The Thursday night (10:00pm ET) PAC-12 game of the week features the 20th ranked Utah Utes (4-1) traveling to Reser Stadium in Corvallis, OR to take on the hot Oregon St. Beavers (4-1). Utah had a bye last week and in their last action in week 6 they went to the Rose Bowl and handed UCLA their first loss of the season 30-28 and vaulted themselves into the top 25. Utah also owns an impressive 26-10 road win at Michigan in week 4; their lone loss came at home against Washington St. (28-27) in week 5. Oregon St. also had a bye last week, and they eked out a 36-31 road win over Colorado in week 6, their lone loss of the season coming at USC (35-10) in week 5.
The Utes rank 18th among all FBS teams in scoring offense with 39.6 points per game and 62nd in total offense with 420 yards per game. The Utah offense registered 242 rushing yards against UCLA, outgaining the Bruins 242-137 on the ground with running back Devontae Booker picking up 156 of those yards. The Utes have allowed 21.4 PPG to rank 37th in points allowed and 54th in total defense with 376.8 YPG allowed. The Utah defense put up an astounding 10 sacks against UCLA and their quarterback Brett Hundley last time out, and leads all FBS teams with 28 sacks this season.
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Oregon St. ranks 78th among FBS teams in scoring offense with 28.2 PPG and 79th in total offense with 393.2 YPG. The Beaver love to throw the football with productive quarterback Sean Mannion, and their pass offense ranks 47th nationally with 260.8 YPG. OSU ranks 53rd nationally in scoring defense with 23.4 PPG allowed and 28th in total defense with 331.4 YPG allowed. The Beaver defense has been strong against the pass, allowing a PAC-12 low 198.8 YPG through the air, but they have allowed a PAC-12 worst 11 rushing TDs.
Utah vs. Oregon St. Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Utah Utes -2.5
@Oregon St. Beavers +2.5
Over 57 (-110)
Under 57 (-110)
Betting odds taken from BetOnline.ag
Utah vs. Oregon St. Pick:
Utah has lost their last two games against Oregon St., including a 51-48 loss at home last season as Mannion threw for 443 yards and 5 TDs. Oregon St. has lost 6 straight and 12 of their last 14 games against top 25 opponents. The two trends would seem to contradict each other, so something has to give here.
The key match-ups figure to be the Utah running game, which ranks 34th nationally with 202.2 YPG against the Oregon St. run defense which ranks 42nd nationally with 132.6 YPG allowed and the Oregon St. passing game against the 98th ranked Utah secondary (263.4 YPG allowed). Mannion would be a favorable match-up against Utah except for the fact that the Utes have a strong pass rush that should disrupt his rhythm enough to provide their beleaguered secondary some relief. There is also a chance of rain Thursday night, which should favor Utah and the running game. Utah has to very impressive road wins so far this season, and they do hurt themselves with turnovers with only 3 lost on the year good for 2nd among FBS teams, a big key to having success on the road. The call here is that their style of play is a good fit for conditions in Corvallis, and they should turn their luck around against the Beavers. Take Oregon St. and give the points here.