Utah vs. UCLA: TV info, betting odds, and score predictions
Utah welcomes UCLA to Rice-Eccles Stadium on Saturday for the start of Pac-12 play.
Both teams are unbeaten. Both teams are ranked inside the AP Top 25 — Utah at No. 11, UCLA at No. 22. They’ve gotten to where they are in different ways.
The Utes have survived a three-game opening stretch without their starting quarterback, their best pass-catcher, and a slew of defensive players. Tailback Ja’Quinden Jackson leads the team in rushing with 213 yards on 33 carries, but he hasn’t yet found the endzone. Nate Johnson (148 yards, three scores) and Jaylon Glover (93 yards, two scores) have handled that.
Utah’s pass game hasn’t been anything special, but its defense has been hard-nosed. Cole Bishop has four tackles for loss in three games from his roaming safety spot. Three different Utah defenders each have multiple sacks — Bishop, Jonah Elliss, and Logan Fano.
On the other side, UCLA has thrived. Dante Moore has stepped in as a freshman quarterback and looked sensational. He has completed 62.7% of his passes for 615 yards, seven touchdowns and just one interception.
And defensively, UCLA has been excellent against albeit overmatched competition. The Bruins rank fifth nationally in defensive efficiency, yielding just 3.9 yards per play. Laiatu Latu has already collected 5.5 tackles for loss while Gabriel Murphy and Darius Muasau have each added four.
It should be an entertaining game.
Here’s everything you need to know for it:
TV and Kickoff Time
Kickoff time: 12:30 p.m. PT
Location: Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City, Utah
TV Network: FOX, streaming on FOXSports.com
Line: Utah -5.5
Money line: Utah -210, UCLA +175
ESPN’s FPI gives Utah a 66.4% chance of coming away with the win.
Bill Connelly’s SP+ projects the Utes to win 29-26.
Saturday Out West’s Jon Gold predicts a 38-30 UCLA victory:
The Utes have a staggering number of injuries all over the field, including to some superstar players. If they don’t heal up in a hurry, they’re in trouble.
That trouble is going to start this weekend against UCLA.
Saturday Out West’s Derek Peterson picked the Bruins to cover at 5.5:
This is the most interesting game of the weekend to me. We’re going to find out if UCLA’s defense is legit. That group has quietly been outstanding to open the season, ranking fifth nationally in yards per play allowed. Utah has opened 3-0 thanks to sheer determination. The Utes have been decimated by injuries, yet the defense has been lights out regardless of who has been on the field. Can that kind of play continue against Dante Moore? Though just a freshman, he has looked like one of the best passers in the country. And it must be mentioned that Rice-Eccles Stadium is a disaster zone for other teams. I think it’ll be close, so I’ll pick the Bruins to cover that spread with no idea who actually wins it.