The Utah Utes travel to Washington for a pivotal meeting against the Huskies in Seattle. Utah are in a battle with USC for the top spot in the Pac-12 South. With USC beating Utah already, they own the tiebreaker over the Utes. Utah must play well down the stretch and hope for some help along the way. The Trojans barely survived last week against the Colorado Buffaloes. It was a game that they probably didn’t deserve to win, but found a way to get the victory anyway. USC have a difficult matchup against Oregon on Saturday, so that might be the loss Utah are looking for.
Utah have a tricky matchup of their own, as they’re on the road at a hostile environment in Seattle. This hasn’t been a great season by Washington’s standards. Chris Petersen is used to winning a lot of games. From his days at Boise State and Washington since, Petersen is not used to going into November with a record of 5-3. That’s what he faces with Washington well off the pace of 7-1 Oregon in the Pac-12 South. The Ducks are a perfect 5-0 in the conference going into this weekend. There’s time to figure it out, but the explosive plays are going to have to come from somewhere.
The Jake Browning to John Ross connection was the best thing that Petersen had since Kellen Moore and Titus Young. That kind of explosiveness hasn’t been there for Washington in 2019. Losing running back Myles Gaskin to the NFL didn’t help matters for their offense, either. Petersen was fortunate to attract Jacob Eason to transfer from Georgia, and while he’s been playing well, Washington are missing an explosive threat in the passing game to scare secondaries.
The Utah secondary isn’t scared by too many passing games. Jaylon Johnson is going to be starting against NFL wide receivers next season, so I don’t think he’s going to be too bothered by the Huskies. Johnson may very well be the first cornerback selected in the upcoming draft in Las Vegas in the spring. Washington are coming off a bye following a 35-31 loss against Oregon. Conversely, Utah cruised to a 35-0 win against Cal last weekend. With a freshman QB starting for Cal, it was the next closest thing to a bye for the Utes. Head below for our free Utah vs. Washington pick.
Utah Utes vs. Washington Huskies NCAAF Week 10 Betting Odds:
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Utah vs. Washington Pick:
For Jacob Eason this is going to be the biggest test of his career. He lucks out that Utah has to travel for Washington for this one, but Utah aren’t leaving their defense in Salt Lake. The Utes employ one of the finest defenses in the nation. From the back in the secondary to up front, there aren’t many holes to exploit on them. Utah are 3rd in the FBS with 231 yards allowed per game, while allowing just 10.3 points per game. They didn’t allow Cal to threaten to score in their most recent outing, as the Utah defense held Spencer Brasch to 47 yards passing. Their leading rusher nabbed just 24 yards on 10 carries.
Running on Utah has been next to impossible for offenses in 2019. They’ve surrendered only 56.4 yards per game on the ground. That’s 1st in the nation by a long distance, with Penn State 2nd at 68.4 yards allowed per contest. Washington love to set up the pass with their run game, but it’s tough to see Salvon Ahmed having a big day running the ball. Utah will likely clog running lanes for Ahmed, forcing Eason to fire away in long down and distances often in this matchup.
Washington will likely have Aaron Fuller back at wide receiver for this one after hurting his ankle. He took two kickoff returns against Oregon, but was held out of the offense. Fuller has been practicing, though his ankle is unlikely to be at 100%. Wide receiver Chico McClatcher’s status is questionable for this one, so the Huskies’ offense is not going to be operating at 100% against the best defense in the Pac-12. With Fuller playing on a bum ankle, Jaylon Johnson should be able to feast in this one.
The Huskies possess a serviceable defense, with 372.4 yards allowed per game and just an average of 21.5 points scored. This is where homefield advantage should help Washington in this spot. Utah struggled on the road against USC, and I think they could see some issues against what is going to be an excited Washington team at home. Outside of the Oregon game, the Huskies have held their opponents to 20 or fewer points at home this season. Coming off a bye week, Petersen likely instills an effective defensive game-plan in this one. This looks like a 24-20 or 27-17 final score, which gives us some solid value on the UNDER.