Projecting The Season- Game By Game Picks

Predicting the outcome of every game on Utah's 2013 slate

This year, knowing that the team chemistry is improved and the talent level has improved, the Utes should have a very good chance of playing up to expectation. The schedule though, makes the predictions more difficult than in years past, which is a big reason while I'll say this: trying to predict in August the outcome of a game in November is difficult, and shouldn't be held against the predictor. These picks will likely change from week to week as the season progresses.

The Utes open at home against Utah State, who is coming off the best season ni program history. Chuckie Keeton is the best QB in the state and the Aggies are looking to compete for a WAC title under new head coach Matt Wells. Utah, on the other hand, has better athletes, depth, coaching, homefield advantage, and revenge on their minds. Why does anyone think USU is going to come into Rice-Eccles and win? Utes take this one comfortably. (1-0)
Prediction Confidence Level on August 26th- 8 (out of 10)

Week 2 is at home against Weber State. It's just Weber. No problems here. (2-0)
Prediction Confidence Level on August 26th- 10

Oregon State has not had much success in Salt Lake City, and they haven't settled on a quarterback yet. A rebuilt defensive line is going to have issues after multiple JC transfers failed to make it. The advantage Utah has with their offensive line will sneak out a close one. (3-0, 1-0)
Prediction Confidence Level on August 26th- 5

Week 4 is a trip to Provo, where the wine flows like the salmon of Capistrano. Utah owns BYU, both on the field and in their heads. The Cougars have a very good front seven on defense, but the depth and athleticism of Utah will be too much. Won't be the nailbiter of last year or the blowout of 2011, but the Utes take it by double digits. (4-0, 1-0)
Prediction Confidence Level on August 26th- 7

Following a bye week, and at 4-0, Utah is on the fringe of a top 25 ranking with the schedule hitting a brutal stretch. UCLA rolls into town for a Thursday night showdown on national TV. The Bruins will be at worst 2-1, and possibly 3-0 with a top 15 ranking should they take down Nebraska in Lincoln in week 2. While UCLA generally doesn't do well on the road, a win at Nebraska will erase those doubts. The Bruins have as much top line talent and overall depth as any team in the conference. Should be a tight one, but the W goes to the road team. (4-1, 1-1)
Prediction Confidence Level on August 26th- 5

Reeling a bit from the tough loss to UCLA, Utah can't hang with the physicality of Stanford at Rice-Eccles. Too much ground and pound. (4-2, 1-2)
Prediction Confidence Level on August 26th- 8

The following week is as important a game as any this season if the Utes want to go bowling. Arizona has talent, but they've got a new QB who isn't very talented, and a defense that doesn't like to play defense. Call it a hunch, but Utah with the surprise win in Tucson. (5-2, 2-2)
Prediction Confidence Level on August 26th- 4

USC is still talented, and beating them at the Coliseum is still a tall task. Utah isn't ready to take down one of the conference big boys on the road yet. (5-3, 2-3)
Prediction Confidence Level on August 26th- 7.5

Until Utah can prove that they can stop Arizona State, it's hard to pick them to win. The last three halves against the Sun Devils have been brutal, as Utah just may not matchup well with ASU. (5-4, 2-4)
Prediction Confidence Level on August 26th- 6

At Oregon? Forget about it. (5-5, 2-5)
Prediction Confidence Level on August 26th- 9.5

Want to go bowling? Beat Wazzu on the road. Mike Leach should have this team pointed in the direction he wants. If this is a September game, I'd take Utah. It's in November, when the Cougars will have had plenty of time under their belt to start playing Leach-ball. Something about this game stinks. (5-6, 2-6)
Prediction Confidence Level on August 26th- 3

At home against Colorado to close out the year is nice. After the devastating loss in 2011, and the close win in 2012 after the Utah squad looked as if they may have mailed it in, this one won't be close. Utah in a blowout to close the regular season and grab a bowl berth. (6-6, 3-6)
Prediction Confidence Level on August 26th- 8.5

With eight projected Pac 12 teams going bowling in 2013, Utah nabs the final slot and heads to New Mexico after the conference gets two BCS spots with Oregon in the national title game and the Rose Bowl deciding to go with a 3 loss UCLA team. December in Albuquerque. I'm so excited. Utah will take the extra practice sessions for the young guys though and show that the program is back on track after they paste San Jose State and finish 7-6.

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