A one-sided state rivalry is renewed when the Utah Utes take on the Aggies of Utah State Friday night in Logan (8 pm ET, ESPN2).
Utah has won 12 in a row straight up in this series, but is just 6-5-1 ATS in those dozen games. And Friday's point spread (-7 at all 12 sportsbooks tracked by OddsShark.com) is the smallest in the recent 15-year history of this battle.
"They don't like betting in Utah, but this game is the focus in college football wagering as the lone game on the Friday schedule," handicapper Jack Randall said in an interview Friday. "And the public seems to be favoring the Utes, as we saw about 65 percent of the action on the road team earlier today in our NCAA football consensus data."
Utah returns nine starters on offense and seven on defense from an 8-5 team of a season ago. They opened this season with a 41-0 blanking of FCS cupcake Northern Colorado. After a scoreless first quarter, the Utes scored three second-quarter touchdowns and skated home from there.
Utah outgained the Bears 414-114, RB John White IV ran for 119 yards and junior QB Jordan Wynn, in his 20th career collegiate start, went 19-for-27 passing for 200 yards and a couple of scores.
The Utes also covered the spread as 27-point favorites.
Utah State, meanwhile, with six starters back on both sides of the ball after going 7-6 last year, began this season with a 34-3 victory over Southern Utah. The Aggies jumped out to a 21-0 first-quarter lead, then cruised home from there, eventually outgaining the Thunderbirds 581-209.
RB Joe Hill ran for 116 yards and three scores and QB Chuckie Keeton went 22-for-26 passing for 304 yards and two scores as Utah State covered as 20-point chalk.
These teams last met three seasons ago, when the Utes beat the Aggies 35-17. Friday's game will be the 110th meeting in this series, but probably the last in Logan for a while. These teams are slated to play next year and in 2015 in Salt Lake City, but after that, because of Utah joining the Pac-12, the future of this series is uncertain.
The Utes have taken 20 of the last 22 games in this series, and the last 12.
Free Utah vs Utah State Pick
Utah has held the upper hand vs. Utah State, but the Aggies would love to take the Utes down, especially with the future of this series in jeopardy. We see a tight game and take the home dogs Friday night, with a possibility they could pull off the upset (pick courtesy of PickShark.com).
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