The Utah Utes head to South Bend, Indiana to take on Notre Dame on Saturday. For Utah, the game provides a chance to escape the misery that befell them last week when Mountain West power Texas Christian came to town. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you knew it was bad for the Utes. With their undefeated season on the line, the Utes laid an egg in front of their home crowd as they lost 47-7. As bad as it was for Utah, the season hasn’t been anything like that of their Saturday counterparts. The Irish are 4-5 and seeing them win two of their last three (USC away is still left) to become bowl-eligible seems a long shot. Another question would be if Irish fans even wanted that. Or, if they just wanted to have this nightmare season (which involved a student managers death at a practice) to be complete as quick as possible. Either way, Saturday should be a good chance for Utah to get their season back on track.
Utah had it all going for them. They were 8-0, got as high as #6 in the national polls and the offense was steamrolling while the defense was relentless. But, TCU just buried them—and quick too. It was 20-0 at the end of the first quarter and dreams of grandeur and a BCS title game were being drowned as quickly as alcohol (but not in Utah surely). The Utes still have a lot to play for and a game against Notre Dame should be a nice springboard for the rest of the season and a nice shot in the arm to win a game in front of such a large TV audience. Look for Utah’s rush defense (11th in the country) to continue to swarm a bad Notre Dame rush offense (100th in the country) while putting pressure on whichever Notre Dame quarterback is trotted out. That quarterback will likely be freshman Tommy Rees. He came off the bench (after starter Dayne Crist was KO’d for the season) and promptly threw for 334 yards against Tulsa last week. But, he threw a costly interception (his 3rd) as the Irish fell at home, 28-27. We’ll bet on the Utes throwing a bunch of different looks at him in a move to fluster the freshman.
It’s hard to really say Notre Dame had any positive momentum this season. They beat Purdue on opening weekend 23-12 then promptly lost three games in a row, including dropping a 28-24 decision at home to Michigan in which Wolverine quarterback Denard Robinson accumulated 500+ yards himself. A 37-14 home loss to Stanford—which dropped the Irish to 1-3— wasn’t the kind of start fans had in mind when head coach Brian Kelly was brought in from Cincinnati. Fast-forward to now and the Irish seem as if they just want the season to end as quick as possible. They have a winnable game next week (Army at historic Yankee Stadium) before traveling to longtime rivals USC. Against Utah, they shouldn’t be expected to fare too well. There are too many questions on both sides of the ball while the Utes will be looking to knock their season back on course after last week’s hiccup. Notre Dame has some weapons at wide receiver and tight end. Will the Irish offensive line give Rees enough time to throw? If they do, will he complete passes to his teammates or to the opponents?
Utah vs. Notre Dame Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
@ Notre Dame +6
Check out our Betting Odds Explained article if you don’t understand how to read sports betting odds.
Exclusive $250 Free Money Bonus for Football Betting – Click Here To Learn More
Utah vs. Notre Dame Prediction for Week 11:
Game Total Prediction (Top Play) – The Irish moved the ball well enough without Crist to warrant some interest on offense. But, that was also against a Tulsa team that surrendered seven opening-day touchdowns in a 51-49 loss to East Carolina. It wasn’t a great Tulsa defense is what we’re saying. Utah is a great defense. While their numbers and ranking are skewed a bit after their shellacking last week, there is no denying how good the defense is. That said we don’t expect Notre Dame to score a lot of points as Utah runs away with the victory. TThe Under is 5-1-1 for Utah following a double-digit loss at home. The Under is also 5-1 in Notre Dame’s last six home games. We like that.
Total Prediction (Top Play) = Under 54
Spread Prediction –It is a rarity that you’d feel so confident about a team marching into Notre Dame Stadium and winning. But, that is precisely what is happening here. Notre Dame has injuries, no confidence and a tragedy hanging over the head of this season. Utah still has a lot to play for. After allowing 40 points, the Utes are 6-0 ATS the following week. More so, they are 8-1-1 in the last 10 as a road favorite. With so many questions surrounding the home team here, we’ll take our chances with the better team: the road team.
Spread Prediction = Utah -6