The #8 Utah Utes will host the UCLA Bruins in PAC 12 play Saturday night from Rice-Eccles Stadium. The UCLA Bruins have posted a sharp rebound after many wrote them off after opening the season with three straight losses and a 1-5 record through six games. Well, UCLA has stormed back to lift their PAC-12 record to 4-2 with only three games remaining. The Bruins own a 2-2 road record, and they are coming off a 31-14 win against Colorado.
The Utah Utes enter this one holding onto first place in the PAC-12 South with a 5-1 conference record, and a favorable schedule in their last three games. The Utes lone loss this season was a 30-23 road defeat to USC back in late September. Utah features a perfect 5-0 home record which included a 21-3 victory against Arizona State. They tallied a 33-28 road win against Washington in their previous action on November 2nd. Utah remained at #8 in this week’s AP Top 25 rankings. The Utes registered a 41-10 road win against UCLA last season.
UCLA Defeats Colorado in Third Straight Victory
The UCLA Bruins are one of the hottest teams in the PAC-12. The Bruins have won three consecutive games which started with a win against Stanford and Arizona State, followed by a 31-14 home win against Colorado in their latest action on November 2nd. Dorian Thompson-Robinson has been very sharp, recording two touchdown passes in each of his last three games. The sophomore QB now has 1837 passing yards with a respectable 17:8 TD to INT ratio.
Joshua Kelly has perhaps been the Bruins' best offensive player in their winning streak. The senior RB has eclipsed 100 rushing yards in three straight games, and he has collected 861 rushing yards on the season. Kelly is up against the best rush defense in the country in this one.
The Bruins now have two receivers with over 400 receiving yards highlighted by Demetric Felton. The junior wideout is actually a running back but steadily racks up the receiving yards. He is up to 471 receiving yards while Kyle Phillips has 404 yards. Phillips is questionable with an undisclosed issue. The UCLA offense has quietly been among the best in the conference recently after an abysmal start to the season.
The Bruins defense has also stepped up, allowing less than 17 points in two out of their last three games. Their pass defense is a weakness, ranking down at 123rd overall, while the rush defense stands 41st. UCLA is scoring an average of 29.3 points, ranking them 66th overall. They are conceding an average of 32 points, placing them 96th in the FBS. UCLA has to win two of their next three games to secure bowl eligibility.
First Place Utes Target Sixth Consecutive Win
The Utah Utes are aiming for their sixth consecutive victory in this one. The Utes are just ahead of USC who owns a 5-2 PAC-12 record. Utah is well rested for the final stretch after recording a 33-28 win over Washington on November 2nd. Tyler Huntley continues to play well. The senior QB is very accurate, connecting on 74% of his passes, and he has collected 2062 passing yards with an 11:1 TD to INT ratio on the season.
The Utes will run more than pass, and they feature a potent running game led by Zack Moss. The senior RB has rushed for over 100 yards in three out of his last four games, and he has racked up 828 rushing yards. He will be up against a strong Bruins rush defense in this one.
Bryan Thompson has only made 16 receptions, but he leads the Utes with 431 receiving yards. The sophomore WR has made four catches of over 40 yards this season. The Utes offense is very efficient. They do not turn the ball over and they have scored at least 33 points in two straight games.
The Utes' stifling defense has played a key role in their success. They have the best defense in the PAC-12 which features the #1 rush defense and 20th ranked pass defense. Utah is scoring an average of 33.1 points, good for 41st in the country. They are limiting opponents to 12.2 points, placing them sixth in the FBS.
The UCLA Bruins are:
- 6-1-2 ATS in their last nine conference games.
- 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 November games.
- 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 road games against a team with a winning home record.
The top supporting trends as per covers.com are as follows: The Utah Utes are:
- No Key Trends