Week three of our local college football picks. Here’s how the staff’s picks line-up:
BYU at UCLA
Patrick: UCLA 35 BYU 24 – I think BYU will give UCLA all they can handle but ultimately UCLA will be able to pull away in the 4th. No miracle this time around will save BYU from a loss.
Aaron: In order for BYU to pull off this upset they will need help from UCLA mistakes. The Cougars have not been consistent on offense for 4 quarters yet, and that will be their Achilles heel. Mangum showed us his freshmen-ness last week in spite of his late game heroics, and UCLA will capitalize on those mistakes more so than Boise State. I think BYU hangs in and doesn’t get humiliated, but their magic ends this weekend. UCLA 31 BYU 20
Justin: 27-24 BYU. Do I have any reason to doubt that there will be a 4th down pass to the end-zone to win it? No I don’t. Both are playing freshman QB’s but I would say BYU has played the tougher schedule thus far. BYU could also easily be 0-2 instead of 2-0. I think playing a surging team like BYU is tough for any program who hasn’t been tested yet this season. It all depends on which BYU defense shows up. If they can keep UCLA to Bronco’s magic number of 24, I think BYU can win this game.
Steve: 38-24 UCLA. UCLA has too many weapons for BYU to cover in the Rose Bowl. BYU is allowing an average of 308 passing yards through the first two weeks and Freshman QB Josh Rosen and the talented WRs of UCLA will greatly test BYU’s suspect secondary. UCLA also has a balanced attack with star RB Paul Perkins that will force BYU’s D to remain honest. Finally, Bronco has trouble winning the big games; he is 1-5 against top-10 teams. I don’t believe the Cougars have the talent to pull this one out.
Chesh: 31-27 UCLA. Here comes “Skeptic Chesh”. One on hand, BYU is just a hair away from being 0-2 right now, unranked, and Tanner Mangum isn’t being interviewed across America. I know Ute fans, doesn’t that just sound incredible? You turning on any media outlet without hearing about the lowly Zoobs? Now, I do think the Cougar defense is elite. Boise State was very rarely on their side of the 50-yard line last week, and only gained 8 yards in the fourth quarter. But UCLA is very, very good. They have enough to balance their attack to make up for the packages Bronco will throw at them. Robert Anae needs to stop running the zone read. Tanner Mangum is not going to pull the ball and run, ever. It’s way too easy to stop when you know there actually isn’t a second option on the play. There will be no running game. Flip side, I think UCLA is borderline overrated. Josh Rosen isn’t Peyton Manning. Just shut up. Now, the Bruins will field the best overall defense Tanner Mangum will see all year though. They’ll succeed at times, but I give UCLA the home field advantage.
Todd: 27-24 UCLA. As much as I would love to pick BYU I can’t bring myself to do it. I picked BYU to lose this game with Taysom and Tanner Mangum still has growing pains. It will be close but the dream month may end in Pasadena. If BYU pulls the upset they will be on the cusp of something really special.
USU at Washington
Patrick: Washington 28 USU 17 – USU impressed me last week with their toughness and tenacity. Keeton is one tough dude and their Defense is very solid. A much better team than their first game against SUU showed. I don’t think they win this one but they will definitely put up a fight.
Aaron: Utah state has not looked impressive through their first couple weeks. Chuckle Keeton is not the guy everyone remembers, which is a shame too. Washington didn’t impress against Boise state in week one, but rebounded nicely against inferior Sacramento State. Home field pushes UW over the top in this one, as it’s always tough to play in Seattle. Washington 34 Utah State 17.
Steve: 31-24 Huskies. Utah State seems to have two personalities. One team barely beat SUU 12-9, the other team played tough and kept it relatively close in RES against Utah. Utah State outgained Utah in yardage, putting up 373 on an allegedly tough Utah D. If that Aggie team can show up in Washington, I think Utah State can pull the upset against the struggling Huskies. But I don’t think they will.
Chesh: 36-17 U-Dub. How long can Chuckie last while injured? What he did against Utah was incredible. They didn’t lose that game because of him. He made plays, but the Aggies just aren’t good aside from him. Coach Peterson will dial it up. It won’t be a blowout like the Sacramento State game was for the Huskies. The Aggies will actually score once or twice.
Todd: 24-10 Washington. Utah State is a defense heavy team. Chuckie Keeton unfortunately is a shell of his old self. He still has flashes of brilliance but looks pretty beat up against Utah.
Utah at Fresno State
Patrick: Utah 30 Fresno State 14 – The Utes need to make sure they put the Bulldogs away early. Starters need rest and 2’s and 3’s need to get some playing time to improve before Utah heads into the toughest part of their schedule and Pac 12 play.
Aaron: Utah is struggling to find an identity through two weeks. Yes, they are 2-0 but it likewise hasn’t been glamorous. How do you heal those wounds? Insert Fresno State. The Bulldogs gave up 73 points and 600+ yards to Ole Miss last week. This is exactly what Utah needs to get their offense rolling. Utah 41 Fresno State 17
Steve: 38-17 Utes. I expect more base and conservative defense from the Utes as they hesitate to show their full defensive potential/schemes before league play. I also expect Utah’s offense to go very conservative once the Utes establish a healthy lead, as they did against Utah State when the Utes ran ONE passing play in the final 14 minutes of play. This one could get boring to watch, but hopefully the turnovers continue for the Ute defense and some big plays blow this one open.
Chesh: 33-13 Utes. Don’t let that score deceive you. The Utes offense still doesn’t look good and former Sack Lake City has just one on the season. Why do they win by three touchdowns? Because Fresno State is a cream puff. Despite only the one sack on the year, the Utes defense is definitely their strength, by a mile and I expect them to score once, maybe twice. Or, one of the turnovers they garner will put the offense inside the redzone, aside from the defensive touchdown they’re already going to score anyway. I wouldn’t be surprised if they get 3+ sacks either. However, I’m not sure what a win like this would tell us anything about this team anyway. They probably should’ve played someone much, much better. Someone who’s all over the media, nationally and locally. Someone they chose not to play, and replaced with Fresno State. Who was that team? I can’t remember. Maybe I’ll go watch SportsCenter and they can tell m….oh yep, they already have. It’ that team down south. #COGOUGS.
Todd: 28-7 Utah. I don’t believe in Kendall Thompson’s ability to put points up, but it’s against Fresno State. I think the only touchdown Fresno gets will be in garbage time. The Ute defense is way too good for the Bulldogs. The defense will score some points as well.
Justin: 35-10 Utah. This will finally be the week that Utah can run the ball all day and be successful. Putting it lightly, Fresno just doesn’t look good. The defense will dominate a much inferior team and the Utes will cruise. Good thing there will be a more entertaining game on TV at the same time.