The Utes head to Colorado Saturday after an impressive victory this past weekend over Oregon.
The Utes have won five of six games, and likely need to beat Colorado to stay in the race to win the PAC-12 South. On the flip side, Colorado has lost five straight, and needs to win one of their last two games to become bowl eligible.
But with the Utes riding high, and Colorado falling apart, is this a potential trap game for the Utes?
Outside of the now infamous November letdown for the Utes, there are a few things that would concern me going into this game.
- I don’t like teams on long streaks, either winning, or losing. Alabama is the best team every week they step on the field, and has been for 5 years. And yet, they haven’t gone undefeated in any of those season. Good teams lose games they shouldn’t, and bad teams win games they shouldn’t, and eventually the odds come together and bizarre outcomes occur. Colorado is a Division One team, with Division One player, at some point they have to break this losing streak, Utes fans just have to hope it isn’t this Saturday.
- Jason Shelley is making his first road start. Playing at Rice Eccles Stadium for his first start was ideal, and Shelley looked impressive. But now making his first road start, with 60 minutes of game film for Colorado that Oregon didn’t have will create a different obstacle to hurdle. Oregon is a better team than Colorado, but hasn’t played well on the Road, meanwhile Colorado is 4-1 at home this season, this will be a battle for the redshirt freshman.
- Mike MacIntyre might be out of a job, and that throws a wildcard into the matchup. Do his players quit on him? Or they do show up and fight for his job? On top of that, its senior day, do the graduating Buffs show up to play for one last time, or are they looking forward to the offseason? Last year Colorado had a pitiful performance at Rice Eccles in the final game of the season, will we see that same approach, or more energy?
- Weather is going to be a factor. The weather report calls for snow, and temperatures in the 30’s on Saturday, while this might not bother some of the homegrown Utes, it might be a factor for Shelley. Shelley is a Houston native, and hasn’t seen live snaps in the snow, how does he react?
The Utes are the better team going into this match up, and all signs should point to a Utah victory, including Las Vegas, who has the Utes as a seven point favorite heading into the matchup. Still, there are enough outside factors that could impact this game that Utah fans should be aware this is a potential trap game.