Washington +3.5 @-115 5.5% NCAAF POD
Before we even break this game down it is important to know that Washington has consistently out recruited Utah. Washington has more talent ranking 15th, 21, and 20th in recruiting the last 3 years, while Utah ranked 37th, 50th, and 51st. Utah plays above their talent rating because of a good home field advantage, and top 10 coaching. Those advantages don’t exist in this game.
Washington was one of only a few teams in the country that had to open the season with 8 straight games, and now they are off a bye where Chris Peterson is 18-0 in his career during the regular season, 11-7 ATS. They had a 2 TD lead entering the 4th quarter against Oregon at home. Oregon very similar team to Utah as far as their statistical profile. Both teams rank in the TOP 25 in YPP offense, and defense, with similar strength of schedules. Washington should have won and covered that game, but I think the 8 straight games wore them out by the 4th quarter. All in all they still held Oregon to 39% rushing success rate, which is above average, and Oregon a better running team than Utah ranking 33rd in YPC against a tougher opponent run defense than Utah, but they are very similar. I think the extra rest will help Washington here late in the game. It also helps that Utah’s QB Tyler Huntley is not 100%. It’s the reason they took him out of the game in the second half and changed the offensive strategy last week. Washington’s defense also struggled late against the rushing offense of Oregon, but Oregon has an elite offensive line, they rank top in havoc rate allowed, and rank top 50 in power success rate, which showed late in the game. Utah ranks 100th in power success rate.
Utah’s defense can not be ignored, but they have yet to face a team in the top 50 in both rushing ypc, and QB rating. They haven’t faced an offensive line this good either. Washington ranks 17th in havoc rate allowed and 34th ins ack % allowed. Utah’s strength is in their defensive line. They love to create havoc, but they have not been sacking the QB ranking 77th that’s worse than Oregon’s rankings. Give Jacob Eason time, and he’s going to find his receivers. I also think he’s going to get his Sr. WR Aaron Fuller back here, although he’s listed as questionable still he has practiced this week. Washington also has the balance with their running game, which features Salvon Ahmed, averaging over 6 yards per carry. The last two times Utah visited Washington they were not able to stop the run allowing 177 yards and 199 yards, and that’s without the threat of the pass that Jacob Eason brings.
Special Teams is another category that can not be ignored. Typically Utah is among the best in the nation, but that’s just not the case this year. They rank 96th in special teams this year, while Washington ranks 2nd. A lot of hidden yardage here, and the kicking game for Washington has been perfect while Utah kickers are just 7-11 and the punting has averaged less than 40 yards per punt. Washington also has the edge i n TO margin ranking 19th, compared to Utah’s 25th ranking, but last year in their two matchups they turned the ball over 6 times. Washington has had the advantage in TO margin in the majority of their meetings, and I feel like they will have it again in this one.
Subscribe on iTunes