Beyond the pandemic-related issues that have ravaged all parts of American life this year, the Utes have dealt with considerable change since last season. Longtime starting quarterback Tyler Huntley graduated, leaving a void behind center that Texas transfer Cam Rising initially filled. However, Rising’s season ended almost as soon as it began, with the signal-caller suffering a season-ending shoulder injury in his Utah debut. A fellow transfer, Jake Bentley, took his place and has played middling football in his four total appearances this season.
Washington State has likewise endured turnover from the previous year. Head coach Mike Leach departed for Mississippi State during the offseason, leaving the program to former Hawaii head coach Nick Rolovich. Partially due to the schedule changes and cancellations, Rolovich has only notched one win as the Cougars’ head coach. However, the transition from Leach’s program to his needs time, and 2020 has provided precious few opportunities for Rolovich to demonstrate progress.
Given the circumstances, the most important development to come out of the season for the program appears to be the development of freshman quarterback Jayden de Laura. In three starts, de Laura has gone 61-of-101 for 682 yards, four touchdowns, and three interceptions. He also scored on the ground in his season debut. Saturday won’t tell Rolovich whether de Laura can eventually develop into one of the top passers in the conference, but it will provide another data point for that determination.
Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming
You can watch Washington State versus Utah on Saturday, Dec. 19 at 1:30 p.m. ET on FS1, or you can stream it via the Fox Sports Go app with a cable or streaming service login.
Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends
Point spread: Washington State vs. Utah -10.5
Point Total: 57.5
Money line: Washington State +280, Utah -375
- Since 2019, Washington State has a road record of 2-5-0 against the spread (2-3-0 as the road underdog).
- Also during that period, the Cougars have an over record of 4-3-0 on the road (2-3-0 as the road underdog).
- Since 2019, Utah has a home record of 5-4-0 against the spread (also 5-4-0 as the home favorite).
- During the same stretch, the Utes have an over record of 3-5-1 at home (also 3-5-1 as the home favorite).
Washington State: (48% of handle, 29% percent of bets)
Utah: (52% of handle, 71% percent of bets)
The Best Bet
Neither team has played enough games from which to draw any solid conclusions, but Utah appears to have more going for it at the moment. Given the home-field advantage and the more experienced quarterback, the Utes have a good path to covering.
Pick: Utah -10.5
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