Two teams looking to keep their playoff hopes alive will clash when the UCLA Bruins travel to Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City to visit the Utah Utes. This PAC-12 showdown will have strong postseason implications, especially for a Bruins squad that’s just 3-2 in the division thus far this season. While neither of them will be National Championship-bound, both can still make some noise in the PAC-12.
The home side enters this game favored by as many as 6.5 points, with a total set at 60.5 points. Both teams are coming off tough losses and will look to get back on track on what might as well be a high-scoring affair. Moreover, the visitors will certainly look to avenge the humiliating 49-3 loss they suffered in their previous matchup a couple of years ago.
It’s now or never for the BruinsEven though the UCLA Bruins have been slightly better than most experts predicted and despite their winning record, they’ve still left a lot to be desired when it comes to their division. They’re just 3-2 in the PAC-12 and a loss at Utah will pretty much end their season and hopes of making the playoffs.
The Bruins boast a 5-3 record after beating Hawaii 44-10 and then LSU 38-27. They lost to Fresno State 40-37, beat Stanford 35-24, lost to Arizona State 42-34, beat Arizona 34-16 and Washington 24-17, and then lost to Oregon 34-31. They couldn’t hold on to an early 14-0 lead and lost a game in which they had the edge in nearly every major category.
The Utes can’t afford another slipEven though the Utah Utes are just 4-3 for the season, they’re still 3-1 in the PAC-12. However, last week’s 42-34 loss to Oregon State cost them the lead in the division and will now have to be perfect until the end of the season if they want to secure a spot in the playoffs. They now have UCLA, Stanford, Arizona, Oregon, and Colorado on deck, so it’s not going to be a cakewalk finish by any means.
Utah could never establish their strong run defense against Oregon State and losing star linebacker Devin Lloyd over a targeting penalty was a death blow for them. They allowed the Beavers to rush for 260 yards, led by star running back B.J. Baylor’s 152 yards and 1 touchdown in 19 carries (8.0 yards per attempt).
- Utes are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games after accumulating more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Utes are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games after allowing more than 450 total yards in their previous game.
- Bruins are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games after accumulating more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Bruins are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight-up loss.