Utah Utes vs. Washington Huskies
Date and Time: Saturday, November 18, 2017, 10:30 p.m. ET
Location: Husky Stadium, Seattle, WA
Opening College Football Odds: Washington -17.5
Utah vs. Washington TV Coverage: ESPN
Before we get into Washington's plight, it's worth talking about how bad Utah has been since September ended. The Utes were once 4-0 and ranked in the top-15 in the land before suffering a 23-20 loss against Stanford at home. Utah has gone on to lose five of its last six games, the one win coming against a woeful UCLA team that has absolutely packed it in for the year as well.
The Utes put up a good fight against Washington State at home on Saturday night, but its 33-25 loss really put the team in a rough spot just to get into a bowl game.
Washington has had eight games this season where it has clearly been the better team on the field and two games where it has been uncharacteristically unable to move the ball consistently.
Last week against Stanford, Jake Browning went 17-for-23, and numbers like that usually translate well. That said, the Huskies only possessed the ball for 23:55 thanks to the fact that they couldn't get Bryce Love on the ground. Even a respectable offensive night where it averaged 5.8 yards per play, U-Dub was in bad shape from the get go.
7 – The number of turnovers the Utes had last week against Washington State.
Credit goes out to the Utah defense for holding Washington State to 33 points in that loss last week at home. Things could have (and probably should have) been significantly worse.
Utah has now turned the ball over 23 times this season and has committed at least one turnover in all 10 games. It's a wonder how much better this defense would have been this season if not saddled with having to defend against the opposing offense and effectively, its own offense as well. It's hard to turn the ball over 2.3 times per game and expect to ultimately have a shot in any power conference.
Utah vs. Washington Free Picks
It's worth questioning whether Washington is going to be up for this game or not. This is really the first game the team has played in two years that hasn't meant anything on a national scale. Barring a Stanford loss to Cal in "The Big Game," this game probably means squat for the Huskies. The Pac-12 probably isn't going to put a team in the New Year's Six aside from the Rose Bowl, and once Stanford beats Cal, the only factor Washington will have in the Pac-12 title race is whether it can end the dream for Washington State of winning the North Division.
Still, Chris Petersen is a great coach, and it's hard to overlook just how good Washington has been more often than not.
Average margin of victory in eight wins: 31.4 points per game.
This team is like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The good news is that Utah is just like Frankenstein at this point. The Utes are lifeless and heartless, especially on the offensive side of the ball, and we just can't imagine them really standing a chance in Seattle if the Huskies really come to play.
For as tempting as it must be to take the 17.5-points at your favorite internet sportsbook, we have to recommend laying the lumber on a Washington team that we still feel has the most talent of any of the teams in the Pac-12 this season.
College Football ATS Pick: Washington -17.5 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: Washington 45, Utah 17