Utah's secondary might be improving, but has it improved enough to stop the nation's fourth-ranked offense?
My hunch is no, which is why I am picking the Bruins tonight over the Utes. As much belief as I have in Utah's defensive coaches, I just don't think they have enough bodies to stop UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley and Co.
I also think UCLA's defense might be overlooked as well, but I was impressed with the way it shut down Nebraska in the second half of the Bruins' 41-21 win.
UCLA rallied from 18-points down thanks to its high-powered offense and a defense that allowed the Huskers to produce more than 19 yards on just two of its final 10 possessions and held Nebraska to 130 yards total in the second half.
For the Utes to have a shot tonight, they have to contain Hundley, something they weren't able to do last year when he threw for 183 yards and a touchdown and ran for 68 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown.
Utah was able to get pressure on BYU quarterback Taysom Hill with nickel Mike Honeycutt providing the biggest spark with two sacks.
Look for the Utes to try a similar tactic tonight and get after Hundley. As Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said, they can't let him have four seconds to make a pass because he will.
The Utes must also contend with Jordon James, UCLA's junior running back who is averaging 141.3 yards a game.
I believe Utah's run defense can handle him, forcing Hundley to beat the Utes. Ultimately, I think he will.
- Lya Wodraska
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