Before the season started, Utah's matchup with Oregon State looked like a tough one. The Beavers are still a great test for the Utes, but they seem much more beatable now than they did before the season started.
Injuries have hurt the Beavers' offensive line and linebackers, leaving them with inexperienced players and a lack of depth.
For those reasons, I am going with the Utes today, believing they will win comfortably.
This game seems like a perfect stage for Utah's defensive line to shine. Watch for defensive tackle Tenny Palepoim defensive end Nate Orchard and defensive end/linebacker Trevor Reilly to have big games.
Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion has a great arm, but my hunch is he won't have a whole lot of time to use it against the Utes. He has been sacked twice this year, I bet the Utes will at least double that number today.
Offensively, it's time for the Utes to display the most varied offense they've had in several seasons. Look for them to try to establish the run first. Kelvin York is more of a power back but James Poole has the better hands and speed so watch for the Utes to try to spring him loose.
Travis Wilson's confidence is at an all-time high too and he'll keep Oregon State honest with some shots down the field.
Given the injuries and inexperience Oregon State has in its defense, receiver Dres Anderson and tight end Jake Murphy should have some big plays.
This should be a great game to watch if you are a fan, with the potential for some great highlight plays on offense from both teams and a lot of quarterback pressure from the Utes.
But in the end my hunch is the Utes will roll and win the Pac-12 opener.
- Lya Wodraska
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