#23 California (5-0, 2-0) at #5 Utah (4-0, 1-0)
When: Saturday, October 10th, 2015
Where: Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City, UT
Time: 10:00 ET
TV: ESPN Radio: XM 197
The Utah Utes will be hosting ESPN’s College GameDay for the third time before they take the field against fellow unbeaten California. The Utes raised some eyebrows two weeks ago with their 62-20 blowout win at Oregon. Utes defensive end Hunter Dimick missed the last two games due to a knee injury but is fully healthy following last week’s bye and will be critical to Utah’s hopes of slowing down California quarterback Jared Goff. The defense receives an immediate boost from Dimick, who had 10.5 sacks last season. Utah leads the Pac-12 in turnover margin at 1.75 per game. On offense running back Devontae Booker is averaging 111 yards a game and has 4 rushing touchdowns. He’s also thrown a 25-yard touchdown pass this season. Quarterback Travis Wilson had a terrific game against Oregon throwing for 227 yards and four touchdowns while rushing for another 100 yards and a TD. Utah has won three of the last four meetings in the series.
The California Bears are looking for their first 6-0 start since 1950. Two years ago, Cal finished the season 1-11. They now have a much improved defense to go along with their explosive offense. The Golden Bears are hoping to avoid a repeat of last season, when they opened with a 4-1 mark before failing to reach a bowl game after losing 6 of their final 7 games. Quarterback Jared leads the Pac-12 in touchdown passes with 15 and passing yards with 1,630. Wide receivers Kenny Lawler (8 touchdowns) and Bryce Treggs are Goff’s go-to guys. The running game will be going up against a very good Utah defensive line. Khalfani Muhammad leads the team with 350 yards rushing and 9.0 yards a carry. The defense forced 4 turnovers and recorded 7 sacks in last week’s 34-28 win over Washington State, including one by safety Stefan McClure, who became the second straight California player to be named Pac-12 defensive player of the week.
This Utah team is for real and even though Cal has a great offense, I think they will be tested tonight. I think the Utah defense comes through with key turnovers and Devontae Booker has another great night.
Pick: Utah -7.5