Last Updated: December 21, 2017, 3:50 pm

Jordan’s Picks: Utes face tough test against OSU


A positive about school starting (besides writing for and reading the Dixie Sun News) is the beginning of college football.

I can’t believe we are already on the third week of the college football season. As always, there have already been major upsets like Oregon State University falling to FCS opponent Eastern Washington University.

In Utah, we have seen our Division I teams take different turns. The University of Utah Utes have gone 2-0, and the Utah State University Aggies and Brigham Young University Cougars have both gone 1-1. 

Within the state for week three, the Utes will celebrate their homecoming by playing Oregon State, a team that lost an unforgivable game and then defeated University of Hawaii. This game could be interesting because most Utah fans thought this was a winnable game even with Oregon State being ranked in the preseason at No. 25. Now, Eastern Washington has possibly awakened the beast. This game will air on the new Fox Sports One at 8:00 p.m. Saturday.

If Utah can stop Oregon State’s passing offense, the Utes should be able to win. Last week, the Beavers had 508 total yards and 451 of that was passing. Utah will need to make the Beaver quarterback scramble and force bad passes. If Utah does this, it should be another win for the Utes. 

Utah State plays Weber State, which took a 70-7 devastating loss against Utah last week. Unfortunately, for the Wildcats, this shouldn’t be much different. Chuckie Keeton is one of the best quarterbacks in the league this year. You can see this game online only on ESPN 3 at 6 p.m. 

This game should not be close. Keeton is too good at both running and passing the ball. Utah’s offense exploded for 628 yards against Weber State last week. I expect something similar from Utah State in this game.

BYU shocked the nation last week with a huge win over No. 15 University of Texas, 40-21. The Cougars rushed for 550 total yards including the 259 yards from quarterback Taysom Hill. BYU will have a bye this week before the Holy War against Utah Sept. 21 at 8:15 p.m.

Outside of Utah, the biggest game this week is the rematch between the defending national champion, University of Alabama Crimson Tide, and Texas A&M University Aggies with its 2012 Heisman winner, Johnny “Football” Manziel, on CBS at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

Last year, Manziel led his Aggies to a win over the eventual champion Crimson Tide. If I’m Alabama head coach Nick Saban, I have this game marked for revenge. Manziel threw for 253 yards and rushed for 92 more.

Tide quarterback AJ McCarron outplayed freshman Manziel last year from the pocket, throwing for 309 yards compared to Manziel’s 253 yards. The biggest difference between the two was McCarron threw two interceptions and Manziel didn’t throw any. 

Alabama had a bye last week to prepare, as if this game wasn’t already circled on the Crimson Tide’s schedule since last year. Alabama played Virginia Tech in week one and took a 35-10 victory.

Texas A&M is coming off two blowout wins against two mediocre teams. The Aggies wore out Rice in the second half of week one, 52-31. Last week, the Aggies overpowered Sam Houston State, 65-28.

This game is interesting because of the struggles each team has had thus far in the season. Texas A&M has struggled on defense but hasn’t had any problems scoring. In the Crimson Tide’s season opener, they prevailed but had troubles on offense against a beat-up Hokies team. 

I like the matchup because Manziel is trying to become a better pocket passer and will actually look to his second receiver rather than tucking it and running. That makes him vulnerable against a good defensive team and the great defensive mind of Saban.

I predict Alabama will win this game in a low-scoring affair. Saban will get his team ready for this game, and Texas A&M may not know what will hit it from the beginning. I think that Alabama will win by at least ten points.