College Football Picks, Predictions, and Previews: The Way It Oughtta Be

Utah vs. Colorado 12/12/2020 College Football Picks, Prediction, and Preview

The Utah visits Colorado on 12/12/2020 at 12:00PM.

Utah and Colorado face off in an important game for both teams as every game in this shortened season with limited or no fans in attendance means more. Utah has a record of 1-2 this season. Colorado is 4-0 this season. Both have players to meet and know.

Utah Team Defense Preview

Utah has had 38 defensive drives in non-garbage time minutes and they yield 5.13 plays per drive. Relatively speaking, Utah is not a team that allows many plays per drive. This defense either gives up big plays quickly or induces a lot of three-and-outs, we shall find out more. Opponents face third and long situations a lot against this defense. This is a defense that forces opponents to commit penalties, have compromised offensive line play, and fail to convert on crunch possessions. Passing plays make up 56.92% of their opponents’ play calls.They are a team that faces a lot of Air Raid Offenses.

Utah opponents have struggled with running the ball and this defense has crushed the spirits of their opponents with zero or negative yard plays. 4th and Short is not a cake walk against this defense, maybe passing on 4th and Short or having some sort of RPO is the way to go here because if an Offensive Coordinator thinks that they can just line and run a Quarterback Sneak or hand it off to a tailback, they are mistaken. How effective are opposing offensive lines given what we know about their ability to force negative yardage rushing plays? Utah can take credit for holding the offensive line of their opponent to 2.22 yards per carry. Opponent offensive lines have been simply unable to support their running games against this defense. This is a team that is getting gashed too much for the tastes of their base. Linebackers are not stopping the bleeding well enough. They are capable of giving up a long run, which is really demoralizing when the opposing team has the ball deep in their own territory.

This is not a disruptive Defense and they get pushed over way too easily. Perhaps they are too vanilla with playcalling. This front seven is simply unable to make an impact, something must change or else the problems will repeat. Utah is better at stopping the run than the pass this season.

Utah Team Offense Preview

Utah has had 34 total drives this season and they generate 5.68 plays per drive. Utah runs a lot of plays per drive and this could wear an opposing defense down. Utah has shown a capability to be explosive on first and second down to avoid third downs and has converted well (relatively) on 3rd and 4th Down situations. Utah passes the football 45.60% of the time.They favor running the ball as opposed airing it out.

Utah is not doing anything particularly special as far as their ability to avoid negative yardage plays on the ground. Based on the Adjusted Line Yards metric, which measures the amount of credit that should be ascribed to the offensive line for a rushing play, they average 3.26 yards per carry. This offensive line may be underappreciated, even though the running backs get the attention. The Utah coaching staff really deserves credit for how they prepared this offensive line, but they could be a little bit better! This is a team that is rather above-average when it comes to gashing defenses. The threat of the run should force opposing to play more honest and assignment defensive football is a must. They feature a relatively average explosiveness in the running game, maybe there will be a breakout rushing play, but it is not something to count on from them.

Utah has bullied and controlled defenses this season, defenses have not been able to dictate what this offense is able to do to them. Opponents should consider a containment strategy. Utah is among the best in the country at keeping defensive front sevens at bay. Opposing defenses need their secondary players to step up and cause trouble in order for this Offense to be disrupted. Utah is a better passing team than running team this season.

Colorado Team Defense Preview

Colorado has had 52 defensive drives in non-garbage time minutes and they yield 5.08 plays per drive. Relatively speaking, Colorado is not a team that allows many plays per drive. This defense either gives up big plays quickly or induces a lot of three-and-outs, we shall find out more. Opponents face third and long situations a lot against this defense. This is a defense that forces opponents to commit penalties, have compromised offensive line play, and fail to convert on crunch possessions. Passing plays make up 61.36% of their opponents’ play calls.They are a team that faces a lot of Air Raid Offenses.

Colorado opponents have struggled with running the ball and this defense has crushed the spirits of their opponents with zero or negative yard plays. 4th and Short is not a cake walk against this defense, maybe passing on 4th and Short or having some sort of RPO is the way to go here because if an Offensive Coordinator thinks that they can just line and run a Quarterback Sneak or hand it off to a tailback, they are mistaken. Opponent rushing yards attributed to their offensive line this season comes out to 2.77 yards per carry. Generally speaking, this is an average defense when it comes to how offensive lines control or fail to control them on the ground. This is a team that is getting gashed too much for the tastes of their base. Linebackers are not stopping the bleeding well enough. Long breakout runs against this Defense are far too common. This is a very porous rushing defense that is incapable of preventing a situation where their safeties chase down a running back or quarterback.

Colorado has made the turnover belt, chain, pads, lunch pail or whatever gimmick they use change hands a lot. This is a Defense that causes pure aggravation. Colorado should have a sign ready for opponents near the Visitor Locker Room that says “Welcome to Hell”, this front seven is deep and they cause a lot of problems. Colorado is better at stopping the run than the pass this season.

Colorado Team Offense Preview

Colorado has had 58 drives in non-garbage time minutes and they average 5.19 plays per drive. Relatively speaking, Colorado is not a team that runs many plays per drive. The offense is either prone to faltering and struggles to notch first downs or extremely explosive, we will need to find out a bit more to get answers. Colorado is an average offense when it comes to staying ahead of the chains, getting into 3rd and Short scenarios, and converting on 3rd and 4th Down. Colorado passes the football 35.22% of the time.They favor running the ball as opposed airing it out.

