The two played a fun bowl showdown to end last season, and now the Holy War – although it’s not supposed to be called that – kicks into high gear in the regular season. Check out the BYU vs. Utah fearless prediction and game preview.
BYU vs. Utah Game Preview
Date: Saturday, September 10th
Game Time: 7:30 pm
Venue: Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City, UT
Why BYU Will Win
Is the Utah running game going to work like it’s supposed to? Troy Williams did a nice job of getting the Ute passing attack moving with a nice mix to in the easy win over Southern Utah, but the ground game that makes Utah, Utah failed to do anything to take over the game averaging just 3.7 yards per carry and not generating enough of a push.
Against Arizona, the BYU defense held its own, giving up a few big runs here and there to Nick Wilson, but allowing just 115 net yards to the high-powered Wildcat attack. Utah will probably have to throw to win.
The Cougar offense didn’t explode in Arizona, but it found its balance with its stars back. Taysom Hill was wonderful back in his old role, throwing for 202 yards and a score while taking off a bit, but Jamaal Williams was the star running for 162 yards and keeping the chains moving. The Cougars will mix it up better than Southern Utah did.
Why Utah Will Win
The Ute defense was in midseason form against the Thunderbirds. That’s a not-that-bad FCS team that Utah just shut down cold, swarming against every short-to-midrange pass and only allowing a few decent runs – SUU couldn’t get anything moving, and it allowed the Ute offense to play it close to the vest.
How do you stop a backfield like BYU’s? You never let it get on the field – Utah held the ball for almost 39 minutes against SUU, and you get the D to hang out in the backfield. Kyle Fitts and company should generate plenty of pressure on Hill and Williams, cranking it up against an offensive line that had problems against Arizona’s defensive front. BYU was able to power it a bit against Arizona, but it’s not going to be able to do much of that against the Ute line.
What’s Going To Happen?
Both offensive lines struggled in their own way in their respective openers. BYU couldn’t keep Arizona out of the backfield, but Utah couldn’t keep Southern Utah from making plays, either. Neither running game will work like either one might like, but the Utah defense will be just a wee bit better in the secondary on third downs. Hill will have his share of moments when he’s the factor, but the Ute D will overcome another mediocre day from the O.
BYU vs. Utah Prediction
Final Score: Utah 26, BYU 20
Line: Utah -3.5, o/u: 46
ATS Confidence: 5: Run to the Window – 1: Watch For Fun … 2
Must See Rating: 5: Sully – 1: Skip & Shannon Undisputed … 4