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Kragthorpe: Utes, Aggies, Cougars big favorites
First Published Nov 23 2012 11:49 am • Last Updated Dec 01 2012 05:42 pm

So here we are in Week 13 of the college football season, which has gone by far too fast. And what does the final weekend of the regular season serve up for the Utah schools? Three games, with a total spread of 91 points, according to oddsmakers.

Not much drama is in the forecast, in other words.

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The consolation, after all my complaints about late kickoff times, is two 1 p.m. starts in the games I’m covering. A glance at the weekend menu for Utah, Utah State and BYU, with published point spreads:

Utah at Colorado, 1 p.m. Friday (Utah by 23)

Even considering the sorry state of Colorado’s program, a convincing victory would do the Utes a lot of good. A win may or may not get them into a bowl game with a 5-7 record, but another strong performance from freshman quarterback Travis Wilson could only help him as he moves into the offseason. The Utes can finish no better than fifth in the Pac-12 South and that’s where they’ll be picked in 2013, almost unanimously — but that’s better than sixth.

John White, who was injured against Colorado last November, needs 127 rushing yards for a 1,000-yard season. He may get that total by halftime.

Idaho at Utah State, 1 p.m. Saturday (USU by 39)

In September, I was impressed that USU was only a seven-point underdog against Utah. Now, the Aggies are 39-point favorites against a Western Athletic Conference opponent. This should be a nice celebration of an outright WAC championship in Logan. The title is slightly devalued by the state of the WAC, with Nevada and Fresno State having moved to the Mountain West, but last weekend’s upset of then-No. 19 Louisiana Tech validated USU’s season. The No. 25 Aggies can enjoy being included in all the Sunday newspapers’ Top 25 wrapups, great promotion of the program.

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BYU at New Mexico State, 1:30 p.m. Saturday (BYU by 29)

The Cougars need some healing after last weekend’s loss at San Jose State, and NMSU undoubtedly will provide it. Even if quarterback Riley Nelson recovers sufficiently to play, senior James Lark deserves to play a big chunk of this game. Of course, if Lark performs well, that will only intensify the belief that coach Bronco Mendenhall should have given him a chance when Nelson was too injured to play effectively in a few games this season.


Twitter: @tribkurt

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