Utah vs. No. 21 Colorado

Utah vs. No. 21 Colorado | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

Written by on December 10, 2020

Unbeaten Colorado is one of the biggest surprises in the country, and the Buffs would win the Pac-12 South Division with a victory on Saturday vs. Utah and a loss by Southern Cal later Saturday vs. UCLA. Colorado is a slight favorite on the NCAAF odds vs. the Utes. Note: This game was moved from Friday night to early Saturday.

How to Bet Utah at Colorado NCAA Football Odds & TV Info

  • When: Saturday, noon ET
  • Where: Folsom Field
  • TV: Fox
  • Stream: Fox Sports Go
  • Radio:com
  • Opening NCAAF Lines: Colorado -2 (total 49.5)

Last Meeting

Last year, Utah rocked Colorado 45-15 on the way to the Pac-12 South title. Utes tight end Brant Kuithe scored three touchdowns. Utah QB Tyler Huntley was 14-for-17 for 165 yards and connected with Kuithe twice for scores. Kuithe caught touchdown passes of 38 and 7 yards and ran 15 yards for a score. The tight end also had 44-yard run on a jet sweep. Steven Montez threw for 157 yards on 17-of-26 passing for Colorado. The Utes limited Colorado to 60 yards rushing.

Colorado leads the series by a 32-31-3 count, which includes a 17-13-1 mark in Boulder, a 14-18-2 standing in Salt Lake City and a 1-0 CU edge in Denver.

Why Bet on Utah? | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

The Utes (1-2) have played just three games due to cancellations and this is their season finale. They beat Oregon State 30-24 last week. Utah nearly blew it, though, leading 30-10 in the fourth. The Utes would give up back-to-back touchdowns with the Beavers making it a one possession game with 5:07 left on the clock but the Utah defense would come up big at the end.

The Utes finished the game with a season-high 403 yards of total offense which included a season-high 229 rushing yards along with 174 passing yards. Utah held Oregon State to 335 yards of total offense, including just 48 yards rushing in the second half (133 total).

Senior quarterback Jake Bentley finished with a season-high 174 yards on 18-of-27 passing and two touchdowns, adding five carries for 12 yards. His 133 passer rating for the game was a career best. Freshman running back Ty Jordan carried the ball 27 times for a career-high 167 yards, averaging 6.2 yards per carry, also scoring his first career touchdown. The last time a Utah true freshman rushed for 100 yards in a game was in 1995 when Chris Fuamatu-Ma’afala rushed for 108 yards against BYU (24 carries, 4.5 ypc, 2 TDs).

Teams are only converting 28-percent of their third down attempts against the Utes, which ranks sixth in the FBS and first in the Pac-12. Utah has held all three of its opponents to under 360 yards of total offense, ranking second in the Pac-12 in total defense (350.7).

Utah leads the series vs. Colorado 7-2 since it resumed when both joined the Pac-12 (Utah leads 4-1 in Salt Lake City and 3-1 in Boulder); the first six games were all one-score affairs decided by a total of 32 points (3, 7, 7, 4, 6, 5) until the last three meetings, which have gone to the Utes by 21, 23 and 30 points.

Why Bet on Colorado? | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

Colorado (4-0) won 24-13 last week at Arizona. Jarek Broussard ran for 301 yards and Colorado’s defense came up with two critical red zone stops in the second half. With the Buffs trailing 13-0 and the offense having struggled the entire first quarter, Broussard changed the momentum with a 75-yard run to set up CU’s first touchdown.

The Buffs scored 14 points in the second quarter and added another touchdown in the third before tacking on a field goal in the final minutes to wrap up the win. CU’s defense, meanwhile, pitched a second half shutout. CU allowed 51 points in the second half in the first two games of the season (28 by UCLA, 23 by Stanford); but in the last two games, the Buffaloes shutout both San Diego State and Arizona after halftime.

Broussard finished with 301 yards rushing on 25 carries, as the Buffs finished with 407 yards on the ground (499 total). It was Broussard’s fourth straight 100-yard game and only the fourth 300-yard game in CU history. His effort made him the first CU player in history to rush for at least 100 yards in his first four games.

Colorado’s rushing attack overcame a tough night for quarterback Sam Noyer, who was just 12-for-19 for 92 yards, no touchdowns and an interception. Noyer did, however, have a 54-yard run to set up the Buffs’ third touchdown of the night.

CU is 4-0 for just the second time since opening 5-0 in 1998 (the Buffs were also 5-0 in 2018); the Buffs are 3-0 in league play for the fifth time in the last 30 seasons, the first since opening 4-0 in Big 12 play in 2002.

Karl Dorrell has become the first first-year head coach to take over the Colorado program starting the year unranked and coaching the team into the national polls. Only two of the other 22 new head coaches

in 2020 did the same: Shawn Clark (Appalachian State) and Jimmy Lake (Washington); each entered the AP poll for one week.

Game Trends

  • Utes are 46-22-2 ATS in their last 70 games as an underdog.
  • Utes are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS loss.
  • Utes are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 conference games.
  • Buffaloes are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 conference games.
  • Buffaloes are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS win.
  • Utes are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 meetings.

Expert NBA Prediction

Colorado 23, Utah 22


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