Featured Video from Scott Reichel
The Oregon State Beavers host the Utah Utes Saturday night in Corvallis in a Pac-12 conference matchup. Oregon State is coming off a dominating 48-31 win over UCLA that moved the Beavers to a 2-3 record. They face a bigger challenge in Utah, who is 4-1 and ranked No. 15 nationally. The Utes are coming off a bye week.
The Beavers are no longer the laughing stock of the Pac-12. That title goes to UCLA after Oregon State beat the Bruins convincingly at the Rose Bowl. OSU senior quarterback Jake Luton scored six total touchdowns and was named Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week. Utah, meanwhile, is looking to avoid its second Pac-12 road loss of the season. The Utes already fell to USC and can't afford another stumble. Utah senior quarterback Tyler Huntley can make plays with both his arm and his feet.
Utah seeks road win
The Utah Utes saw their playoff hopes likely vanish with a close loss to USC last month. Utah still has plenty to play for, namely a spot in the Pac-12 championship game. The Utes should be able to come out of Corvallis with a win as long as they stick to their game plan of a hefty run-pass balance. Utah senior running back Zack Moss is expected to return after missing the Washington State win due to injuries. Moss ran for over 1,000 the last two seasons and will be a crucial piece for Utah going forward.
The Utes prefer to run the ball about 64% of the time, but quarterback Tyler Huntley can throw with the best of them out west. Huntley has seven passing touchdowns and 1,146 yards while committing no interceptions. Utah is one of four teams nationally without an interception. Huntley will likely be without one of his top targets, however, as receiver Britain Covey is expected to be ruled out for the second straight game.
Defensively, Utah's unit is among the best in the country at stopping the rush. The Utes allow just 53.8 yards on the ground per game, which is fourth-best nationally. Utah's defense has also forced seven interceptions, which ranks 10th in the country. The Utes rely on sophomore linebacker Devin Lloyd immensely. Lloyd leads the team with 38 tackles.
OSU seeks second straight winThe Oregon State Beavers are working towards a turnaround in head coach Jonathan Smith's second year in Corvallis. Oregon State lit up the scoreboard against UCLA, scoring 21 points in the first six minutes alone. Quarterback Jake Luton played one of his best games in an OSU uniform, throwing for five scores and rushing for another. Luton has gone 166 pass attempts with committing an interception, the second-longest streak nationally behind Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa.
Luton has one of the best receivers in the country to throw to in junior Isaiah Hodgins. Hodgins has 632 receiving yards and nine touchdown receptions. He ranks second in the country with 126.4 receiving yards per game. Hodgins scored a career-high three touchdowns against UCLA. Meanwhile, running back Artavis Pierce is a capable threat on the ground. Pierce is averaging 7.5 yards per carry and has scored three times in the past two games. Oregon State's offense ranks sixth nationally at third-down conversions with a 53.8% success rate.
Defensively, however, OSU is the second-worst team in the country at defending third-down tries. The Beavers will have to step it up on that side of the ball to have any chance of beating Utah. Oregon State's top defender is Hamilcar Rashad Jr., who leads the PAC-12 with 9.5 tackles for loss.
- Beavers are 2-6 ATS in their last eight home games.
- Beavers are 4-11 ATS in their last 15 conference games.
- Utes are 4-0 ATS in their last four games in October.
- Utes are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 conference games.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Utah should be back to full speed on offense with the return of running back Zack Moss. The Utes are also very dependable on the defensive side of the ball. Oregon State may be coming off a win over UCLA, but beating the Bruins isn't saying much this year. OSU is awful on defense, especially on third downs. That means they can't get off the field. Utah should be able to win comfortably here against a subpar Beavers' squad.
Prediction: Utah -14
Full-Game Total Pick
I don't have enough confidence in either offense to put up many points. If this one was one in Salt Lake, Utah might win a rout, but being in Corvallis I expect the Utes to stumble a few times trying to find the end zone. Oregon State's offense is still unproven against a solid power 5 opponent.
Prediction: Under 60