College Football Odds, Spread & Pick for Utah vs. BYU: Our Prediction & Preview for Week 2’s Holy War (Sept. 11)

College Football Odds, Spread & Pick for Utah vs. BYU: Our Prediction & Preview for Week 2’s Holy War (Sept. 11) article feature image
Credit:

Chris Gardner/Getty Images. Pictured: Charlie Brewer

Utah vs. BYU Odds

Saturday, Sept. 11
10:15 p.m. ET
ESPN
Utah Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-7
-115
50
-110o / -110u
-275
BYU Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+7
-105
50
-110o / -110u
+220
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

The 101st act of the Holy War between Utah and BYU has all the makings of being another instant classic in the storied rivalry.

The Utes travel to LaVell Edwards Stadium looking to notch their 10th straight victory over the Cougars. Each team had all their new weapons on display in Week 1. If both offenses can carry over the momentum from last week, we could see some fireworks.


Utah Utes

After allowing a 100-yard kick-off return for a touchdown, the Utes went into a weather delay against Weber St. The Utes came storming out of the break as they did not allow another score until the final seconds of the game. The Utes did not even show all their cards in their season opener, but they will against their in-state rivals.


Utes Offense

In preparation for the bout against BYU, we saw a glimpse of the Utes offense. The debut of star transfer quarterback Charlie Brewer was a success. Brewer connected for two passing touchdowns on the way to throwing for 223 yards. Brewer also flashed his dual-threat ability when on a 13-yard scramble.

The strength of this Utah team is on both sides of the trenches, and the offensive line dominated. Utah had 4.2 Line Yards per rush and even averaged 1.7 Line Yards at the second level. The line’s performance culminated with the Utes rushing for over six yards per carry.

The Utes starters saw limited snaps, as backup tight end Dalton Kincaid led the team in receiving and sophomore transfer Tavion Thomas led the backfield. The Utes have tremendous depth at the skill positions and could be dangerous when they open up the playbook against BYU.


Utes Defense

This Utah defense was as advertised against Weber St. It completely shut down the Wildcats rushing attack as Utah held them to just 1.9 yards per carry.

The defense was led by pre-season All-American linebacker Devin Lloyd. Lloyd had a career-high 12 tackles and even came down with his second career interception. This unit is the backbone of the team, and they will be the toughest test for the Cougars offense.


BYU Cougars

The Cougars managed to defeat the Arizona Wildcats by eight points in their season opener, and though they never trailed, BYU’s performance was far from dominant.


Cougars Offense

While the Cougars offense was not at its best, it certainly showed that it can be explosive. Sophomore quarterback Jaren Hall did his best Zach Wilson impression as he connected with Neil Pau’u for a 67-yard touchdown pass.

Jaren Hall with a dime to Neil Pau'u for a 67 yard TD.#BYU #BYUFootball #ESPN960 #GoCougs #BYUvsUofa #Pac12 pic.twitter.com/rCMxURFl81

— Benjamin Criddle (@CriddleBenjamin) September 5, 2021

BYU’s explosiveness continued on the ground as running back Tyler Allgeier ripped off two runs over 15 yards, one of which went for a score. Jaren Hall also showed his wheels with a 36-yard gallop in the contest.

Overall, the Cougars’ explosiveness saved them in the matchup as they had only three scoring opportunities and converted them into 17 points. The Utah defense is a large step up from Arizona’s, as the Cougars will face arguably their toughest test of the year.

Cougars Defense

If not for its great defensive stands throughout the first half, BYU very well could have been in danger of losing to Arizona. While the defense may have been clutch, it is hard to say that the performance was good.

Gunner Cruz had his way with this BYU secondary. He threw for 336 yards and completed passes at over seven yards a clip. Since the Wildcats were trailing most of the game, the rushing numbers are skewed, as the Cougars look to have stifled Arizona on the ground.

Actually, the Cougars’ defensive line struggled to penetrate as they allowed 3.5 Line Yards per rush. The Cougars are going to have to revert to blitz packages if their line is going to perform similarly against the elite Utah offensive line.

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Utah vs. BYU Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Utah and BYU match up statistically:

Utah Offense vs. BYU Defense

Offense

Defense

Edge

Rushing Success 60 12
Passing Success 33 35
Havoc 92 108
Line Yards 79 81
Sack Rate 24 65
Finishing Drives 82 16

BYU Offense vs. Utah Defense

Offense

Defense

Edge

Rushing Success 14 22
Passing Success 4 41
Havoc 11 9
Line Yards 27 17
Sack Rate 9 95
Finishing Drives 4 19

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 69 18
Coverage 58 37
Rush Rate 51.7% (77) 54.% (70)
Seconds per Play 111 86
Special Teams SP+

Data via College Football Data (CFBD) and FootballOutsiders; SP+ projection per ESPN.

This is big rivalry game, and the BYU faithful will show up, but the Utes have all the answers in this matchup. The crowd will not rattle a very experienced and deep team.

Utah is going to have a tremendous advantage in the trenches, giving them the ability to dictate the pace of this game. The more it keeps Jaren Hall on the sidelines, the fewer explosive plays he can create.

We should also see Charlie Brewer and the Utes offense on full display with the Cougars secondary providing little resistance.


Utah vs. BYU Betting Pick

The Utes are sizeable road favorites heading into this one, with the number currently sitting at 7. Utah has won nine straight against BYU. It is also 6-3 against the spread over that span.

In the last meeting, the Utes were leading 7-6 at halftime before running away with it in the second half, eventually winning 30-12. This year’s matchup will have a very similar result: Utah wins the Holy War yet again.

Pick: Utah -7 (Play to -9.5)

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