The Oregon State Beavers are on the road in search of another upset after bouncing their interstate rivals last week in the game previously known as the Civil War. I thought Oregon State was going to hang tough with a chance to win at the end, or I wouldn’t have bet on them, but winning straight up was impressive.
It’s the biggest win for the Oregon State football program in a long while. And no, it wasn’t a fluke win for the Beavers. They are getting a lot better and aren’t to be taken lightly by their opponents. I don’t believe Oregon took them lightly. Oregon State was just the better team on that day.
Oregon State goes into Utah with a record of 2-2 on the season. The Pac-12 started really late in the season, so it’s tough to draw any conclusions regarding the Beavers. However, I think if this was a full season, they’d be going bowling. Maybe not the best bowl out there, but believe they would have gotten to at least six wins.
The Beavers have wins over Oregon and California, both coming in the last two games. They opened up the season with a couple of hard-fought losses. Washington State got them for a ten-point 38-28 win, while a good Washington Team barely got by for a 27-21 win over Oregon State. Despite an average record of 2-2, there have been a lot of good things to take out of this season so far for the Beavers.
They are on the road looking to avoid a letdown spot against Utah. The Utes have been rather ordinary through two games. I should say unspectacular, because Utah is searching for their first win of the season on Saturday evening. Utah enters with losses against USC, 33-17, and Washington, 24-21.
It could have been worse, but it’s evident they miss Zack Moss and Tyler Huntley. They were the heart of the offense. Both are playing in the NFL now, so their time at Utah was worthwhile. Head below for our free Oregon State vs. Utah pick for December 5, 2020.
Oregon State Beavers vs. Utah Utes NCAAF Betting Odds:
Oregon State vs. Utah Prediction:
Utah has to get into a rhythm with quarterback Jake Bentley. The offense has been stagnant so far, and the learning curve looks high for them without Zack Moss or Tyler Huntley in the mix. Bentley has been struggling mightily, as he threw 2 touchdowns and 4 interceptions on 62.7% completion.
The graduate transfer from South Carolina saw a nice opportunity to play one more season at the collegiate level. This is his fifth and final season, as Bentley will have exhausted his eligibility following his one year in Utah. In his best season, Bentley passed for 27 touchdowns and 14 interceptions on 61.9% completions in 2018.
Bentley never developed as the quarterback many believed he’d be at South Carolina. He is off to a rough start as the starting signal caller at Utah. He is coming off a 144-yard 2-interception effort against Washington last weekend. Bentley also threw a touchdown, but it wasn’t enough, with the two turnovers a dagger in a 24-21 loss. It would be nice for him to have Moss in the backfield, but the Utes are going with a running back by committee system.
As far as Oregon State is concerned, they are more than set at running back. Jermar Jefferson is a bowling ball and is making NFL scouts pay attention to him. Jefferson is coming off yet another big game, as he carried the weight for Oregon State in their win over Oregon. He carried the ball 29 times for 226 yards and 2 touchdowns on 7.8 yards per carry.
On the season, Jefferson has put up 675 yards and 7 touchdowns on 7.4 yards per carry through four games. In a full season as a freshman in 2018, Jefferson gained 1,380 yards and 12 touchdowns on 5.9 yards a carry. My big problem in this game is that Oregon State are going with a brand new quarterback with Tristan Gebbia done for the season. Chance Nolan steps in as a 21-year-old who has never attempted a pass in his career.
While there are question marks surrounding the Utah offense this season, their defense should be able to lockdown the Beavers. Stack the box against Oregon State, and that should pretty much put them to sleep. Utah is strong against the run, with just 90.5 rushing yards conceded per game. That’s good for seventh in the FBS.
Last season through a full season, Utah were the best in the nation at stopping the run, with just 70.3 yards allowed on the ground. Combined with a big letdown spot for Oregon State, expect Utah to get on track against the visiting Beavers. I was on Oregon State plus the points last week, but I’m looking the opposite way in Salt Lake City.