Statistically speaking...

Want to get a real idea of how big/little of an underdog Utah is? Look no further than the statistics. I think, generally, they paint a pretty accurate picture for conference games (they're less impressive when trying to factor out of conference contests). In this regard, Utah might not be entirely overwhelmed. 

Here is a quick breakdown of the major statistical categories and whether either team has a significant edge. 

#14 Utah #4 TCU Edge
Passing Offense
#55 NCAA
224.4 YPG
#66 NCAA
216.4 YPG
EVEN
Rushing Offense
#27 NCAA
186.9 YPG
#6 NCAA
242.1 YPG
Total Offense
#35 NCAA
411.3 YPG
#9 NCAA
458.6 YPG
Scoring Offense
#46 NCAA
29.1 PPG
#7 NCAA
37.4 YPG
Rush Defense
#51 NCAA
129.8 YPG
#7 NCAA
91.7 YPG
Pass Defense
#13 NCAA
169.9 YPG
#4 NCAA
150.9 YPG
EVEN
Total Defense
#18 NCAA
299.3 YPG
#3 NCAA
240.6 YPG
Scoring Defense
#16 NCAA
16.4 PPG
#4 NCAA
11.2 PPG
EVEN
Special Teams
Punting
Field Goals
Kickoff Returns
Punt Returns
EVEN

 

As you can see, based on the statistics, it's actually pretty close. TCU does hold a significant edge on the offensive end, but it's far more equal in regard to the defensive numbers. In fact, the only defensive statistic that TCU swamps Utah in is rush defense and even that isn't entirely bad. 

The difference, of course, is on the offensive side of the ball. The Utes have struggled there, but even then, they're not entirely bad. The only aspect of their offense that is quite a bit worse than last year's is points per game and I think against TCU, you can pretty much throw those numbers out the window. 

To compare, Utah had the edge in only one category last year (passing offense). Every other category was either won by TCU or essentially a tie. I consider a tie numbers that are within the realm of each other. In my mind, there isn't much difference in giving up 19-more yards through the air. Though maybe some of you will disagree with me on that one.

What this tells me is that, like last year, TCU is statistically the better team. But they're not 21-points better than Utah. Across the board, they may have a slight edge, but that's about it. Everything else is fairly even and suggests Saturday's game could come down to the intangibles. If that's the case, I like Utah's chances.

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