Utah has to get back on track after four straight losses. They actually lost ATS by 30 and 23 points and Vegas has had to make an adjustment. Actually teams that have not covered the spread in back to back weeks by 14+ points (2TD's) have gone 8-2 ATS that third week. This team is much better than they have played of late after nearly beating Stanford and USC they have had a tough go of it losing big ATS so let's take a look at those two games and why we like Utah here.
Against Arizona State, they finally got their QB Tyler Huntley back, but Huntley had 4 INT's in that game 1 that went back for a TD, and Utah allowed 205 yards on the ground. Their next game at Oregon was no better as they allowed 347 yards on the ground, but Huntley showed signs throwing for 293 yards 2 TD's and 0 INT"s which is impressive against a very good Oregon defense ranking 32nd in yards per play allowed. UCLA ranks 108th by the way. They also struggled going 1-4 on 4th down in that game. Now they come back home and the rust has been shaken off their QB and I think they are poised for a blowout and their best game.
Utah is a far better coached team going up against a defense that ranks among the worst in the nation against the run allowing 6.05 yards per carry, 6.75 on the road and 23 rushing TD's. They have lost all 4 road games by an average 16.5 points per game. On the flip side Utah's pass defense is their strength which is a good match up against UCLA. Josh Rosen has not played well against top 50 pass defenses with only 6 TD's and 6 INT's in those games. UCLA has the 75th ranked rushing offense and likely will abandon it anyway very early in this game. Right now Utah seems to be weak against the run, but UCLA won't even try to attack it. Utah needs a win at home desperately. They will likely be dogs in 2 of their next 3 games so they'll need a big time victory and UCLA is sure to serve it up to them here on Friday night.
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