Stanford at Utah - 11/12/22 College Football Picks and Prediction

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The Stanford Cardinal will head to Salt Lake City and face the Utah Utes this Saturday from Rice-Eccles Stadium on ESPN. Utah and Stanford have met sporadically since the Utes joined the Pac-12 back in 2013. Utah has won all four matchups, and leads the all-time series 6-4.

Stanford is 3-6 after losing to Washington State in Week 9. The win over Notre Dame feels like ancient history for the Cardinal as they went into the locker room down 35 points at home last weekend. It’s hard to bounce back from a loss like that, especially with very little to play for. Stanford is scoring 22.6 points per game, while passing for 256.3 yards per game (85th), and rushing for 120.6 ypg (211th). The Stanford defense allows 31.3 points per game.

Tanner McKee’s play has tailed off since the Notre Dame win, and he just hasn’t been a difference maker from the QB position. The junior quarterback has been a victim of poor offensive line play, and there’s a slim chance that changes in Salt Lake City. McKee has thrown for 2,208 passing yards with 11 touchdowns to seven interceptions through nine starts.

Casey Filkins leads the team in rushing after an injury to E.J. Smith with 478 yards. Michael Wilson and Elijah Higgins have been solid on the outside. Higgins leads the team with 37 receptions and 453 receiving yards, while Wilson has provided big play ability, and has 26 catches for 418 yards and a team-lead four touchdowns. 

Utah jumped to 7-2 after defeating Arizona at home. The Utes scored on their first three possessions and pounded the Wildcats for four quarters, en route to picking up their fifth win by 21 points or more. Utah puts up 39.1 points per game, while passing for 254.2 yards per game (89th), and rushing for 202.4 ypg (47th).

Cam Rising returned to the lineup last weekend after his legendary performance versus USC. The junior quarterback threw for a season-high 415 yards, and scored five touchdowns (2 pass, 3 rush), en route to one of the biggest wins in school history. Rising surpassed the 2,000-yard mark for the season last weekend, and he’s got 16 touchdowns to three interceptions, along with 301 rushing yards and six scores for the season.

Tavion Thomas rushed for a school-record 21 touchdowns last year, but he’s seen less usage this season, in hopes of keeping the star back healthy for the upcoming NFL Draft. After losing stud Brant Kuithe to an ACL injury, you have to admire coach Whittingham’s approach with Thomas and Rising. Thomas still leads the Utes with 452 rushing yards, but freshman back Jaylon Glover got the start against Wazzu, and he’s now up to 298 yards for the season. Sophomore utility back Micah Bernard has 459 total yards (266 rush, 193 rec) and 21 catches. Dalton Kincaid has stepped up in Kuithe’s absence, and he now leads Utah in receptions (46), receiving yards (614), and touchdowns (7). Devaughn Vele has been reliable since the start of Pac-12 play, catching five passes or more in five of the last six games.

Stanford is 5-3 against the spread this season, with a 1-2 record on the road. Utah is 5-3 against the spread this season, with a 4-1 record at home. 

Can it get any worse for Stanford at this point?

The David Shaw era has taken a turn for the worse, and it now looks like the end is near. There’s no longer a Luck, Gerhart, or McCaffrey around, and there’s been little pulse from this team outside of an unseen win over Notre Dame. 

Utah still has a chance to make things right and make the trip to Vegas for the Pac-12 championship, but they’ve got to stay sharp here. They face their toughest road test of the season next weekend at the Zoo versus Oregon with a spot in the Rose Bowl on the line. Kyle Whittingham’s team won’t take their foot off the pedal here.

Look for the Utes to flex their muscles at home here in a tune-up for their stiffest road test of the season. Take Utah’s spread Saturday night.

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

Mitch's Take...

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