What is it? No. 19 Washington State (8-2, 5-2) hopes to erase its recent road woes and stay in the hunt for a Pac-12 title when it visits Utah (5-4, 2-4).
Where is it? Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City.
When is it? Saturday at 2:30 p.m. PST.
Where can I watch it? The game will air on Pac-12 Networks.
Who is favored? The Cougars are favored to win by 1 point.
Why WSU will win: This might as well be a one-game playoff for WSU, so the Cougars will be playing with quite a bit of desperation when they take the field at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Win on Saturday afternoon and they’ll get another chance to play the Huskies for the Pac-12 North in the regular-season finale three weeks from now. The Utes rank 31st nationally in total defense, but they also haven’t seen a top-30 defense this season and the Cougars broke into the top-10 after holding Stanford’s offense to 14 points on Saturday.
Why Utah will win: The Cougars have not just lost in their last two road games, they’ve been outscored 95-40 by teams that still don’t look as impressive as WSU when you take into account the season as a whole. The road has been a troubling place and the Utes are finally starting to look like a troubling team. Coming off four consecutive losses in the Pac-12, Utah responded with a resounding 48-17 win over Josh Rosen-less UCLA. The Cougars have plenty to play for in this game, but do so the Utes. Beating the Bruins meant win No. 5 for Utah, which can clinch bowl eligibility with an upset in Salt Lake City this weekend.
What happened last time? In 2014, the Utes sprinted out to a 21-0 by scoring touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams, then took a 24-7 lead into halftime before WSU began to mount its comeback. That comeback both started and ended with touchdown passes from Connor Halliday to receiver Vince Mayle. Halliday fired an 11-yard pass to his top wideout to make it 24-14 and the Cougars won on Mayle’s 81-yard catch-and-run TD with 4:58 left in the fourth quarter. In the 28-27 win, Mayle had eight catches for 120 yards while River Cracraft finished with nine receptions and 126 yards. Dom Williams had two touchdowns.
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