Coming off a huge home win over USC, the Utah Utes appear to be in your prototypical letdown spot this week when they hit the road for Tempe, AZ to take on the Arizona State Sun Devils. Both teams come into this game on three-game winning streaks and both teams come in relatively fresh with bye weeks earlier this month. Arizona State has won 10 straight in this series and will be looking for their 11th consecutive win over the Utes as nearly a touchdown favorite.
Utah vs. Arizona State College Football Preview
Date/Time: Saturday November 1, 11:00 p.m. ET
TV: FOX Sports 1
College Football Betting Odds from WagerWeb
College Football Betting Favorite: Arizona State -6
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Kyle Whittingham has done a terrific job at Utah in his career. Whittingham entered this season 75-39 straight up at Utah and 56-54-2 against the number. The Utes are 6-1 straight up and ATS this season. Whittingham seems to perennially be one of the most underrated coaches in college football. Todd Graham is 24-10 straight up at Arizona State and 19-15 against the spread. Arizona State is 6-1 straight up and 4-3 ATS this season.
The Utes have made the most of their 392 yards of offense per game by racking up 35.9 points per game. Take that with a grain of salt, however, as the Utes scored 115 points in wins over Idaho State and Fresno State to open the season. Over their last five games, they have averaged a much more modest total of 27.2 points per game. Travis Wilson hasn’t put up eye-popping numbers under center, but he has not thrown an interception in his 143 attempts this season. The strength of the Utah offense is the offensive line, which has led to a power running game that wears down opponents. The Utes are getting just 4.4 yards per carry, but they’ve run the ball 320 times against just 194 passes. Top wide receiver Dres Anderson is out for the season and that’s an enormous loss for an already one-dimensional offense. The Utah defense has played very well, holding opponents to just 21.6 points per game, and that includes holding UCLA to 28 in a road win earlier this season. Utah is a fourth-quarter collapse against Washington State away from being a perfect 7-0.
Arizona State Sun Devils:
Todd Graham likes it in Tempe and that has led to a lot of consistency for the Sun Devils. Graham bounced around from Tulsa to Pitt to Arizona State in a three-year span from 2010-12 and got a bit of a reputation. He signed an extension with Arizona State and has done a great job of plucking junior college transfers and turning them into FBS players. One of them, Jaelen Strong, leads the team with 52 catches for 744 yards and seven touchdowns. Strong is happy that Taylor Kelly is back at quarterback, though Mike Bercovici certainly played well enough in his absence. Kelly is about 1,300 yards away from passing Jake Plummer for third all-time in passing yards at Arizona State. The defense, which was an area of concern with just two returning starters and a lot of JUCO transfers, but they’re on pace to be right around their average over the last couple of years in points allowed.
Free Pick: Arizona State Sun Devils -6
This is an ideal spot for the Sun Devils. They’re coming home after a gritty road win at Washington in Taylor Kelly’s first start back and Utah is coming off of a huge home win over USC, their first win over the Trojans since 1916 (small sample size alert!). Temperatures are also expected to be in the 90s during the day, which may lead to some fatigue issues in the warm night air for the Utah boys that are used to the altitude and cooler weather. The Anderson injury will allow Arizona State to play run and roll with single coverage on the outside. They should have success and should put up points.