Colorado struggles with running the ball, getting zero or negative yard plays is disspiriting and the offensive line is not effectively making a good push. Poor playcalling, pre-snap adjustments or post-snap reads may be responsible and this could fall on the Quarterback, Offensive Coordinator, and Head Coach. Based on the Adjusted Line Yards metric, which measures the amount of credit that should be ascribed to the offensive line for a rushing play, they average 2.56 yards per carry. So what does this mean? It means that the offensive line has been incredibly disappointing in their contribution to the ground game. When it comes to getting to that second level where linebackers have not crashed down on the line of scrimmage, they are getting stopped with ease. They are capable of busting out a long run, which is really good when the team has the ball in their own territory.

Defenses have had trouble making big, disruptive plays against Colorado this season. Front sevens are causing an average amount of trouble for the Offense. Colorado has shown themselves to be a better running team than passing team this season.

The Utah Roster

The Players to Watch for Utah

Jake Bentley QB 6-4 220

This season, Jake Bentley has put up 489 yards and 3 touchdowns. He has thrown 4 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 119.2thus far this season. Jake Bentley has thrown 4 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Jake Bentley has 69.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 68.83 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 19.0 times this season, which puts him in the 53.4 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 1.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Ty Jordan RB 5-7 200

This season, Ty Jordan has 296 rushing yards on 44 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 1 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Ty Jordan picked up 74 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 7 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

Bryan Thompson WR 6-2 207

This season, Bryan Thompson picked up 113 yards. He caught the ball 5 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 1 receiving touchdowns this season.

Viane Moala DT 6-6 323

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for Utah, Viane Moala has 4 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 0 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 23.32 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 0 times this season, which put him in the 32.96 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Mika Tafua DE 6-3 250.0

The leading tackler among Defensive Ends for Utah, Mika Tafua has 11 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 2 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 64.24 percentile among Defensive Ends. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 2 times this season, which put him in the 80.93 percentile among all Defensive Ends in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Nate Ritchie S 6-2 200.0

He is the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Utah, Nate Ritchie had 16 tackles which puts him in the 55.91 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 1 tackles for loss this season, which puts him in the 71.77 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, this season he was able to take them down 0 times this season. Nate Ritchie as a ball hawker was able to pick off 0 passes this season, which puts him in the 37.97 percentile among returning secondary position players this season.

Clark Phillips III CB 5-10 191

Considered the leading tackler among Cornerbacks for Utah, Clark Phillips III had 20 tackles which puts him in the 73.8 percentile among Corners. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 2 tackles for loss this season, which puts him in the 91.5 percentile among Corners. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, this season he was able to take them down 0 times this season. Clark Phillips III as a ball hawker was able to pick off 0 passes this season, which puts him in the 36.4 percentile among Corners this season.

The Colorado Roster

The Players to Watch for Colorado

Sam Noyer QB 6-4 220

This season, Sam Noyer has put up 742 yards and 4 touchdowns. He has thrown 4 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 127.7thus far this season. Sam Noyer has thrown 4 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Sam Noyer has 179.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 85.19 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 38.0 times this season, which puts him in the 73.15 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 5.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Jarek Broussard RB 5-9 185

This season, Jarek Broussard has 733 rushing yards on 115 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 3 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Jarek Broussard picked up 36 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 4 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

Dimitri Stanley WR 5-11 195

This season, Dimitri Stanley picked up 246 yards. He caught the ball 15 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 1 receiving touchdowns this season.

Jalen Sami DT 6-6 325

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for Colorado, Jalen Sami has 3 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 0 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 23.32 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 0 times this season, which put him in the 32.96 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Mustafa Johnson DE 6-2 290.0

The leading tackler among Defensive Ends for Colorado, Mustafa Johnson has 12 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 4 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 82.04 percentile among Defensive Ends. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 2 times this season, which put him in the 80.93 percentile among all Defensive Ends in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Derrion Rakestraw S 6-2 200.0

He is the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Colorado, Derrion Rakestraw had 22 tackles which puts him in the 66.45 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 0 tackles for loss this season, which puts him in the 31.97 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, this season he was able to take them down 0 times this season. Derrion Rakestraw as a ball hawker was able to pick off 0 passes this season, which puts him in the 37.97 percentile among returning secondary position players this season.

Christian Gonzalez CB 6-2 200

Considered the leading tackler among Cornerbacks for Colorado, Christian Gonzalez had 16 tackles which puts him in the 66.57 percentile among Corners. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 0 tackles for loss this season, which puts him in the 34.7 percentile among Corners. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, this season he was able to take them down 0 times this season. Christian Gonzalez as a ball hawker was able to pick off 0 passes this season, which puts him in the 36.4 percentile among Corners this season.

Utah vs. Colorado Prediction, Picks, and Odds


Prediction: Utah 37 Colorado 25

Spread Pick: Utah +2.5 +102 Pinnacle Sports
Moneyline Pick: Utah +123 Pinnacle Sports
Total Pick: Over 47.5 -110 Pinnacle Sports