©M. Samek / SCOUT

The USR staff makes their picks for the big game on Saturday

Cal and Utah face off on Saturday in the biggest game of the day. Who's going to win?


Cal's defense has been great at forcing turnovers this season, but they've done that by being very agressive, which leaves holes in the defense. That doesn't work against a senior QB that has just 6 turnovers in the past 16 games and is playing the best he ever has. Travis Wilson will be able to find theose holes on the Cal defense, while Devontae Booker will expose Cal's lack of size up the middle. As long as Utah can tackle well in the open field, they should be able to hold Jared Goff and the Cal offense mostly in check. The game won't be as close as the final score.  

Utah 38 Cal 27


Sonny Dykes, Jared Goff and the Cal Bears will be looking to play to their strength as one of the best and most efficient passing games in the country. While leaning on their defense to try to create turnovers by blitzing. The Utes will come into this game with an all time high in confidence, eager to prove to the country that they are the legit contender in the PAC -12. I expect the Utes to play ball control, mixed in with timely big play attempts, much like they did against Oregon. The Utes Defense is by far the toughest the Bears have faced thus far, hopefully feeling like they ran into a brick wall. 

Utah 45 Cal 31


This is Utah's game to lose. The Utes will be well prepared and fired up to prove the Oregon game wasn't a fluke and they are a legit contender. Cal hasn't looked great dating back to week 2 and might have the most unimpressive undefeated record in the P5. With the playbook opened up, the offense should be able to create drives that are time consuming and end in points against a weak, albeit opportunistic, Cal defense. Utah's defense should be able to hold Cal to under 30 points for the first time this season by physically dominating the Golden Bears O-line with four man rushes and playing stout coverage.

Utah 34 Cal 24


Utah faces off against a surging Cal team that has seen success with Jared Goff at QB and an opportunistic defense that takes chances to create turnovers. Utah's defense will have something to say also and if their secondary can lock up Cal's receivers - most notably Kenny Lawler who has caught 8 touchdowns in 5 games - the Utah front 7 will be able to get pressure on Goff and make it a difficult game for Cal's offense.  This is also the game where Cal takes too many chances on defense - Travis Wilson, Devontae Booker and the Utah offense send the Bears into early hibernation. 

Utah 35 Cal 24


I've been saying it since the summer; somthing about this game stinks. Utah is the more complete team, has the homefield advantage, and is on a roll. Cal is undefeated, but has some gaps on their team. Cal has an opportunistic defense that makes you pay with your mistakes and an offense that is more balanced that most think. Oh, and the best quarterback in the country. The Utah defense is stout, but Cal is going to score. Utah will too though as Travis Wilson is looking like one of the top quarterbacks in the conference. The Utes should be able to exploit Cal's deficiencies in stopping the run and Booker should have a field day. A close battle will end with a late stop by the Utah defense and the Utes will escape. Barely.

Utah 34 Cal 30

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