Washington State vs. Utah Fearless Prediction & Game Preview
Check out the Washington State vs. Utah fearless prediction and game preview.
Washington State (8-2) vs. Utah (5-4) Game Preview
Broadcast, TV, Game Time
Date: Saturday, November 11th
Game Time: 5:30 pm ET
Venue: Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City, UT
Thanks to a win over Stanford last week, Washington State controls its own destiny. Beat Utah, win the Apple Cup over Washington, take the Pac-12 North and be off to the title.
There might have been a few rocky moments, but the Cougars continue to rise up when they absolutely have to. Still alive, the Wazzu defense has been solid, Luke Falk and the offense are coming through – even when they’re not exploding – and now they’re in a position to do something great.
Now they Cougars have a shot to go to their first Pac-12 Championship game with two more wins.
Utah remains the only team in the Pac-12 South not to play in the title game. A four-game losing streak made that happen, but a blowout win over UCLA turned the ship around.
With a trip to Washington up next, and Colorado to close, the Utes need one more win to go bowling. It might not be the season Utah was hoping for, but it’ll be a decent year.
One Reason Why Washington State Will Win
It’s time to start giving a little love to the Washington State defense.
The offense is still strong with the nation’s second-best passing game, but the D continues to be the reason the Cougars are still in a position to win the Pac-12 championship.
Wazzu always has an offense under Mike Leach, and last year’s defense was solid. This year’s D is second in the nation in third down stops, allowing teams to convert just 24% of its tries.
How good has this group been on the money down? Five times this year the Cougars have allowed offenses to convert under 20% of its tries – Wazzu won all five games.
Over the last three weeks, they’ve given up 6-of-38 tries, including last week, coming through time and again in the tight win over Stanford.
Utah rose up and rocked against UCLA last week, but it failed to convert more than 30% of its tries five times.
One Reason Why Utah Will Win
Tyler Huntley has found his groove again.
Hurt for a little bit, and bad against Arizona State on his return, he and the passing game started to work again throwing for 293 yards and two scores in the loss to Oregon, and with 234 yards and four touchdowns against UCLA.
Again, Washington State is amazing at stopping teams on third downs. Huntley has to hit those plays.
Defensively, Utah has to crank up the pass rush from the start. The Wazzu pass protection has been mediocre at times, non-existent in others, The sacks haven’t been there – just 15 on the year – but against team that gives up the second-most per game, it’s time to give it a try.
What’s Going To Happen
Washington State will be too rock solid in key moments.
Neither team will run the ball all that well, but the Wazzu defense will get off the field more than Utah’s will.
And Falk will be fantastic.
Coming off one of his best performances of the season – considering the importance of the game – he hit 71% of his passes for 337 yards and three scores against Stanford.
On the road at Utah, he’ll be maddeningly consistent, the Cougar D will be great, and it’ll be on to the Apple Cup with a shot at the North.
Washington State vs. Utah Prediction
Washington State 27, Utah 20
Washington State -1, o/u: 52
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