Kyle Whittingham and the Utes carry a 14-game overall win streak and series dominance into Thursday's battle against Utah State at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
The Utah Utes, the nation’s hottest college football team, looks to get out of the gate quickly tonight as they open the season against longtime rival Utah State. Utah takes a 14-game winning streak – longest in the nation – into the season opener and will be trying to carry over the momentum from a 13-0 regular season in 2008. Utah has dominated this series against their in-state rivals winning 11 straight but over-confidence shouldn’t be a factor not with Utes breaking a pair of new quarterbacks.
Utah will be counting on RB Matt Asiata, who averaged nearly 5-yards per carry last season to lighten the load on the teams young quarterbacks and it figures they’ll try early to establish the running game. Head coach Kyle Whittingham will not announce his new starting QB prior to kickoff but indications point to JuCo transfer Terrance Cain stepping into the big void left by previous signal-caller Brian Johnson. While there are only four returning starters on offense, a solid defense has seven starters.
The Aggies are coming off a 3-9 season but were 7-4-1 ATS. Ten starters are back on offense, including QB Diondre Borel who led the team in passing and rushing a year ago. The defense will need the expertise of new coach Gary Anderson after allowing 35 points per game last season.
With the exception of back-to-back victories by Utah State in the mid-1990’s, Utah has captured every meeting in the annual series dating back to 1988. In those wins the Utes' margin of victory is an astounding 36 points per game. Defensively they’ve held their rivals from Logan to an average eight points per game.
The coaching matchup is an intriguing one. Utah’s Kyle Whittingham will be facing his former defensive coordinator Gary Anderson.
The Over is on runs of 4-1 in the past five series meetings, 11-2 in Utah’s last 13 games, 9-1 when the Utes are favored and 8-0 to the high side against a non-conference opponent.
Free Pick: Utah St-Utah Over 52 (-110)