(6-5, 6-5 ATS)
(9-2, 7-3-1 ATS)
The Holy War is always one of the most anticipated battles of the season in the Beehive State, and this year is no exception. The BYU Cougars and Utah Utes will battle it out on the collegiate gridiron for the final time as members of the WAC on Saturday afternoon at Rice Eccles Stadium.
The Cougars have gotten their legs about them and have rolled off four straight wins after starting the season at just 2-5. Regardless of what happens in this game, they know that they are going to a bowl game, and they know that they really don’t have many better places to go than that with a win either. Both sides of the ball have really come together for BYU, as it has averaged beating up opponents 42-11 on this winning streak. QB Jake Heaps was selected as the team’s only quarterback just a few weeks into the season, and that decision is finally starting to pay dividends. Over the last three games, Heaps has thrown for 767 yards and eight TDs, but most importantly, no picks. RB JJ Di Luigi is still putting up his numbers on a regular basis, and he is ready to shine again on the big stage against the Utes. Di Luigi has rushed for 805 yards, and he leads the team in receiving as well with 410 yards. The replacement for the departed RB Harvey Unga also has eight scores to lead the team.
Utah looked like a BCS team for the first two and a half months of the season, but after getting absolutely mauled by the TCU Horned Frogs at home, it totally fell apart. The Utes were then beaten down by the Notre Dame Fighting Irish as well to take away any chance of going to an elite bowl game. QB Jordan Wynn was expected to really be a monster this year after coming on strong at the end of the campaign last year, but he really hasn’t lived up to that hype. Wynn has thrown for 2,135 yards and has a TD/INT ratio of 16/9, and though those are good numbers, they’re not stats that will bring the Utes to the status of an elite team in the country. RB Matt Asiata and RB Eddie Wide have both had great years splitting carries for the Utes. The two have combined for 1,260 yards and 18 scores. Defensively is really where Utah has succeeded in 2010. The Utes were only allowing 12.9 points per game before getting raked by the Air Force Falcons, the Horned Frogs, Fighting Irish, and most recently, the San Diego State Aztecs.
The Utes just haven’t done anything of late to speak to us. They’re probably the better team in this game, but that doesn’t mean that they’re winning, and it really doesn’t mean that they are beating this hefty college football point spread. Back the Cougars and hope for a big time upset in the Holy War.
College Football Free Pick: BYU Cougars +8.5