No.16 Utah chasing fifth straight win over Colorado


Utah running back Tavion Thomas (9) steps into the end zone during the second half of an NCAA college <a class=football game against Oregon on Saturday, November 20, 2021 in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo / Alex Goodlett)” title=”Utah running back Tavion Thomas (9) steps into the end zone during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Oregon on Saturday, November 20, 2021 in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo / Alex Goodlett)” loading=”lazy”/>

Utah running back Tavion Thomas (9) steps into the end zone during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Oregon on Saturday, November 20, 2021 in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo / Alex Goodlett)

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Colorado (4-7, 3-5 Pac-12) at Utah’s No.16 (8-3, 7-1, No.19 CFP), Friday at 4 p.m. EST (FOX).

Line: Utah by 23 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: tied 32-32-3

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

Utah can finish 8-1 in the Pac-12 game for the second time in three seasons with a win over Colorado. The Utes have already clinched their third Pac-12 South title in four seasons. Utah rolls on offense, averaging 38.4 points and 456.3 yards per game against opponents in the league. Defensively, the Utes also lead the Pac-12 in tackles for loss per game (7.6) and sacks per game (3.09). Colorado are looking to end a four-game losing streak in the series and win against the Utes for the third time since 1958.

KEY MATCHUP

Defending Utah Against Colorado Offensive. The Utes have done a great job stifling opposing attacks since they rebounded from a 1-2 start. In seven league wins, Utah has only allowed their opponents to convert 35.7% of their third downs. The Utes have recorded at least five tackles for losses in every game this season. Colorado ranks last among the Pac-12 teams in total offense (267.4 YPG) and passing offense (135.5 YPG). The Buffaloes have scored over 20 points in just four games this season.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Colorado: QB Brendon Lewis has seen his passing count drop since posting a pair of 200-yard games against Arizona and Oregon in October. Lewis has totaled just 440 passing yards in his last three games and has played two games without throwing a touchdown pass. But he also made 108 consecutive passes without an interception throw.

Utah: RB Tavion Thomas is set to become the Utes’ last 1,000-yard rusher. Thomas racked up 836 rushing yards and a school record of 17 rushing touchdowns in 10 games averaging 5.9 yards per carry. Thomas has rushed for at least 160 yards in back-to-back games against UCLA and Stanford.

FACTS AND FIGURES

Colorado has committed just seven turnovers this season, the second smallest among FBS teams. … Utah ranks in the FBS top 20 for both scoring offense (35.9 points per game) and rushing offense (213.9 yards per game). … ‘Utes LB Devin Lloyd is the only FBS player this season with over 14.0 tackles for loss and several interceptions. … LB Nate Landman is Colorado’s all-time leader in third down (53) and fourth down (9) saves. … Utah wide receiver Britain Covey leads all active Pac-12 players with 171 career receptions. … Colorado has scored on 30 of 32 possessions (.938) inside the red zone, which ranks seventh in the FBS.


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