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The Las Vegas Bowl

by Jeff Allen of Jeff Allen Sports

Saturday, December 20, 2014 (3:30 PM EST)
Sam Boyd Silver Bowl, Las Vegas, Nevada
Field Turf

Vegas Line at this writing: Utah -3 (57.5)

Utah: The Utes go Bowling for the first time in three years after rebounding from back-to-back 5-7 seasons. The Utes stumbled down the stretch losing three of their last four games but that was directly attributable to injuries at quarterback and wide receiver as anything else. It’s been a strange year for the Utes albeit with several high points. Seven of Utah’s nine conference games were decided by six points or less yet three of their four ATS losses were more than two touchdowns.
The Utes won five road games and own wins over UCLA, USC and Stanford. The game will feature a dichotomy of styles with a staunch Ute defense that leads the nation in sacks facing a high powered Ram offense that averages better than seven yards a snap. Utah can do some things on offense, mainly running the ball with redshirt Juco Devontae Booker (1350 yards) but 6’7″ quarterback Travis Wilson has started to throw the ball better late (17/6 TD/Int ratio) and will be well prepared by Willingham (see Allen’s angles) to attack an average Colorado State defense here.

Colorado State: It’s been an amazing year for the 10-win Rams. In three short years, coach Jim McElwain (an Alabama assistant under Saban) took Colorado State from back-to-back-to-back 3-9 teams to 4-8, 8-6 with a Bowl win to 10-2 this year. For that McElwain was given the job at Florida and the Rams will be coached here by offensive coordinator in Dave Baldwin. Under Baldwin, the Ram offense was one of the most prolific in college football. Quarterback Garret Grayson (32-6 TD/Int) was second in efficiency to Mariota in guiding an offense that finished 12th overall in the country. Grayson has multiple weapons in the :triplets”. Running backs Dee Hart and TreyousJarrells combined for 1691 yards on the ground while Rashard Higgins (89, 1690, 17) posted Amari Cooper type numbers. The key to this game will be whether or not the Ram offensive line can keep Grayson upright and allow his enough time to do some business against an elite defense that also brings top not special teams and an excellent kicking game to the party. 

Allen’s Angles

Utah has won 10 of its last 11 Bowl games 
The Utes led the nation in sacks with 52
Ute HC Kyle Willingham is 7-1 SU and 6-2 ATS in Bowls
Utes won five games by six points or less
Utah 29-12 L41 with more than a week of rest
Utah is on a 15-4 Under run vs teams with winning records 

Since 2013, including Bowl games, the Mountain West is 3-22 SU vs. the Pac 12 
Ram QB Garrett Grayson has thrown just two interceptions since October 4th
Colorado 10-4 ATS vs non-conference L3 years, 4-0 this year
The Rams are 4-0 Under this year vs teams with winning records
CSU beat Washington State 48-45 last year in Bowl, trailed 45-30 with 2:55 left to play
The Rams were outrushed 324-28 in loss to Boise State

For the side and total for this game, call me now at 1-800-664-8920.