Utah Utes (8-4) at Colorado State Rams (10-2)
|Date & Time||Saturday December 20, 2014, 3:30 PM (EST)|
The Line: Colorado State Rams +4 -- Over/Under: 58
The Utah Utes and the Colorado State Rams face off on Saturday in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl.
The Utah Utes were 8-4 during the regular season winning two of their last three games and they had their best season since joining the Pac-12. The Utah offense is averaging 30.2 points and 374.8 yards per game and they are led by QB Travis Wilson who completed 60.3 percent of his passes with 17 touchdowns and four interceptions. Devontae Booker was one of the top running backs in the nation rushing for 1,350 yards and nine touchdowns and catching 39 passes out of the backfield and Kenneth Scott led the Utes in receiving with 42 catches. Utah’s defense allows 26.2 points and 403.1 yards per game with 19 takeaways and 52 sacks. Jared Norris has 108 tackles, Nate Orchard has 81 tackles and 17.5 sacks, and Hunter Dimick has 10 sacks. Utah’s last three losses were all to top tier bowl teams but they also have a loss to Washington State on their record.
The Colorado State Rams are no strangers to bowl games but they ended their season in a disappointing way losing to Air Force for just their second loss this season. The CSU offense is averaging 35.9 points and 497.8 yards per game and they are led by QB Garret Grayson who has completed 64.8 percent of his passes with 32 touchdowns and six interceptions. Dee Hart anchrs the running attack with 1,254 yards and 16 touchdowns and Rashard Higgins had 89 catches and 17 touchdowns. The Colorado State defense is allowing 23.4 points and 414.8 yards per game with 18 takeaways and 19 sacks. Aaron Davis has 110 tackles, Max Morgan has 96 tackles, and Cory James has 6.5 sacks. Head coach Jim McElwain has left the team to take the Florida job and offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin is the interim head Coach.
Utah is 7-2 against the spread in their last nine bowl games, 9-3 against the spread against the MWC, and 5-2 against the spread following a win. Colorado State is 9-1-1 against the spread following a loss, 9-3 against the spread against the Mountain West, and 7-2 against the spread in heir last nine bowl games, and 8-2 against the spread against a team with a winning record. The favorite is 5-1-1 against the spread in the last seven meetings of these two.
This is one of the better matchups of the bowl season making it not one of the better betting games but my free pick in this one is going to be the under as the backs will be featured but may have some tough running ahead.