Utah has won five straight games over the Arizona Wildcats. Last year’s contest was surprisingly close. Three of the four prior were not. On the surface, this 40-points-per-game offense going up against one of college football’s most porous defenses would make for another lopsided result.

And Bill Connelly’s SP+ thinks as such.

The predictive model has the Utes winning 45-20 over the Cats.

Take that with a giant heaping of salt, though.

Utah could very well be without starting quarterback Cameron Rising, both of its top tight ends in Brant Kuithe in Dalton Kincaid, and both of its top two running backs in Tavion Thomas and Micah Bernard.

Rising was a late scratch in last Thursday’s win over Washington State. Coach Kyle Whittingham is notoriously tight-lipped about injuries. Nothing is season-ending, he announced earlier this week, but that’s as much info as we’ll get until gametime arrives.

The staff seems hopeful Rising will be able to play this week. Kuithe is out for the year, and Kincaid’s status is currently unknown. Thomas topped 1,000 yards and ran for 21 touchdowns a season ago, but things have gone awry this year and Whittingham has said the situation will not be addressed publicly in any way, shape, or form. Thomas didn’t travel last week.

His backup, Bernard, was not expected to play but tried to give it a go and proved to be extremely limited.

According to The Salt Lake Tribune’s Josh Newman, Rising practiced Monday and Tuesday with a brace on his left knee. Reporters aren’t given access to practice, so it’s unclear what the extent of his involvement was, but Newman reported it was “clear” he was participating in some form. Bernard, Newman wrote, will also look to give it another go against the Wildcats.

Whether it’s Bryson Barnes at quarterback or Rising, Utah will try and handle its business again. And Arizona will look to keep things rolling on its side of the ball.

“For us, we’re going to find a way, the best we can, to move the football,” Arizona coach Jedd Fisch said this week. “We’re going to do everything we possibly can to get scores as often as we can against a very good defense. We’re going to have to find a way to take the ball away, by our defense against their offense, to be able to limit their time of possession. We don’t want them to be in the 31-32 minute (range). We’re going to try to figure out a way to get more points with every possession we have and really not get too wrapped up in what they’re doing.”

Kickoff is set for 4:30 p.m. PT on the Pac-12 Network.