Utes' potent ground game rolls into Rose Bowl

Utah's potent ground game rolls into Rose Bowl

Questions continue to swirl about the availability of UCLA’s Josh Rosen for today’s bout vs. Utah. Perhaps the focus should be on exploring how the hosts can get the Utes’ offense off the field.

Kyle Whittingham’s team, which paces the nation in time of possession, stampedes into the Rose Bowl at 4 p.m. ET. Online sports book BetDSI currently likes the Bruins, though, as 7-point favorites to topple 19th-ranked Utah. The over/under is 46.

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Handicappers clearly expect Rosen to return from shoulder/leg injuries, which caused him to miss last weekend’s 27-21 loss to Washington State. Former walk-on Mike Fafual threw a pair of interceptions in that affair. To make matters worse, Jim Mora’s crew amassed just 43 yards on the ground.

If UCLA has any objective of making up ground in the Pac-12 race, it must string together longer drives this afternoon. No school controls the clock quite like the Utes, who protect the pigskin for 35-plus minutes per tilt. Then again, leading rusher Armand Shyne’s down for the season. Freshman Zack Moss also finds himself on the road back from an undisclosed ailment.

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On the surface, the matchup actually appears to befit the Bruins’ defense. Tom Bradley’s troops have held six consecutive foes under 400 yards of offense. With edge specialist Takkarist McKinley leading the way, we anticipate another robust showing on that side of the football.

 

SATURDAY NCAA FREE PICK: UTAH/UCLA UNDER 46 POINTS

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