USC vs. Utah fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, October 20
Game Time: 8:00 ET
Venue: Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City, UT
Network: Pac-12 Network
USC (4-2) vs. Utah (4-2) Game Preview
One Reason Why USC Will Win
The Trojans aren’t doing anything amazingly well, but they’re somehow able to come up with wins.
They were able to do just enough to survive Washington State, they slogged their way through Arizona, and they managed to shut down and beat up Colorado. There’s no real running game, and JT Daniels hasn’t been amazing yet, and …
They’re just winning. How?
The run defense has been fabulous in conference play so far.
Yeah, it shut down Bryce Love in the loss to Stanford, but whatever – who doesn’t do that?
Over the last three weeks, the Trojans haven’t allowed 100 rushing yards in a game, partly because they’re living behind the line. The Colorado offensive front has been strong so far, but it couldn’t handle anything the USC D was doing, giving up four sacks and 16 tackles for loss.
Top pass rusher Porter Gustin is done for the year after suffering a broken ankle, but the rest of the line should be able to pressure Tyler Huntley and get into the Ute backfield. As good as the Utah offense has been, the line is just soft enough for the USC defensive front to take over as the game goes on.
One Reason Why Utah Will Win
Huntley has been fabulous over the last few games.
He struggled in the losses to Washington and Washington State, but when he’s on, the offense works, and the Utes win. Utah is 4-0 when he throws for 199 yards or more, and 0-2 when he doesn’t.
Against Stanford and Arizona, he has connected on 31-of-40 passes for 400 yards and three scores with one pick. He’s taking off when needed, he’s making the right decisions, and the light has gone on.
Helping the cause has been a Utah defense that’s gone from okay to great, and now it leads the Pac-12 in total defense thanks to a dominant job being done by the run D.
USC’s ground game has been wildly inconsistent, and it’s not going to get going this week against a Ute defense that’s allowed a grand total of 114 yards over the last three games.
This puts the pressure on JT Daniels to run the offense, and he’s got to do it against the Ute pass rush that’s stepping it up, with nine sacks in the last two games.
Utah is playing well.
What’s Going To Happen
It’s not quite the game for the Pac-12 South title, but … the winner of this game is probably going to play for the conference championship.
USC is doing a great job with its defense, and Daniels is getting better, but at home, Utah is going to play a sharp game with both lines taking over as the game goes on.
Huntley will struggle a bit – at least compared to the last few weeks – but the defense will pick up the slack. This will be the game and the win Ute fans have been waiting for this season.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Utah 30, USC 17
Line: Utah -6.5, o/u: 48
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2
Must See Rating: 4
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