Arizona Wildcats (3-3) at Utah Utes (3-2)
|Date & Time||Friday October 12, 2018, 10:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Utah Utes -13.5 -- Over/Under:
The Arizona Wildcats will travel to Rice-Eccles Stadium to take on the Utah Utes this Thursday night in College Football action.
The Arizona Wildcats improved to 3-3 (2-1 Pac-12) on the season after defeating the California Golden Bears, 24-17, this past Saturday. Arizona did a great job for forcing California into committing turnovers and was able to secure the victory after a 24-yard interception return by Scottie Young Jr. gave the Wildcats a 24-14 lead with 3:13 left in regulation. Arizona’s offense was outgained by a 476-265 margin, however, the Wildcats were able to pick up the needed victory largely thanks to their defense that forced California into committing 4 turnovers including two pick-6’s. On the season, Arizona is averaging 30.3 ppg on 445.3 total yards per game (243.5 passing yds/g; 201.8 rushing yds/g). Offensively, Arizona has been led by Khalil Tate who has completed 54.0% of his passes for 11 TD & 4 INT while averaging 235.3 passing yds/g. The main targets for Tate and the Wildcats have been Shawn Poindexter (3.5 rec/g; 67.8 yds/g; 2 TD), Shun Brown (4.5 rec/g; 57.0 yds/g; 3 TD), and Tony Ellison (2.8 rec/g; 51.8 yds/g; 3 TD). Leading the way for the Wildcats backfield has been the duo of J.J. Taylor (17.3 att/g; 100.0 yds/g; 3 TD) & Gary Brightwell (9.2 att/g; 50.5 yds/g; 2 TD). Defensively, Arizona is allowing their opponents to an average of 26.5 ppg on 428.3 total yards per game (231.0 passing yds/g; 197.3 rushing yds/g).
The Utah Utes snapped their 2-game losing streak and improved to 3-2 (1-2 Pac-12) on the season after a convincing 40-21 victory over the 14th ranked Stanford Cardinal this past Saturday. Utah just out of the gates early in this one as they raced out to a 21-0 lead with 2:56 left in the 2nd quarter and although they did allow Stanford to make it a one possession game by the start of the 4th quarter, Utah pulled away by scoring 13 unanswered points to finish off the game. Utah was outgained by Stanford by a 423-421 margin however, won the turnover battle by a 4-0 margin. Leading the way for the Utes was RB Zach Moss who had 160 rushing yards and 2 TD’s on 20 carries. On the season, Utah is averaging 25.8 ppg on 389.0 total yards per game (212.0 passing yds/g; 177.0 rushing yds/g). Offensively, Utah has been led by RB Zach Moss who has 6 rushing TD’s on the season while averaging 109.8 yds/g on 19.0 att/g. QB Tyler Huntley has completed 62.7% of his passes for 5 TD & 2 INT while averaging 204.0 passing yds/g. The top receivers for the Utes have been Britain Covey (6.6 rec/g; 70.8 yds/g), Samson Nacua (2.6 rec/g; 29.2 yds/g; 1 TD), and Jaylen Dixon (0.8 rec/g; 25.6 yds/g). Defensively, Utah is holding their opponents to an average of 17.2 ppg on 296.4 total yards per game (221.0 passing yds/g; 75.4 rushing yds/g).
The Wildcats are 10-3 ATS in their last 13 Friday games however, just 3-13 ATS in their last 16 road games. The Utes are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games after allowing less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game however, are just 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win.
Arizona pulled off a much needed victory against California, however, it’s still quite concerning their offense was only able muster 265 yards of offense. Utah looked impressive against Stanford and has been outstanding on the defensive end as they rank just 18th in scoring defense. Arizona is going to have real trouble establishing any sort of a run game against Utah’s 3rd ranked rushing defense and as I don’t think the Wildcats will be able to score 14 points on the defensive side of ball again, I think Utah pulls away from Arizona in this one in the 2nd half and covers this spread.