Utah vs. Oregon State prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins Saturday afternoon’s matchup between the Utes and Beavers.
When: Saturday, Oct. 15 – 4:00 p.m. ET
Where: Reser Stadium, Corvallis, Oregon
TV Broadcast: Pac-12 Network
Head coach Kyle Whittingham’s Utes (5-1) started off their season with four straight wins, including a 31-27 victory over USC in their first taste of the Pac-12. In Week 5, though, Utah fell on the road to Cal, 28-23. However, the Utes bounced back nicely this past weekend with a 36-23 win at home against Arizona. Utah trailed going into halftime but took the lead early in the third quarter and never gave it back.
Oregon State (2-3) is also coming off of a win, but its schedule has not yielded as much success through the first five games. After dropping back-to-back games at home to Boise State and on the road to Colorado, the Beavers won a shootout with Cal, 47-44. Oregon State went into halftime with a 17-10 lead over the Golden Bears but allowed 24 points in the fourth quarter and had to take the win in overtime.
The past two matchups between the Utes and Beavers have both gone to Utah. In 2015, the Utes won, 27-12, and in 2014, they won, 29-23. However, Oregon State still holds the lead in the all-time series, 11-8.
What To Know About Utah
The Utes need Troy Williams to be better than he was against Arizona. It’s as simple as that. He completed 13-of-29 passes for 245 yards with one touchdown; if he’s going to attempt less than 30 passes, he has to make them count. Utah’s biggest target in the passing game in that win over Arizona was tight end Evan Moeai, who hauled in three grabs for 81 yards. Williams’ lone touchdown went to Tyrone Smith, who caught three balls for 14 yards.
The real bad news for the Utes, though, is the fact that tailback Armand Shyne suffered a knee injury and is expected to miss the rest of the season. Shyne rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries this past weekend. Williams provided 73 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries. Running back Troy McCormick is also questionable for the Oregon State game due to an undisclosed injury.
What to Know About Oregon State
As average as Williams was for Utah last weekend, Darell Garretson was even worse for the Beavers. He completed 13-of-24 passes for 85 yards and threw two interceptions. His leading receiver was Victor Bolden, who brought in four catches for 28 yards. But it was running back Ryan Nall who supplied the biggest punch offensively. Nall rushed for 221 yards and three touchdowns on only 14 carries.
The one area in which Garretson did shine was when he ran the ball. The Oregon State quarterback rushed for 105 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries. He and Nall had some help from Art Pierce, who was given 13 carries and took them for 58 yards and a touchdown.
Offense: Oregon State – Nall is no joke. That guy can tote the rock, and with Utah’s backfield banged up, he gives the Beavers the edge.
Defense: Utah – Nall may be a beast, but the Utes are ranked No. 24 in rushing defense and No. 32 in total defense.
Special Teams: Oregon State – Garrett Owens has been great kicking the football, and Bolden is averaging 30.7 yards per kick return. He’s already returned one to the end zone.
Coaching: Utah – Whittingham has this team playing well even with the injuries.
Matchup To Watch
Troy Williams vs. Darell Garretson
Last weekend, both quarterbacks were much better running the ball than they were actually throwing it. So, take a guess at what they’ll have to do in order to have the biggest impact on this game. That’s right. You guessed it. One of them has to step up and deliver through the air. Williams is without two of his most valuable running backs, so he’ll have to be spot on when he drops back. Garretson won’t be asked to do a whole lot from the pocket, but when he does let the ball fly, he has to hit his spots.
Spread: Utah -9.5
Utah vs. Oregon State Prediction
Williams will outshine Garretson and will ultimately help the Utes take the win. He’ll lead the Utah offense with 150 passing yards and a couple of touchdowns. Nall will try to do as much as he can, but the Utes will end up bottling him up in the second half. Garretson will run the ball effectively, but he’ll be picked off at least once, and that will hurt the Beavers. Utah will go into halftime with the lead and will hang on through the second half to take the win
Utah vs. Oregon State Score Prediction: Utah 24, Oregon State 17