September 3 vs Michigan
It’s Utah versus a piar of pleated khakis in the season opener on national television. Based on the coverage we’ve seen leading up to the game, many are surprised to learn that Michigan is actually the underdog in this game. The bettors know better though, as do those in Salt Lake City as the favored Utes should be able to use those two huge lines, some Devontae Booker, and the more experienced team to send Michigan packing with a double digit loss.
Utah 27 Michigan 13 (1-0)
September 11 vs Utah State
This game scares me a little bit as the Utes should be coming off of the emotional high of beating the Wolverines while the Aggies should be nice and rested after they paste Southern Utah in their opener. Mobile quarterbacks can often give the Utes problems, and Chuckie Keeton has done that in the past. The Aggies are healthy and have some of the top players in the state despite being the littlest of the big 3 schools. They’ll keep it close into the 4th, but Booker will finally wear down that defense as the Utes escape.
Utah 27 Utah State 20 (2-0)
September 19 at Fresno State
The Bulldogs will be better than last year, but so will Utah. The first road game of the season will start out slow for the Utes before Travis Wilson and the passing game take off and put the game out of reach early in the second half.
Utah 38 Fresno State 17 (3-0)
September 26 at Oregon
If this was at Rice-Eccles, I’d give the Utes a good shot, but it’s not. Oregon is still the premier program in the country and has a dual-threat QB in Vernon Adams that can do pretty much everything and should be completely in control of the Ducks’ offense at this point. Too many weapons for Oregon and not enough overall team speed for Utah sends them to their first loss.
Oregon 38 Utah 27 (3-1, 0-1)
October 10 vs Cal
Ready for a shootout? Cal may have the best offense in the conference, but they don’t play much defense. Utah’s O will have a field day with both the passing game and running game working at an optimum level, but we’ve seen the D struggle with high flying passing attacks in the past. Jared Goff and company will make things scary, but the Utes do enough late in the game to get a stop and win a wild one for their first conference win of the year.
Utah 41 Cal 35 (4-1, 1-1)
October 17 vs Arizona State
It has to happen at some point, right? Why not 2015? The Sun Devils are good enough to win the conference, and some even like them to sneak into the playoff. I’m still not 100% sold yet on a defense that is young and an offense that lost Jaelen Strong. It’s Utah-ASU, so expecting it to be close isn’t really going out on a limb. How about overtime again? This time, the Utes prevail.
Utah 27 Arizona State 24 (OT) (5-1, 2-1)
October 24 at USC
Get ready for a slugfest. The Trojans are loaded all over the field and have arguably the best quarterback in the conference with Cody Kessler. This game is generally a close, low-scoring affair. When that’s the case, go with the home team, as JuJu Smith and Adoree Jackson make one or two more plays than the Utes and hold serve at home.
USC 20 Utah 17 (5-2, 2-2)
October 31 vs Oregon State
Oregon State is going to be going through a transition year under Gary Andersen and a bowl game is probably unreasonable to expect. A Halloween game against a bunch of former Utah coaches makes this one intriguing, but the Beavers are dreadful on offense, and the Utes could end up pitching a shutout.
Utah 24 Oregon State 3 (6-2, 3-2)
November at Arizona
Last year’s debacle against the Wildcats is still fresh in my mind, and it’s hard to go from a complete meltdown and whooping at home to a win on the road. The Wildcats may not match last season Pac 12 South title, but they might be just as good as last year, if not better. This one won’t have the same margin of victory as last year, but the Utes will come up short in Tucson.
Arizona 31 Utah 27 (6-3, 3-3)
November 14 at Washington
I thought the Utah State game stunk, but this one stinks to high heaven. Husky Stadium is a daunting place to play and Chris Peterson’s young team will be at a point that they’re ready to turn the corner. A cold one in Seattle has Utah come out flat and the offense struggles to put the ball in the end zone, often settling for field goals. Travis Wilson gets all high and mighty late in the game though, leading Utah down the field before Andy Phillips kicks one through at the buzzer to give the Utes the dramatic win.
Utah 19 Washington 16 (7-3, 4-3)
November 21 vs UCLA
The Bruins hate playing the Utes. Absolutely hate it. It’s a brand of football that they struggle with, which is why they struggle with Stanford as well. Utah will run it at them with Booker and try to replicate last season’s 10 sack performance against a true freshman quarterback. It’ll be another nail-biter, but the late November cold and some clutch kicks out of Andy Phillips give Utah win number 8 on the season and keep the Pac 12 South title hopes alive.
Utah 30 UCLA 28 (8-3, 5-3)
November 28 vs Colorado
For some reason, Utah just can’t shake the Buffaloes, who keep every single game close despite being at a talent disadvantage. Colorado will be coming winless in Pac 12 play again, but continuing to get better, they’ll put up a fight. It’ll be another squeaker with the Buffs making Utah nervous until the final whistle before Utah holds off a late drive and grabs their first 9 win regular season since 2010.
Utah 34 Colorado 26 (9-3, 6-3)
Season Preview: Game By Game Predictions
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