Utah Utes Vs. Oregon State Beavers Score Prediction, Game Day Storylines

Sep 28, 2023, 7:00 PM

SALT LAKE CITY – We are around 24 hours away from the No. 10 Utah Utes kicking off against the No. 19 Oregon State Beavers which means it’s time for storylines and a game prediction.

Expectations remain high with a heavy dose of angst for the Utes after they squeaked by UCLA to open Pac-12 play with a win, 14-7. However, things are only going to continue to get harder for Utah with their schedule and there is still uncertainty surrounding when several key players will be back. The Pac-12 in its final season currently has six total teams ranked in the AP Top 25 and the Utes will have to get past four of them including No. 19 OSU on Friday night in order to potentially three-peat as Pac-12 Champions with maybe a little more in store.

Before game day, make sure you are in the know about important storylines, and questions surrounding the game as well as a score prediction for Utah versus Oregon State.

Three Storylines For Utah Vs. Oregon State

  1. Cam Rising. This will continue to be the top storyline until Rising makes his 2023 debut. Unfortunately, it’s feeling like once again this week will not be the week either. This storyline looms large the further the Utes get into their schedule because the opponents are only getting tougher, and the offense needs to figure out how to be more productive with or without Rising. For the record, this doesn’t mean they have to be high octane, they just need to be efficient with possessions which is well within the realm of reason and something backup Nate Johnson has shown he can do in crunch time.
  2. Utah’s Defense & Special Teams. With the vibes trending no Rising again this week against Oregon State, more weight gets put onto Utah’s defense and special teams to perform– which to this point they have and impressively so. The Beavers are a tough matchup however because they love doing exactly what Utah loves to do- run the ball down an opponent’s throat on offense and stifle the run on defense. This game will likely come down to who can do those things better. Can Utah keep up their strong performances on defense and special teams for one more week?
  3. Weather. There is rain forecasted in Corvallis on Friday. Thankfully, right now it looks like it should clear up by kickoff, but we all know how the weather can change at the drop of a hat- it’s not an exact science after all. If the conditions change to where a soggy game can be expected, execution and ball protection will become even more important.


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Two Questions Heading Into Utah Vs. UCLA

  1. Who Will Be Available? By now everyone should know that Utah doesn’t talk a whole lot about who is and isn’t available for them each week, but they do give sometimes give some clues or indications. Head coach Kyle Whittingham said after post-game last Saturday they expected around 8-10 guys back for this week. He since adjusted that expectation on Tuesday to not quite that many. I mentioned the current vibe feels like Rising is not one of those guys. I believe it’s safe to assume the vibe feels like Brant Kuithe is also not one of those guys. However, Whittingham did seem bullish about where defensive ends Van Fillinger and Connor O’Toole are at along with offensive lineman Johnny Maea. Others are still shrouded in a lot of mystery. Mycah Pittman? Cole Becker? Ja’Quinden Jackson? Chris Curry? Etc. Obviously, any and all of this is subject to change either positively or negatively, but I do believe Utah will have a few more people back which will only help the cause.
  2. Can Utah Be More Efficient On Offense? The answer to this question is very reliant on the first question. I do not believe Utah’s offense needs to put up 35-40 points to win this game as long as the defense and special teams keep doing what they are doing. They just need to be more efficient, run the clock/play keep away, and collect points when they run out of real estate. Continuing to gamble with quick three and outs due to not getting any kind of rhythm going is a dangerous game to play for a second week in a row against OSU.


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Utah Vs. Oregon State Score Prediction

Since I’m leaning towards no Rising for this week, I will just stick with a single score prediction here though there is always possibility something changes.

With that said, I am expecting another close, though maybe not quite as ugly game. I think Utah can pull it out for one more week, though it would also not surprise me to see the reverse happen here. Utah and Oregon State are very similar teams. Still, I believe the Utes have been put in tough positions before now and prevailed and have the confidence within themselves to do it one more time. Until they show me they can’t manage that, it’s hard for me to pick against them.

  • Utah 23, Oregon State 20

Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on XInstagram, and Threads: @BodkinKSLsports

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Utah Utes Vs. Oregon State Beavers Score Prediction, Game Day Storylines