can run their offense effectively, this will no doubt be one to watch. I am going with the Utah Utes to win this game at home and spoil UWs chance to run the table in the Pac 12Utah is rock solid at home and it will be the first time UW has had to actually play a tough teamUtah wins 45-42 in a classic game.
I like the Utes to win.
Wilson’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: The Utah Utes get the money. Luck to ya.