Utah State vs Nevada

Utah State vs Nevada | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

Written by on November 3, 2020

There are two college football games this Thursday night opposite the Packers-49ers NFL matchup, and the first of the two is from the Mountain West Conference as Utah State visits Nevada on national television. The Wolf Pack are heavy favorites on the NCAAF odds.

How to Bet Utah State at Nevada NCAA Football Odds & TV Info

  • When: Thursday, 7 PM ET
  • Where: Mackay Stadium, Reno
  • TV: Fox Sports 1
  • Stream: Fox Sports Go
  • Radio:com
  • Opening NCAAF Lines: Nevada -16.5 (total 55.5)

Last Meeting

Last year, Utah State beat visiting Nevada 36-10. Gerold Bright had 126 yards rushing and two scores on 15 carries, and Savon Scarver had a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. The Wolf Pack, on the game’s opening possession, had first-and-goal from the 8 but a holding penalty and a false start forced them to settle for a 23-yard field goal by Brandon Talton. Scarver returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown, the first of 36 consecutive points by the Aggies.

Nevada leads the all-time series 18-7 and is 9-2 at home. USU has won three of the last four games played in the series.

Why Bet on Utah State? | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

USU (0-2) was routed 38-7 on Saturday at home by San Diego State. About the only bright spot was junior wide receiver Deven Thompkins catching six passes for 55 yards and a TD. Whatever momentum Utah State gained from Thompkins’ half-ending touchdown was short-lived, however. That’s because San Diego State scored touchdowns on its first four drives of the second half.

SDSU finished with 570 yards of total offense, including 407 on the ground alone. Utah State ended the night with just 215 total yards – 112 through the air and 103 on the ground. Grad transfer Devonta’e Henry-Cole led the Aggies on the ground with 27 yards on 11 carries. Jason Shelley was 13-of-21 for 88 yards with one touchdown and one interception through the air. Sophomore quarterback Andrew Peasley replaced Shelley in the fourth quarter and completed five of his nine passes for 24 yards and an interception.

Utah State is 36-22 (.621) all-time in the Mountain West, including a 16-13 (.552) road record, and has won 47 of its last 69 (.681) league games dating back to 2011. In fact, USU is 15-6 (.714) in its last 21 MW games and 18-10 (.643) in its last 28 games against all opponents.

USU is 10-7 (.588) in its last 17 road games, including a 9-4 (.692) Mountain West record. In its last 17 road games, USU has scored at least 30 points nine times and has had at least 500 yards of total offense six times. Utah State is 18-5 (.783) against teams from the West Division of the Mountain West, which is the second-best record by any school in the league behind Boise State (20-5).

Utah State is the 13th-youngest team in the nation as 65.4 percent of its roster is made up of freshmen and sophomores. Overall, USU has 45 freshmen and 23 sophomores on its 2020 roster to go along with 11 junior and 25 seniors. All-time, USU is 19-32-4 (.382) in games played on Thursday.

Why Bet on Nevada? | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

Nevada (2-0) won 37-19 at UNLV last Saturday. The win snapped a two-game losing streak in the series for Nevada, which had lost in heartbreaking fashion in each of the last two years.

Romeo Doubs had seven receptions for a career-high 219 yards and a score. Carson Strong was 21-of-27 passing for 350 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions and Toa Taua had 12 carries for 86 yards and a TD for Nevada. It was the first college football game played at the 65,000-seat Allegiant Stadium, home of the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders. It didn’t go as planned for UNLV, which never led, trailed by 12 at halftime, and gave up nearly 500 yards of total offense to its northern rival.

Doubs was the first Nevada receiver to go over 200 yards in a single game since Brendan O’Leary-Orange notched 214 against SDSU on Nov. 18, 2017. It marked the 22nd 200-yard receiving performance in program history and is 16th-most all-time in a single game at Nevada.

Strong extended his streak of consecutive pass attempts without an interception to 230, which leads the nation and is second-most in Mountain West history. Strong Taura has thrown for 300 yards or more in four consecutive games. He finished the first half 15-of-19 for 274 yards and two touchdowns.

Nevada has started the season 2-0 for the first time since the 2014 season. It’s the first time the Wolf Pack has started conference play 2-0 since 2013. The Wolf Pack earned three votes this week in the Coaches Top 25 poll. The last time Nevada earned votes in an AP or coaches poll was 2014 when it got one vote in the preseason Top 25. Despite starting that season 2-0, including a win over Washington State, the Wolf Pack never got votes that season once play began. The Wolf Pack finished 7-6 in 2014.

On the season, Strong is 60-of-79 (.759) passing for 770 yards (385.0 ypg) with six touchdowns and no interceptions. Junior RB Devonte Lee leads the team in rushing with 110 yards on 22 carries (5.5 ypc/55.0 ypg) with one touchdown, and Doubs has a team-best 18 receptions for 328 yards (18.2 ypr/164.0 ypg) with two touchdowns.

Jay Norvell is 20-20 in his fourth season as a collegiate head coach at Nevada.

Game Trends

  • Home team is 8-2 ATS in their last 10 meetings.
  • Underdog is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings.

Expert College Football Prediction

Nevada 31, Utah State 20


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