Washington State (2-6, 0-5); Utah (3-5, 1-4). Time: Noon, at Rice-Eccles Stadium. TV: Pac-12 Networks. Radio: ESPN 710 AM. The line: Utah by...
Washington State (2-6, 0-5); Utah (3-5, 1-4).
Time: Noon, at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
TV: Pac-12 Networks. Radio: ESPN 710 AM. The line: Utah by 11 ½ points.
The setup: Both teams trying to sustain bowl hopes, but WSU has no margin for error, needing to win out to do it. Utah needs only to win three of final four against a softer schedule.
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What to expect: With no running-game threat, the Cougars are dependent almost entirely on their passing attack. The Utes function best when relying on back John White, especially with frosh quarterback Travis Wilson.
Key matchup: WSU interior O-linemen John Fullington, Elliott Bosch and Jake Rodgers against Utah nose tackle Star Lotulelei. At various times, all three Cougars will get a look at Lotulelei, a projected high NFL draft choice. If Lotulelei occupies too many of them, it leaves WSU quarterback Jeff Tuel vulnerable to Lotulelei’s pass-rushing teammates.
Notes: WSU WR Marquess Wilson has school-record 3,134 career yards, but for second consecutive week apparently has lost starting spot to Dominique Williams. … The Cougars struggled in the punting game last week, but it appears Mike Bowlin has regained the spot after being replaced at Stanford by Wes Concepcion. … WSU has allowed nation-leading 34 sacks. … Utes are 10-0 when White rushes for 100 yards or more. … Utah leads visitor-dominated series, 6-5, as WSU is 3-2 in Salt Lake City and Utah 4-1 in Pullman. … Reggie Dunn’s two kickoff returns for TDs last week have Utes No. 1 nationally at 30.7 per return. … Utes’ Wilson has completed 65.3 percent of his passes for 646 yards, with two TDs and four interceptions.
Upset brewing? Could happen, but Utes are tough at home and WSU is on the road for a second consecutive week.
Injuries: WSU — RB Teondray Caldwell (concussion), doubtful; WR Isiah Myers (unexplained practice absence), doubtful; Utah — G Jeremiah Tofaeono (knee), out; RB Kelvin York (foot), doubtful; OL Sam Brenner (undisclosed), questionable.
Prediction: Utah 31, Washington State 17.