The Washington Huskies have a tough test ahead of them late Saturday night when they travel to take on the Utah Utes in Week 3 college football action. Two years ago, Washington almost saw its undefeated season come to an end on the road in Salt Lake City. The Huskies and Utes were tied late, but then Dante Pettis returned a punt for a touchdown to keep Washington’s perfect season intact. This time around, the Huskies aren’t perfect, but a loss would knock them out of the top ten and ruin their chances at making the College Football Playoff.
Watch this Week 3 matchup live on Saturday, September 15, 2018, at 10 p.m. ET at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah.
College Football Odds at BookMaker.eu
This line has moved around a bit since it opened. The initial CFB betting odds had the Huskies listed as a 6.5-point road favorite in this tilt. However, the early action came in on the Utes and pushed the line down to 5.5. That has rebounded over early in the week though, with Washington money moving the line to a full touchdown.
There hasn’t been much action on the total. The over/under on the NCAAF betting line for this game was 48, and that has come down a half-point since open.
Player to Watch
Over the course of his career, Jake Browning has developed a reputation as an excellent game manager and a very efficient quarterback. He threw 10 interceptions as a true freshman in 2015, but he saw that total dip to 9 in 2016 and drop to 5 in 2017.
This season, Browning has already thrown three interceptions and fans are starting to voice their concerns with their star quarterback. It wasn’t a surprise for him to be somewhat inefficient against Auburn and he threw an interception, but he played relatively well in the win. However, against a bad FCS team in North Dakota last week, he threw an additional two picks and missed some other throws.
He now has a completion percentage under 60 for the first time in his career. It seems like he really misses Dante Pettis, and that has affected his play somewhat. He torched Utah’s secondary in his only 300-yard game last season, and he will need to move the chains through the air on this defense.
Matchup to Watch
Under Kyle Whittingham, Utah looks to move the ball on the ground. The Utes will look to do so against the Huskies on Saturday night too.
Washington is allowing four yards per carry on average this season, and the Huskies defense rose to the occasion against Auburn in the season opener. Auburn averaged just 3.3 yards per carry against this front, and that kept them in the game while the offense was having its issues. The defensive line had some questions to answer with Vita Vea part of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers now, but they have looked sharp thus far.
The Utes must find some way to move the ball on the ground. While star running back Zack Moss is averaging 6.8 yards per carry, that number is largely skewed by an 86-yard touchdown run he had against FCS Weber State in the opener. This offensive line couldn’t get much going against Northern Illinois last week, and quarterback Tyler Huntley has already been sacked seven times too. That’s not a good sign.
Free ATS Pick
While many will likely have Washington on upset alert, I just don’t see it. The Huskies likely did little to prep for North Dakota and have spent two full weeks preparing for Utah, while the Utes faced a tough road test in Northern Illinois last week. Utah won’t be able to move the ball well against this defense, while Browning gets on track in a comfortable Washington win.
College Football Odds: Washington 34, Utah 17
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