Utah Utes (9-3) vs. BYU Cougars (9-3)
|Date & Time||Saturday December 19, 2015, 3:30 PM (EST)|
The Line: Utah Utes -3 -- Over/Under: 54
The Holy War resumes as the BYU Cougars and the Utah Utes face off on Saturday at Sam Boyd Stadium in the 2015 Las Vegas Bowl.
The BYU Cougars played a brutal schedule this season and still went 9-3 despite losing QB Taysom Hill right out of the gate. BYU won seven of their last eight games with their lone loss coming at Missouri the week Mizzou coach Gary Pinkel announced he was retiring. The BYU offense is averaging 34.2 points and 428 yards per game while turning the ball over 15 times. Cougars QB Tanner Mangum has completed 62.1 percent of his passes with 21 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Algernon Brown leads the BYU ground attack with 697 yards and 11 touchdowns and Mitch Mathews is the top receiver with 11 touchdowns and 52 receptions. The BYU defense is allowing 21.8 points and 358.1 yards per game with 15 interceptions, seven fumble recoveries, and 37 sacks. Michael Wadsworth leads BYU with 79 tackles, Fred Warner and Harvey Langi each have 64 tackles, and Bronson Kafusi has 11 sacks. BYU is battle tested and this is coach Bronco Mendenhall’s final game as Head Coach.
The Utah Utes finished the season 9-3 but it was a disappointing year for a season that had a lot of hope and momentum early. Utah had key injuries and at times what appeared to be uninspired play calling that was their undoing as they had a good chance to run the table this season. The Utah offense is averaging 30.2 points and 376.8 yards per game and they have turned the ball over 21 times. Utah QB Travis Wilson completed 62.4 percent of his passes with 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions and he rushed for 467 yards and six touchdowns. With Devontae Booker out the Utes turn to Joe Williams to lead the rushing attack and he averaged 4.9 yards per carry with just one touchdowns while Britain Covey is the top receiver with 41 catches and four touchdowns. The Utah defense is allowing 21.8 points and 365.2 yards per game with 19 interceptions, 10 fumble recoveries, and 33 sacks. Gionni Paul leads the Utes defense with 109 tackles, Jared Norris has 86 tackles, and Marcus Williams has 63 tackles. Utah also has stellar special teams led by All American punter Tom Hackett.
BYU is 5-2 against the spread after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game and 10-2 against the spread after rushing for less than 100 yards in their previous game. Utah is 8-2 against the spread in their last 10 bowl games, 11-5 against the spread against a team with a winning record, and 1-5 against the spread in their last six games. The underdog has covered the point spread in 14 of the last 17 meetings of these two.
This should be a good game and a close one and with the way these two have played this season having the points in our back pocket could be a difference maker so the play here is BYU plus the points.