Oregon vs. Utah fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, November 10
Game Time: 5:30 ET
Venue: Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City, UT
Network: Pac-12 Network
Oregon (6-3) vs. Utah (6-3) Game Preview
One Reason Why Oregon Will Win
Is Jason Shelley really ready?
Just when it looked like Utah was finally going to break through the ceiling and get past the stigma of being the only team in the South to never play for the Pac-12 title, and just when the offense was in a tremendous groove, QB Tyler Huntley suffered a broken collarbone and is out for the year.
Now it’s up to Shelley – a freshman – the handle the Oregon defense that hasn’t been a killer, but is great at taking the ball away. Shelley stepped in. against Arizona State and completed 4-of-11 passes for 59 yards and a pick – not his fault – in the loss.
And now he has to outplay a guy who might just be the No. 1 pick in the draft.
Justin Herbert hasn’t been flawless, and he needs to get his completion percentage up after misfiring a bit too much over the last month, but he has to light up a Utah secondary that was whacked around by Manny Wilkins and Arizona State last week for close to 12 yards per pass.
Get up fast, and take the chance that the new reltively new guy won’t come through.
One Reason Why Utah Will Win
Utah defense, this one’s on you.
Not only did the Ute backfield lose Huntley, but star RB Zack Moss is now out for the season after suffering a knee injury in practice.
The Utes can’t alter the plan, though. How do you beat Oregon?
You pound away with an offensive line that paved the way for five straight 200-yard games before last week. You rotate the running backs. You get third down connections.
And you crank up the defensive pressure to a whole other level.
Herbert might be an NFL franchise quarterback prospect, but he can be rattled. Utah has a strong pass rush, but it didn’t get to Manny Wilkins in last week’s loss to Arizona State, and it has to hold up against the run.
At home, Utah needs to rally around the pieces that are in place, and let the defense do the rest.
What’s Going To Happen
Give this one to the Utah defense.
Shelley will be just good enough, but it’ll be the O line that gets the job done on the offensive side, even with the team’s top two runners gone. The defense will give Herbert a whole slew of problems, the offense will be just effective enough, and it’ll be one of those rallying moments for a Ute team that’s been so, so close to something great.
It might not be easy, and it might not be the explosive offensive game the Ute fans had come used to with Huntley at the helm, but they’ll take it.
They’ll need Arizona State to lose at some point, but the Pac-12 South hopes will stay alive.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Utah 27, Oregon 20
Line: Utah -4, o/u: 56
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2
Must See Rating: 3
5: Watergate (on History Channel)
1: 52nd CMA Awards