Utah at Michigan: Staff Picks

The Utes travel to the Big House. Who likes them to win and who doesn't?

James Cella- Football Analyst
Utah's offense has clearly improved in Dave Christensen and under the leadership of Travis Wilson. A healthy, experienced and mature Travis Wilson along with weapons like Anderson, Scott and Booker are likely to much for Michigan's defense to handle for 4 quarters. Utah's high powered offense won't drop 59 on the Wolverines, but if they can avoid 3 and out situations, watch out for the big play potential of this offense.

Defensively, Orchard and Dimick may be more than Gardner can handle. If they can pressure him as they have done to ISU and FSU, we may actually see an interception from this defense. Frustrating Gardner early and often will be huge and if Funchess is truly out for this game, Utah's secondary has a fighting chance. Ultimately it all comes down to one thing: Can Utah go on the road and have the energy, focus and will to win in front of a hostile environment. If they come out flat or turn the ball over early, they will likely continue their losing ways on the road. That being said, this feels like a new, more talented team that's healthy and determined to get to a bowl game.
Utah 31 Michigan 21

Andrew Gorringe- Football Analyst
I think this game is pretty simple to determine who the winner will be. Whoever wins the turnover battle will win the game IMO. Both QB's have a history of making mistakes when pressured, so look for both defenses to put a lot of pressure on the opposing QB. When it comes down to that, I think Utah has the edge, as I like Utah's offensive and defensive line better than Michigan's. If this was at RES, I'd pick Utah to win by two touchdowns or more. Since it's at Michigan, Utah wins by 6, with 2 big fields goals by Andy Phillips.
Utah 27 Michigan 21

Jayson Jones- Football Analyst and NFL Liaison
This game comes down to five areas: offense, defense, special teams, playing on the road and turnovers. If you look at all three phases, Utah is better in two of three (offense and special teams) and a push on defense (Michigan being banged up and losing Funchess keeps this a push). If this game was being played at Rice Eccles, or anywhere else, I don't think it would be close, but being outside of the comforts of Utah it gets unfortunately interesting. Finally, the swing vote, turnovers. If Utah can win turnover margin they will win. Game ball to Dres Anderson.
Utah 37 Michigan 27

Robert Jackson- Managing Editor
The Utes haven’t been tested on either side of the ball through 2 games, while Michigan has already stumbled against a much improved Notre Dame team. The Utes have plenty of weapons on the offensive side of the ball, and while there are many questions surrounding Utah’s defense, I like Travis Wilson and company to put up enough points to get the win in Ann Arbor.
Utah 31 Michigan 27

Tom Karren- Editor
Utah's offensive stars will shine on Saturday in a big win for the program. The Utes will make big plays in the air throughout the game and they'll convert on critical downs late thanks to the strong legs and bruising shoulders of big nasty Devontae Booker
Utah 27 Michigan 24

Doug Kimmel- Rocky Mountain Recruiting Analyst
Michigan looks like they may be without 4 key pieces to their defense and their top offensive weapon. Utah isn't at 100% either, but they are a lot closer. The Wolverines haven't shown much early, while the Utes have cruised. With that being said, Utah is on the road, and playing a team with more overall talent. I'll take Sitake and Whitt's D over raw talent. Devin Gardner and Denard Robinson have been turnover machines for Michigan for the past few years, and I think the Utes HAVE TO FORCE TURNOVERS TO WIN. Gardner isn't as fast as most people think and he doesn't run as much as a lot of the Pac-12 QBs. Turn him over and win... fail to do so and lose.
Utah 34 Michigan 21

Brian Swinney- Publisher
Two teams going in different directions right now. Utah looks pretty good so far. Michigan looks pretty mediocre. Utah has a lot of advantages in this one, namely on offense, special teams, and coaching.Utah has the better team, while Michigan has more overall talent. I'm just not sold on the Utes' defense right now and think Michigan is a bit better than they've shown in the past few games. Travis Wilson is the most important player on the field Saturday. If he plays well, the Utes should win. But Utah is 2-5 in road games with Wilson as the starter in his career, including 1-5 in games outside of the state of Utah. The lone win? Over a 1-11 Colorado team. Nothing to write home about. It's the home-field advantage Michigan enjoys against a program that hasn't shown the ability to beat anyone worth a darn on the road. It will be close. Very close, but Utah is going to have to show me they can take down someone away from Rice-Eccles before I'm ready to buy in.
Michigan 27 Utah 24

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