College Football Preview: TCU and Utah Ready for Defensive Battle

Al Dannity | Updated Oct 04, 2017

Two of the best defenses in College Football meet this weekend with the inside track on a trip to a BCS bowl and possibly even the National Championship game at stake.

Dalton must eliminate errors Andy Dalton has only thrown 5 interceptions all season but the TCU quarterback still needs to raise his game against the #5 Utes on Saturday. The #3 Horned Frogs travel to Rice-Eccles Stadium for a clash of two of the nation’s top defenses. Last week Utah held Air Force to just 210 rushing yards. That may not sound terribly good but the Falcons are averaging 313.6 yards per game, giving them the #2 ranked run game in the country. By cutting off a third of that production, the Utes did enough to win 28-23.

The Horned Frogs currently have the #9 run offense in the nation but a similar effort from Utah on Saturday would force TCU to turn to Dalton more. The Horned Frogs’ quarterback is no game-breaker but he is efficient enough to lead this offense. His performances against SMU and Oregon State are a cause for concern. Dalton threw 2 interceptions in each of those games and telegraphed several of his throws. The Utes will look to force similar mistakes this Saturday.

Utah’s offensive superiority looks to be the difference in this game. Jordan Wynn leads one of the most balanced attacks in the nation. That will prove critical in the fourth quarter, when a single score could prove decisive. Bet on the Utah Utes to make home advantage count and beat the TCU Horned Frogs.

Luck can put Stanford in at-large hunt Last week saw Andrew Luck raise his draft stock in a duel with Washington’s Jake Locker. This Saturday he can help raise the #13 Cardinal’s BCS profile with a win this weekend over #15 Arizona. Securing the Pac-10’s automatic bid will be tough work. Stanford need current #1 Oregon to lose twice in order to overtake the Ducks. Getting an at-large bid is much more achievable but they face stiff competition this Saturday from an Arizona team with Rose Bowl dreams of their own.

The Wildcats possess a powerful passing game, a stingy yet often overlooked defense, and a solid run game. The Cardinal are far more run-focussed but retain a strong passing game through Luck and a solid defense. This promises to be one of the tightest games of the weekend but I like Stanford to control the tempo and squeeze out a win.

XLVII: Gabriel Morency previews TCU at Utah and Alabama at LSU