Friday, December 11, 2020, Folsom Field, Boulder, Colorado, 9:35 p.m. ET
Utes at Buffaloes Betting Preview: Utes (+1.5), Buffaloes (-1.5)
The Utes (1-2, 1-2 Pac-12) got a big lift from true freshman tailback Ty Jordan in their 30-24 win over Oregon State last Saturday. A week after a costly fumble in Utah’s loss at Washington, Jordan ran for 167 yards and a touchdown against the Beavers..
“It felt amazing. I can’t explain it with words, it was so exhilarating,” Jordan said. “I grew up my whole life wanting and dreaming to be a college athlete. Now I’m here. I’m experiencing my first couple of games and my first touchdown. I feel like I made my mom proud.”
Jordan worked on holding onto the ball during practice leading up to the win over the Beavers.
“He made an absolute, concerted effort all week long to work on his ball security and he did just that,” Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said.
Jordan has appeared in all three games for Utah and started the last two. For the season, he leads the teams in carries (44) and rushing yards (296) and also has seven receptions for 74 yards.
Quarterback Jake Bentley, a graduate transfer from South Carolina, also has started the last two games in the backfield for the Utes after sophomore Cameron Rising, a transfer from Texas, was injured in the opening 33-17 loss to USC. Rising has completed 64.1 percent of his passes for 489 yards and three touchdowns against four interceptions in his three appearances.
No. 21 Colorado has been the surprise team of the conference. The Buffaloes (4-0, 3-0 Pac-12) remained undefeated after a win over Arizona last week after entering the season with low expectations; Coach Mel Tucker was hired away by Michigan State and his replacement, Karl Dorrell, had no spring practice to work in a new quarterback.
The Buffaloes now have a chance to win the South Division and earn a spot in the Pac-12 title game.
USC is 4-0 as well, with all the wins coming in conference play. The Trojans would win a tiebreaker with the Buffaloes if both teams win this weekend because the Trojans will finish with one more conference win. The Trojans play UCLA Saturday night.
Colorado’s scheduled game against USC o Nov. 29 was canceled due to COVID-19 issues within USC’s program. One week earlier, Colorado’s game at Arizona State was canceled because of COVID-19 issues within the Sun Devils.
Dorrell isn’t thinking of title possibilities, however.
“We have to control what we have in front of us. We have done that so far,” he said. “The magnitude of the weeks, we are now in week five of the season for us, are vitally important for us to be in that picture.
“We are in pretty good shape. We need to take advantage of this opportunity that we are in. That is the goal of this week and the preparation in getting ready to play.”
The Buffaloes moved into this week’s College Football Playoff thanks to quarterback Sam Noyer’s steady play and the running of Jarek Broussard. Broussard has rushed for 733 yards in four games, with 301 coming in last week’s 24-13 win at Arizona. He was named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week for the second time this season.
Broussard is ahead of Rashaan Salaam’s four-game total when the late Colorado tailback won the 1994 Heisman Trophy.
Utes at Buffaloes Betting Pick for December 12, 2020
The Utes have won the last three meetings, leaving the Buffaloes clinging to a 32-31-3 series lead. The Utes have outscored the Buffs 109-35 in that stretch and held the Buffs to just 217 yards in total offense in clinching a spot in the Pac-12 title game with last year’s win.
Utes at Buffaloes Betting Pick:
Buffaloes 28, Utes 20
Utes at Buffaloes Best Bet for December 12, 2020
Colorado scored 83 points combined in wins over UCLA and Stanford to start the season but have scored only 44 in their last two games against San Diego State and Arizona. The Utes have given up 81 points in three games and have scored only 68 with a season high in last week’s 30-24 win over Oregon State.
Utes at Buffaloes Best Bet: UNDER 51.5