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Utah vs. UCLA

Utah Utes (5-2) vs UCLA Bruins (2-5)
NCAA College Football, Friday, October 26, 2018, 10:30 PM (Rose Bowl)
The Line: UCLA +10.5- Over and Under: TBA


This is a PAC-12 matchup for one team that might put them in the driver’s seat for a spot in the Pac-12 Championship game. The Utes are a recent addition to the conference. UCLA, on the other hand, has been one that at times has been a staple. UCLA decided they would go and hire former Oregon coach and NFL coach Chip Kelly to get the program back on track.

UCLA is not off to the start they one like. Like most programs, it takes time for a new coach to obtain the right guys for his system. When Kelly was at Oregon his team concept was speed. UCLA is not quite there yet. The quarterback that he has in place is the one he wants. Darian Thompson-Robinson is a dual-threat QB.

Now he might not be ready for the game on Friday. He was injured in the last game against Arizona. He is questionable to return. Now Kelly must turn to Michigan transfer Wilton Speight. The big issue with Speight is he is not mobile. He stands at 6’6 sort of like a statue. The term speed does not come close to describing Speight. What he does bring is a pocket presence. Which is not typical of Kelly offense which might make a surprise to the Utes.


The Utes come into this game on a 3-game winning streak. Coming off a homecoming win over UCLA rival USC. They have been playing well on offense and have dominated defensively. The only issues that have been having are on special teams. They can pull ahead of USC with a win in the conference. They know the Kelly system and will have to be ready for speed.

The question this time of year is can the Utes finish. In the past, they have been so close. In 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016 come November they had a chance to win the Pac 12. They somehow find ways to shoot themselves in the foot. It will be a game which they don’t play a complete a game and it costs them. Will this be the year where they have a complete season?

The game plan that they had during their three-game winning streak should so the trick. Like I said earlier they just need to be better on special teams and they will be fine. They have the offense that can put up points. The Utes defense has been one of the best in the Pac 12 all season. UCLA is still trying to get going on all sides of the ball. There will be an adjustment if their starting quarterback can’t go.

If Utah wants to finish the season the way, they started it just stick with what has been working. They need to use the momentum they have gained from the past three games and take it to UCLA. Look for them to have a defensive game plan to slow down UCLA. For the Bruins, if their starting quarterback can’t go the offensive plan will be adjusted. This will be a unique style for a Kelly offense which is run first. UCLA defense will also have to be ready for the Utes offense. We will have to see how this game shakes out. Will we see the Utes move closer to the Pac 12 championship game or will UCLA pull an upset!

My Pick: Utah -8.5