The return of college football in 2021 means the return of great rivalries that were put on hold last fall because of the pandemic. One of those is the Holy War, where the Utah Utes and BYU Cougars will renew their long, bitter feud in Provo this Saturday at 10:15 p.m. ET.
Both teams are coming off wins in their respective season openers last week. Utah dominated Weber State 40-17 thanks in large part to the play of running back Tavion Thomas (12 carries, 107 yards, two touchdowns) and quarterback Charlie Brewer (19-27, 233 yards, two touchdowns, one interception), who made his Utes debut after transferring from Baylor.
In their first game post-Zach Wilson, BYU handled business with a 24-16 victory over Arizona. QB Jaren Hall played well in his first assignment as the full-time starter and his life was made easier by wide receiver Neil Pau’u, who had eight receptions for 126 yards, and two TD’s. The Cougar defense also managed to compile four sacks in the win.
Here’s all the data you’ll want, and a pick for the game!
Utah: 11th overall, 22nd offense, 9th defense
BYU: 44th overall, 35th offense, 67th defense
Safety R.J. Hubert Out For Season – Achilles
WR Kody Epps Out Sat – Foot
WR Gunner Romney Doub Sat – Knee
WR Brayden Cosper Out For Season – Undisclosed
DB Keenan Ellis Ques Sat – Neck
LB Max Tooley Ques Sat – Undisclosed
LB Jackson Kaufusi Ques Sat – Undisclosed
WR Puka Nacua Prob Sat – Hamstring
Against The Spread
Utah: 0-1 ATS
BYU: 0-1 ATS
Utah: Over 1-0
BYU: Over 0-1
Returning/Overall Talent from 247Sports
Utah: 34th overall, 28th offense, 55th defense
BYU: 93rd overall, 86th offense, 94th defense
Current lines at DraftKings Sportsbook
Spread: Utah -7
Moneyline: Utah -280, BYU +225
Opening line: Utah -6
Opening total: 47.5
BYU fans may be riding high this weekend after they officially received an invite to join the Big XII, but that excitement will be somewhat tempered when hosting the Utes. There’s a giant discrepancy in terms of returning talent and the Utes have a season quarterback in Brewer guiding them. Plus, Utah has owned this series for the last decade, winning nine straight dating back to 2010. It doesn’t matter that this game is at the scenic LaVell Edwards Stadium, give me the Utes to cover.
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