The Utes won the bye week and climbed their way to the #15 spot in this week’s AP Ranking, and a win in Corvallis will almost certainly help the Utes inch even closer to the top 10 thanks to several high-profile matchups that will give Utah a boost.
#6 Oklahoma vs #11 Texas Saturday 10:00 AM MT - ESPN
The 2019 edition of the Red River Rivalry looks to be one for the ages, and likely the matchup that helps decide the Big 12 title frontrunner. Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts has continued the recent trend of developing a graduate transfer into a legitimate Heisman contender under the tutelage of head coach Lincoln Riley, however the Sooners defense is suspect at this point, and Texas has a gunslinger of their own in Sam Ehlinger, who has completed 120 of his 173 pass attempts for 1,448, 17 touchdowns and just two interceptions. A Texas upset would likely leave the Big 12 out of the current playoff picture, but as a -10.5 point favorite, an Oklahoma victory would likely leave the then 4-2 Longhorns ranked below the Utes.
BYU vs South Florida Saturday 1:30 PM MT – CBS Sports Network
If Utah has any hope of sneaking back into the playoff conversation, they’ll need some serious help from their non-conference opponents to boost their strength of schedule, and BYU is the best hope to do that. Without Zack Wilson behind center, the offense is now in the hands of freshman Jaren Hall, as he makes history as the first African-American quarterback to start for the Cougars. A loss to USF would further derail BYU’s mildly impressive start after their last loss to Toledo and nullify Utah’s win over their in-state rival in the eyes of voters.
#7 Florida vs #5 LSU Saturday 6:00 PM MT - ESPN
It’s hard to imagine a scenario where either of these teams fall far enough out of the top ten to really benefit the Utes, but Florida has looked sloppy at times this season despite their undefeated record, while LSU has looked like the team to possibly upset Alabama’s endless quest for perfection. A dominating Tigers victory may be enough to slip the Utes a spot higher than Florida if all the cards fall right this weekend.