Yes sports fans the 2015-16 NCAA Football Bowl Season has arrived and the 1st of the games begin on the 19th of December 2015 and one of the 1st is the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl with the 9-3 Cougars of BYU (2nd in Independents-FBS) playing the 9-3 Utes of Utah (2nd Pac-12 South Division) with the Bowl Game played at the Sam Boyd Stadium in Whitney, Nevada which is a community in the Las Vegas Valley, with kick-off scheduled for 3:35 PM ET and the game will be seen on ABC TV.
The early odds for those that Bet on College football at a sportsbook has the Utes of Utah the favorite at -2 ½ with the Over/under at 54 and -140 on the Money Line, while the Cougars of BYU are the underdogs at +2 ½ and +120 on the ML.
They say this game that is being played in Sin City with the Utes of Utah and the Cougars of BYU. The Utes started the season appearing as a sure contender for the CFP but in their last six games they were only able to win 3 and dropped to No. 22 in the AP Poll at the end of the 2015 season. Meanwhile the Cougars are seeking a win for their Coach Mendenhall whom is seeking his 100th win at BYU.
If you’re a fan of the 9-3 Cougars this year the team lacked the big victories, thus in this Bowl game they will give it their all as they seek the 100th win for their Coach Mendenhall who next season leaves to become the head coach at Virginia. In this game their QB T. Mangum a freshman has become better with each game this season, and in their latest game he passed for some 4 touchdowns, and for the season had 124 passing attempts, and without an interception. That streak will be tested by the Utes who have made 19 interceptions in 2015.
To QB Mangum’s advantage is his trio of talented receivers in N. Kurtz, M. Juergens and M. Mathews whom all have at least 1 reception for more than 50 yards and a TD in 2015. His favorite is Mathews who leads the trio with 11 TD receptions to date. Thus having this trio should make it easier to test the Utes passing defense that has allowed opponents some 254 yards passing each game, which ranks 97th in the FBS.
On defense the BYU is strong and are in the top 25 with 90 tackles of which 20 were for losses (19th), and have 37 sacks (7th) and 16 interceptions (21st) in 2015. Their leaders on defense are LB F. Warner with 11 tackles for a loss and 4 sacks, and DE B. Kaufusi 17 tackles for a loss and 11 sacks to date.
The for the fans of the 9-3 Utes of Utah, the team has the same won/loss record as the Cougars of BYU , but experts think the Utes had a more difficult schedule this season as the played UCLA, California, Oregon and Michigan. In this game they surely will feel the absence of star RB D. Booker who had 11 touchdowns this season and rushed for 1,262 yards, then in Week 11 his season ended with an injury to his knee.
Without RB Booker the Utes will likely use RB J. Williams who since replacing Booker, for 2 games he had 60 carries for some 310 yards and 1 TD. In this game RB Williams will have to step up his performance so his QB Wilson can get the aerial game going. If not then QB Wilson could struggle since he has 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions this season.
The Utes will also seek another solid game from their defense playing BYU, but they are up against a weak Cougar offensive line that has given up some 30 sacks in 2015. Utah has a duo of DL in K. Fitts and P. Taumoepenu who each have had 6 sacks in 2015. Their LB G. Paul a senior in the front seven has 13 tackles for a loss.
One advantage the Utes have on defense is their ability to force turnover, primarily interceptions as this season they have accumulated some 19 interceptions, as DB M. Williams has excelled getting 5 interceptions this season. Thus, he will certainly be trying to intercept the Cougar’s QB Mangum who is un-intercepted in his last 3 games this season. In their last 4 games the Utes have beaten the Cougars in all 4 of those games.
The sports betting prediction for this game is that the Cougars of BYU will cover the spread and thanks to the play of their QB Mangum they will overpower and beat the Utes of Utah.