UCLA vs Utah Prediction - College Football Picks 9/23/23

Utah Utes (3-0) vs UCLA Bruins (3-0)

Game Info: Saturday, September 23, 2023 at 3:30 pm (Rice-Eccles Stadium)

Betting Odds: Utah Utes -6 -- Over/Under: 52.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The UCLA Bruins will play the Utah Utes in a PAC-12 game on Saturday afternoon at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah. UCLA comes into this game with a 3-0 record, while Utah also is undefeated and has impressive wins over Baylor and Florida. 

UCLA Preview

The UCLA Bruins are 3-0 this season after they defeated NC Central by a score of 59-7 in their last game. UCLA scored 35 points in the first quarter and kept NC Central off of the scoreboard until halfway through the fourth quarter in the win. The Bruins out gained their opponent by a total of 614-232 and racked up over 400 yards on the ground. UCLA defeated Coastal Carolina by a score of 27-13 in their first game and San Diego State by a score of 35-10 in their second game. The UCLA offense is scoring 40.3 points per game with 256.7 passing yards per game and 270.3 rushing yards per game, while going 51.6% on third down attempts. Dante Moore has thrown for 615 yards, seven touchdowns, and one interception for the Bruins this year. Carson Steele has rushed for 243 yards and two touchdowns, while J. Michael Sturdivant has caught nine passes for 219 yards and two scores. The UCLA defense is allowing 10 points against per game this season.

Utah Preview

The Utah Utes are 3-0 this season after they defeated Weber State by a score of 31-7 last week. Utah led 17-7 at halftime and was able to score two touchdowns in the second half to pull away with the win. The Utes out gained Weber State by a total of 424-127 and forced two turnovers in the win. Utah defeated Florida by a score of 24-11 in Week 1 and Baylor by a score of 20-13 in Week 2. The Utes offense is averaging 25 points per game with 170.3 passing yards per game and 186.7 rushing yards per game, while going 37.8% on third down conversions this season. Nate Johnson has thrown for 281 yards and one touchdown, while also rushing for 148 yards and three touchdowns for Utah this year. Ja’Quinden Jackson has rushed for 213 yards, while Money Parks has caught eight passes for 138 yards and two scores. The Utah defense is giving up 10.3 points against per game this year and looked very solid against Florida and Baylor. 

Utah Utes Team Facts

  • Utah has won each of its last 11 games against conference opponents at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
  • Utah has failed to cover the spread in four of its last five games against AP-ranked teams.
  • Utah has won the first half in 13 of its last 17 games against conference opponents.
  • Each of Utah's last four games at Rice-Eccles Stadium have gone UNDER the total points line.

UCLA Bruins Team Facts

  • UCLA has lost each of its last seven road games against top-15 AP-ranked teams.
  • UCLA has covered the spread in each of its last four September games as an underdog.
  • Each of UCLA's last seven games as an underdog against AP-ranked teams have gone OVER the total points line.

Matchup/League Facts

  • Utah ranked 4th among FBS teams for Q3 win percentage last season (.714).
  • Utah ranked 8th among FBS teams for H1 points per game last season (20.5).
  • UCLA ranked 9th among FBS teams for H2 points per game last season (18.7).
  • UCLA ranked 11th among FBS teams for Q3 points per game last season (9.5).

Pick

Utah comes into this game as the higher ranked team and they will be at home, but they will be facing a UCLA team that has looked solid so far this season. UCLA is putting up over 500 yards per game through three games and is rushing for over 270 yards per game. The Utah defense has been very good and is holding teams to 65 rushing yards per game, so it will interesting to see if UCLA can continue the success on the ground. There is a chance that Cam Rising returns at quarterback for Utah, but I am not sure how effective he will be in his first game of the year. I like UCLA with the points in this matchup. 

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

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