Utah Win Total Prediction
Utah has always been a competitive football program, but the Utes have struggled to get to 10 wins often. Will 2019 make a time that Utah can get to double-digit wins?
Kyle Whittingham is entering his 15th season as head coach at Utah. He is 120-61 in his previous 14 years, coming off a 9-5 record in 2018. He has led the Utes to four double-digit win seasons in his time there. According to oddsmakers, the Utes are listed with an over/under of 9 wins for the 2019 regular season. The over is listed with -125 odds, while the under is set at +105.
Utah is a physical team known for defense, but the offense has been somewhat shaky. Last season, the Utes averaged just 28.1 points and 397 yards per game. This year’s team returns seven starters on offense, including the key skill-position players. Tyler Huntley threw for 1,788 yards and 12 touchdowns at QB while running back Zack Moss rushed for 1,092 yards and 11 touchdowns. Both are back, along with pretty much every receiver the team had. The key will be up front, as Utah has to replace three starters on the offensive line.
The Utah defense was pretty solid and was able to keep most Pac-12 offenses in check. The Utes allowed 19.4 points and 316.6 yards per game, both of which ranked in the top 20 nationally. Their run defense was fourth in the nation, giving up just 101.4 yards per game. Utah has seven starters back on defense this year, including all four up front. Bradlee Anae had a team-high eight sacks and is back for his senior year. In the secondary, Utah will be led by Jaylon Johnson, who had four interceptions and 40 tackles in 2018.
Utah has a few competitive non-conference games as it opens the season at BYU and then will host Northern Illinois. The Utes host Idaho State before beginning Pac-12 play on the road against USC. Utah will also travel to Oregon State, Washington and Arizona for conference play while hosting Washington State, Arizona State, Cal, UCLA and Colorado.
On paper, there is a lot to lake about Utah this season. However, history tells another story. Since the Utes joined the Pac-12, they have not won 10 games in the regular season. The 2015 season saw Utah go 10-3, but that included a bowl win. Even in two of the three 9-win seasons, those also included bowl wins. Utah just hasn’t been able to sustain winning in conference play. They win some big games, but get upset frequently as well. If push at 9 was an option, I would feel good about that, but I will definitely side with the under here, as opposed to the over.
College Football Prediction: Utah Under 9 Wins +105