|169: WASHINGTON ST
Last Updated: 2017-11-07
The Washington State Cougars and Utah Utes are both coming off big wins last week, so the question might be who can come right back with another nice performance as these teams meet up at 5:30 PM ET Saturday at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City. You know, if you are a VietBet customer, you can take advantage of reduced juice, which gives you a break on the odds so that you can make your college football picks with more value, and then after the opening kickoff, you can continue to place wagers through the magic of Live Betting Ultra.
Washington State had to come back with a big effort last week after losing 58-37 to Arizona, and they came though on the defensive end, for certain. Admittedly, Bryce Love, who came into the game as the nation’s leading rusher, averaging 198 yards per game, was not 100% with his ankle injury, but the Cougars stopped him pretty cold, holding them to just 69 yards on 16 carries. And when you take away Stanford’s running game, everything else seems to fall into place. KJ Costello was held to just nine completions for 105 yards, and the Cougars managed a 24-21 victory. Luke Falk, who had come under fire and was benched in the previous game, completed 34 out of 48 passes for 337 yards.
Utah’s victory was a lot more decisive, as throttled UCLA 48-17, and got not one, but TWO rushers who topped the century mark. One of them was Zach Moss, who had 153 yards, and the other was quarterback Tyler Huntley (101 yards). But couple of things have to be taking into consideration here; the Bruins came into the game as the worst team in the country against the run, and they were without Josh Rosen, the quarterback and Heisman candidate who was out with a finger injury. So Devon Modster had to start, and he completed just eight passes for 103 yards.
Utah comes into this game with a record of 5-4 straight-up and 7-2 against the football pointspread. Washington State is now 8-2 straight-up and 6-4 ATS. The Cougars are ranked 19th in the nation in the Associated Press poll, 20th with the Coaches, and 25th in the Playoff Rankings.
In the odds at VietBet on which we will make our college football picks, Washington State is the slight favorite on the road:
Washington State Cougars -1
Utah Utes +1
Over 52 points -110
Under 52 points -110
One thing that might surprise some people about Utah is that they have a high “Rushing Success Rate” of 49.5%, which is 11th best in the nation. Then again, maybe it shouldn’t be so surprising, since Moss, a sophomore, has been a rather consistent performer, and Hundley, another soph, adds an interesting dimension to the offense. Hundley throws for less than eight yards per attempt, and has only a dozen touchdown passes, but let’s remember that he also missed 2 1/2 games with injuries. By far the top receiver is Darren Carrington, who has been targeted 28% of the time and has a catch rate of 73%. He is the former star at Oregon who, after a DUI, was suspended from the team and then executed a transfer as a grad student, so he could play right away.
VietBet patrons remember that Washington State gave up 310 rushing yards against Arizona so that’s not necessarily a big endorsement for their defensive front. Yes, it’s nice to keep a guy like Love in check, but that’s left necessarily going to be the same case with Moss. However, Hundley might not have such an easy time of it, because the Washington State defense is 18th in the nation in the metric of “Passing Success Rate.”
Faulk has put the ball up 410 times this season, that’s always enjoyable to watch him operate. His receivers don’t usually generate a lot of yards per catch, as Mike Leach’s “Air Raid” attack is based on quick decisions and quick releases, which usually constitute shorter routes. There are seven different receivers who have caught at least 29 passes, and the tight end is nonexistent. However, running backs James Williams and Jamal Morrow have combined for exactly 100 catches this year.
Despite the 58 points they gave up against Arizona, there is one of the better defenses Leach has had; maybe his best yet in Pullman. And with those passes to the running backs constituting “short handoffs,” they really do have a running game. We’ll side, ever so slightly, with the Cougars in this Pac 12 battle.
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