Mountain West Championship Game Pick: Utah State vs. Fresno State
Date/Time: December 7th, 10:00 ET
College Football Odds from WagerWeb
Point Spread: Fresno State -3
The first ever Mountain West Championship Game takes place on Saturday night in Fresno in what will amount to be the last game of the college football regular season. The Fresno State Bulldogs, fresh off of their first loss of the campaign, will take on the Utah State Aggies in the clash.
Utah State is awfully trendy right now, and we aren’t 100% certain we understand why. What made this team so dangerous in the first place, QB Chuckie Keeton, isn’t a part of the team any longer, as Keeton has a torn MCL and ACL, and his season is long since over with. Granted, QB Darell Garretson has been okay, though he hasn’t been nearly as dynamic as Keeton was, especially with his legs. So why are the Aggies winning games right now? They have the best defense in the Mountain West. This unit allowed just 321.5 yards and 16.8 points per game this season. We have our pauses for concern, though. Beating down the Wyoming Cowboys was a big accomplishment 35-7 last week, but prior to that, games against teams like the New Mexico Lobos and the Hawaii Warriors doesn’t do all that much for us. When the Aggies went up against the BYU Cougars and the Boise State Broncos, they allowed 31 and 34 points, and they also allowed 30 to the Utah Utes back in Week 1.
Fresno State though, really does look like it was exposed like all heck last week defensively. This unit really has had a rough season, and it started right off the bat by allowing 51 (granted, six of those points came in overtime) to the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in Week 1. Beyond that, there were 40 points allowed to Boise State, 37 to the Hawaii Warriors, 28 to the San Diego State Aztecs, 28 to New Mexico, and ultimately, the 62 that did them in against the San Jose State Spartans last week. We aren’t sure that this unit is going to have any answers whatsoever for the Utah State offense. It’s the other side of the ball where the Bulldogs will shine for sure. It hasn’t mattered who QB Derek Carr has run up against. He has succeeded in just about every game which he has played. He threw for over 500 yards and six TDs last week, and it surely wasn’t his fault that his team was beaten. He has 45 TDs against just five picks, and he went over 300 pass attempts without getting picked off. Carr is completing 70.3 percent of his passes, and another 500-yard passing day would get him to 5,000 yards.
The play we prefer in this game is the ‘over’. We really believe that this is going to be the worst defensive showing for the Aggies all season long, as they will give up at least 35 to Fresno State. If that’s the case, this one is probably going to be played at the pace of the Bulldogs instead of the pace of the Aggies, and that should get this one at least into the 60s, if not significantly higher than that.
Utah State Aggies vs. Fresno State Bulldogs Pick: Over 61