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BYU vs. Utah - 9/9/17 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Utah Utes (1-0) at BYU Cougars (1-1)

College Football: Saturday, September 9, 2017 at 10:15 pm (LaVell Edwards Stadium)

The Line: BYU Cougars -1.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN 2

The Utah Utes will travel to LaVell Edwards Stadium to take on the BYU Cougars this Saturday night in College Football action.

The Utah Utes kicked off their 2017 season with a solid victory over the FCS North Dakota Fighting Hawks, 37-16, this past Thursday. Utah’s offense had trouble early against the North Dakota defense, however, pulled away in the 2nd half after a Zack Moss 5-yard TD run gave the Utes a 24-9 lead with 8:46 remaining in the 3rd quarter. Utah outgained North Dakota by a 499-242 margin and held the Fighting Hawks to just 12 first downs. Leading the way for the Utes was the backfield due of RB Zack Moss and QB Tyler Huntley that combined for 198 rushing yards and 3 TD’s. Utah made a surprising decision in the off-season to go with Tyler Huntley over senior Troy Williams and at least through the first game of the season, it looks like it was a good move as Huntley showed how dangerous he can be both running and throwing the football. Utah has been a solid team over the past few years, largely due to their defense that generally ranks in the top-40 in the country in terms of scoring defense. Utah’s defensive line, led by Filipo Mokfisi and Lowell Lotulelei, should once again be one of the better D-lines in the country, as shown by their performance against the Fighting Hawks who gained just 55 rushing yards on 28 carries.

BYU vs. Utah - 9/9/17 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The BYU Cougars had no answers on the offensive against the 13th ranked LSU Tigers and fell to 1-1 on the season after being defeated by LSU, 27-0, this past Saturday. BYU played the Tigers tough early in the matchup however, couldn’t completely contain LSU’s Derrius Guice, and couldn’t fight back after trailing by a 14-0 deficit at halftime.   BYU was outgained by LSU by a 479-97 margin and only gained 6 first downs throughout the entire game. Leading the way for BYU was WR Matt Bushman who had 4 receptions for 43 yards in the loss. On the season, BYU is averaging just 10.0 ppg on 231.0 total yards per game (148 passing yds/g; 83.0 rushing yds/g). Offensively, BYU has been led by QB Tanner Mangum who has completed 57.4% of his passes for 1 TD and 1 INT while averaging 148.0 passing yds/g. TE Matt Bushman (3.5 rec/g, 49.5 yds/g) and WR Talon Shumway (2.5 rec/g, 32.5 yds/g) have been the main receiving threats for the Cougars. RB’s Squally Canada (10.5 att/g, 53.0 yds/g, TD) and Kavika Fonua (5.0 att/g, 32.5 yds/g) have led the BYU backfield. Defensively, BYU is holding their opponents to an average of 16.5 ppg on 349.5 total yards per game (158.5 passing yds/g, 191 rushing yds/g).

The Utes are 14-3 ATS in their last 17 road games vs. a team with a winning home record and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. Independent teams. The Cougars are 4-0 ATS in their last games following a ATS loss and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games vs. Pac-12 opponents.

It’s understandable for any team to struggle offensively on the road against LSU, however, the Cougars have to be a bit concerns with average offensive performance against Portland State I their home opener. BYU’s defense will keep them in games, however, I just don’t think I can trust the BYU offense against a Utah team that always is solid on the defensive end. I think Utah’s rushing attack will wear the down the BYU defense in this one and that Utah walks out of BYU with a nice victory in this one. Take Utah on the M/L. 

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