Utah vs. Colorado fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, November 17
Game Time: 1:30 ET
Venue: Folsom Field, Boulder, CO
Network: Pac-12 Network
Utah (7-3) vs. Colorado (5-5) Game Preview
So what’s been Colorado’s biggest issue over this brutal six-game slide? The pass defense has been rocky, getting torched for 345 yards or more in each of the last three games with ten touchdowns and two picks.
Utah can’t be afraid to start firing from the start.
Freshman Jason Shelley stepped up in place of the injured Tyler Huntley, completing 18-of-31 passes for 262 yards in the win over Oregon last week. No one’s asking him to be amazing, but as long as he’s balancing things out a little bit, he’ll be doing his job.
The Utes do have to keep making up for the loss of Huntley and RB Zack Moss, and that means they have to keep doing all of the little things right – like rocking in the red zone.
Utah leads the Pac-12 in both red zone offense and red zone defense – it doesn’t miss many chances on the offensive side, and the D is allowing teams to score a nation-low 58% of the time when opposing offenses get inside the 20.
Helping on the defensive side is a line that’s great at getting into the backfield, going against a Colorado line that’s having problems keeping everyone clean. As long as the Utes keep applying the defensive pressure – especially on key downs on long drives – and as long as the O isn’t turning it over, the Ute formula should work.
One Reason Why Colorado Will Win
Okay, Utah. You got out of the Oregon game with a big win, but can your new backfield do it again?
The Utes had turnover problems before losing the stars, and it’ll be asking a whole lot to keep the mistakes to a minimum on the road after giving it up 16 times on the year.
For all of Colorado’s issues, it leads the Pac-12 in turnover margin. This is the game to finally catch a few big breaks to turn things around.
And then the passing game has to click again.
Steven Montez has his main man back, and it has to start the rest of the offense coming off a clunker of a 31-7 loss to Washington State. Laviska Shenault missed three games, and came back roaring with ten catches for 102 yards.
Both have to be amazing, the O has to crank up over 300 yards through the air, and Shelley and the Ute attack has to be forced to press a bit.
Get Utah down early, and the takeaways will come. The Ute secondary will give up yards, and now …
What’s Going To Happen
Colorado is in desperation mode.
The rumors of head coach Mike MacIntyre being fired at the end of the season are swirling, the six-game losing streak has been brutal, and now the Buffs have to win this and beat Cal on the road to close things out to go bowling.
But for Utah, with BYU to close next week, it needs to win, and then hope Arizona State loses to either Oregon this week or Arizona next week. If that happens, the Utes are going to the Pac-12 Championship.
It’s the final home game of the year, Colorado will finally come through.
The passing game will click, the Utes will turn it over three times, and the Buffs will keep their season and bowl hopes alive with their best performance in weeks.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Colorado 34, Utah 30
Line: Utah -7, o/u: 48
ATS Confidence out of 5: 3
Must See Rating: 3
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