Pac-12 Predictions: Week 2 picks against the spread

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Sep 3, 2015; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Utes linebacker Jared Norris (41) and offensive lineman Isaac Asiata (54) celebrate their 24-17 win over the against the Michigan Wolverines at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Utah State Aggies At Utah Utes

Salt Lake City, Utah

The Line: Utah -12.5

The Utes hosted the Michigan Wolverines and Jim Harbaugh in week one in a highly anticipated game. In a hard fought defensive battle, Utah came away with a 24-17 victory. The Utes stuffed the Michigan running game and intercepted Wolverine quarterback Jake Rudock three times. On the other side of the ball, the Utes again struggled to run the ball and pass down the field. Travis Wilson attempted 33 passes but had just 208 yards, no touchdowns, and an interception. Utah State, meanwhile, struggled mightily against Southern Utah, but came away with a win, 12-9.

Keys To The Game:

Utah has one of the best run defenses in the nation, and can get pressure on the quarterback on third and long. Utah State had trouble moving the ball against a FCS school that went 3-9 in 2014. Utah just needs to stick to the formula used against Michigan and everything will be fine. Run the ball, limit turnovers, and watch as your defense smothers the Aggies. For Utah State, they desperately need more from quarterback Chuckie Keeton.

Keeton was just 16-of-33 for 110 yards against Southern Utah. While they ran the ball better, at 4.0 yards per carry, that is not going to hold up against this fearsome Utes front seven. Keeton must make plays through the air to even give a sliver of hope for Utah State.


Utah will win this game, easily, but picking them against the spread is a dicey proposition. The Utes play a conservative, defensive style that leads to close games. Seven games in 2014 were decided by four points or less. The last time these two programs met on the football field, it was a 30-26 win for the Utes. Utah is a fun team to watch, and you should tune in on Friday night at 5:00PM, PT, to ESPN, but laying money on the line while giving away 12.5 points is not a good decision.

Look for the Utes to dominate on defense, and squeeze out another ugly win, 17-10.

Next: UCF At Stanford?