Utah Utes Football vs USC: Preview and Prediction

Utah Utes

This weekend’s matchup against USC promises to be one of the toughest challenges the Utah Utes have faced so far this year. While I think the Utes have a shot at every game left on their schedule, I think they matchup particularly well in this game. The defense will put pressure on Kessler and stifle the Trojan run game and the offense has the tools to put up more yards than they have against any Power 5 team so far this year.

With the way Boston College ran on USC, I’d like to see Travis Wilson get the zone read and Booker into action early and often with some guest appearances from Kendall Thompson in a wildcat type formation (similar to Corbin Louks and Griff Robles back in the day). I wouldn’t be surprised to see Booker come away from this game with another 200 yard performance. Once USC has started feeling thoroughly pounded enough to start cheating up with their safeties the play action pass should open up to create some great passing plays.

USC will assume that Kendall Thompson is one dimensional if/when he comes into the game. The first few snaps Thompson gets he will need to run it in order to solidify that assumption in the Trojans’ minds. I could see him putting up a considerable amount of yards on the ground in this game similar to Boston College’s Tyler Murphy. Once USC bites on him running, the deep ball should open up and it will be glaring – Dres Anderson will likely be wide open and Thompson has the arm to hit him for the big score.

Now let’s just hope this all happens early and the Utes can continue to build on it. They haven’t had to play from behind much this year, but they traditionally are not very good at it.

Prediction

This is the time of the year when statistics actually start to mean something. I’ve plugged in the numbers into my algorithms for rushing yards, passing yards, and points and the Utes come out on top in this one 28-27. This should be a nail biter… again.

Utah’s Predicted Performance
Utah Rushing Yards 209
Utah Passing Yards 162

Total Yards

371
Predicted Score 28
USC’s Predicted Performance
USC Rushing Yards 118
USC Passing Yards 288

Total Yards

405
Predicted Score 27

About the author

Jason Hodges

I am a proud Ute alumnus where I graduated with a degree in economics. I currently work in the finance industry but follow Utah football diligently and take a statistical approach to football analysis.