The Utah Utes finally lost a game to BYU, ending a rivalry winning streak that went on for nine straight games. Not even Zach Wilson was able to beat Utah. It was a disappointing showing from Utah throughout the game. A bounce back against San Diego State would be a big step in the right direction. San Diego State is currently 2-0 to start the season and just knocked off Arizona, 38-14. Yes, we know it’s Arizona, but San Diego State knocked off a Pac-12 opponent. That can’t go unnoticed. This game between Utah and San Diego State won’t be the most popular game at 7:00 pm EST, but it’ll be a tight one throughout and one you’re going to lose your nails over.
Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook
- Opening Lines: Utah -7.5; O/U 44.5
- Current ATS Line: Utah -8
- Current Over/Under: 44.5
- Location: Dignity Health Sports Park
- Date: Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021
- Start Time: 7.00 p.m. EST
- Television: CBSSN
- Last Meeting: The Utah Utes knocked off San Diego State 38-34 in 2010.
The Utah Utes dominated Weber State before taking their first loss of the season, on the road, against BYU. That loss snapped a nine-game winning streak against BYU. I guess all good things must come to an end.
In the first two games this season, Utah has been average. The passing game behind former Baylor Bear Charlie Brewer has been effective, while the running game has averaged over 190 yards per game through two games. Meanwhile, Brewer doesn’t have the best of receivers, and the pass protection has been ugly at times.
Defensively, Utah has looked strong in coverage, allowing just 181 yards per game in the passing game. The pass rush has helped dominate the passing game on the defensive end. However, the Utes have struggled to tackle and have missed plenty of easy tackles in the last two weeks.
On the other hand, San Diego State’s offense has done enough, but overall it’s been the defense that has been massive. The most impressive thing about San Diego State’s offense hasn’t been quarterback Jordan Brookshire. Instead, it’s been the offensive line and the protection they’ve provided him. They’ve also looked great in the run block, giving Greg Bell plenty of room to run.
The Aztecs have allowed an average of 129.5 yards per game in the air. The coverage is a big reason for this. They’ve looked excellent so far this season, along with the seven men up front. The defense has been amazing, point-blank, allowing just 12 points per game this season.
- Aztecs are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games as a home underdog.
- Utes are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games.
- Over is 4-0 in Utes last 4 games as a road favorite of 0.5-3.0.
*Line movement analysis based on the DonBest Las Vegas betting market ticker*
The Utes have seen slight movement since the opening lines from -7.5 to -8 point favorites. The total has stayed the same at 44.5.
I really don’t want to bet against Charlie Brewer and the Utes. Brewer is a veteran quarterback that’s has played so many snaps in college football. He deserves better. However, Brewer really doesn’t have many reliable receivers. His tight end, Dalton Kincaid, has five catches for 112 yards along with two touchdowns. Outside of Kincaid, not a single receiver has over 100 yards receiving through two games this season. Nobody is breaking out.
If Utah is going to win this game, they’ll have to pound the rock behind their two-headed running back group of Micah Bernard and Tavion Thomas. Both running backs are averaging at least seven yards per rush and have three touchdowns combined.
However, the San Diego State rushing defense and overall defense have been stunning. I get the level of competition has been a bit weak, but they’ve done their job very well. They’ve got stops on the ground and got stops in the air. They’ve got no flaws on the defensive end, at least for now.
On offense, the Aztecs will also look to run the ball effectively behind Greg Bell, who is averaging 7.5 yards per carry on 38 attempts. Like I said earlier, the run blocking from San Diego State has been excellent, and that has allowed Bell to gain some big yards through two games.
Utah didn’t play well on the road against BYU, and now they’re making the trip on the road again. I’ll back San Diego State to cover this game. It’s going to be much closer than most would expect. Even if Utah wins by a touchdown, I’ll get the cover.
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