A few years ago a battle including Washington and Utah playing in a pivotal game would have been hogwash. Utah in a pivotal game then? Yeah, sure, they have been playing spoiler ever since Urban Meyer was the head coach. Notably their upset win over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl some years ago. They have been taken seriously ever since that night against the Crimson Tide. Meyer kind of made a name for himself as well after that year, if you haven’t heard. But what about Washington? Well they haven’t played in a marquee bowl game since 2001, which resulted in a 34-24 win for Washington in the Rose Bowl over Purdue. For people newish to following college football, yeah, Purdue used to be a good team, too. Drew Brees was under center for Purdue during those days.
Washington is finally back to relevancy, overcoming years of poor play and mediocracy. Beating USC as huge underdogs in 2009 was probably the last highlight since they’ve risen up the ranks this season. They did beat USC again in 2010 but it wasn’t all as surprising. The Huskies were recently able to jump up into the top 4 after an Ohio State loss against Penn State. Washington trails Michigan and Alabama, but all you need is a top 4 to quality for the college football playoff. A lot can change in a week, let alone changes in December. There are a lot of matchups upcoming that will change the landscape considerably.
Chris Petersen, former head coach of Boise State, is credited with getting Washington heading into national championship consideration. It has been a quick turnaround for Petersen, who has brought his success from Boise State to Seattle. Like I’ve said in the past, and this was before Washington was playing this well, if Petersen could find that kind of success with 2 and 3 start recruits at Boise, what can he do with Washington? We’re finding out what he can do really quickly. This Huskies team is essentially a better version of those Boise State teams, with another Kellen Moore taking snaps at quarterback. Petersen made Moore a star in college, and it’s becoming the same story with Jake Browning. Get our exclusive pick for this must-see matchup on Saturday below.
Washington Huskies vs. Utah Utes NCAAF Betting Odds:
vs. Utah +10.5(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Washington vs. Utah Pick:
Washington is one of those well-balanced teams who execute on both sides of the ball. That is the hallmark of a Chris Petersen team, they are particularly good on both sides of the ball. UW quarterback Jake Browning has thrown for a whopping 26 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions. He also has 4 touchdown rushing, so in total, Browning has accumulated 30 touchdowns with just 2 picks. If you are looking for a Heisman candidate he is there in Seattle. Browning has a hill to climb to capture the highest honor in college football, but he is certainly deserving of it. If Washington reaches the playoff and he has to get a serious look. The Huskies are scoring 48.3 points per game, 4th in the country, due in large part to Oregon.
The Ducks were routed 70-21 a few weeks back, with the defense taking another beating. They basically didn’t move and allowed Washington to throw and pass, and do whatever they wanted to do on them. Washington isn’t going to find the Oregon defense this afternoon. In fact, they’ll find a much better unit on the defensive side. Utah is allowing just 21.6 points per game. The only team able to trounce them was last week against UCLA, which was actually a 52-45 win in favor of the Utes.
They’ve played against some quality offenses, including USC, Cal, and UCLA, so it’s an impressive feat to have allowed only 21.6 points on the season. Utah is averaging 214.4 yards per game, rushing for 360 yards last week against UCLA. Interestingly, revenge is going to be on the mind of Utah quarterback Troy Williams this afternoon. Williams spent two years in Washington before they gave up on him and he transferred to Utah. I’m sure he’s going to have some added motivation in this one. A win for the Utes would give them an edge up on Washington with a 8-1 record, compared to 7-1 for Washington. I’m not so sure they pull off the upset completely, but this game could get interesting. There is a lot to like about taking the points in this Pac-12 matchup.
PICK: UTAH +10.5 (-110)