For the second time in three weeks, Chris Petersen is a home underdog. It’s not something the Washington coach expected when his team was hyped as the Pac-12 preseason favorite. But a lot of predictions made in the summer fade with the tree leaves by the fall.
Utah, 7-1 straight up and 5-3 against the spread, still has long-shot College Football Playoff hopes if several things break the right way down the stretch. The first thing the Utes need is a win over the Huskies on Saturday in Seattle.
Petersen had a bye week to figure out what went wrong in Washington’s fourth-quarter collapse in a 35-31 loss to Oregon in mid-October. The Huskies’ young defense has been exposed at critical times, and although senior quarterback Jacob Eason has posted good numbers — 67.4 percent completions with 16 touchdowns and three interceptions — he has not made enough clutch plays.
The Utah defense has been dominant, allowing a total of 23 points in the past four games, but it faced Cal’s third-string quarterback and Arizona State’s freshman quarterback during that span, when three of those games were at home. Eason is headed to the NFL as a first-round pick.
Tyler Huntley, the Utes’ quarterback, has been hobbled by a left leg injury. With an extra week to prepare, Petersen should be a good bet in this spot. When the Westgate SuperBook opened lines in the summer, the Huskies were 4½-point favorites in this matchup.
392-WASHINGTON (plus-3½) over Utah
372-Florida (plus-6½) over Georgia:
There has been more fizzle than sizzle in the Georgia offense with Jake Fromm at quarterback. The Bulldogs have scored more than 23 points just once in the past four games. The Gators are strong enough defensively to continue Fromm’s frustrations in this rivalry game in Jacksonville, where Dan Mullen gets the coaching edge over Kirby Smart.
320-PURDUE (plus-4) over Nebraska
337-Virginia (plus-2) over NORTH CAROLINA
339-Brigham Young (plus-3½) over UTAH STATE
341-Virginia Tech (plus-17½) over NOTRE DAME
344-USC (plus-4½) over Oregon
390-NEVADA (-3½) over New Mexico
Last week: 4-4 against the spread