Pac 12 Preview: Colorado and Utah

Team: Colorado 

2018 Record: 5-7

2019 O/U:

Colorado Buffalos had arguably the saddest story in all of college football last season. After a red hot 5-0 start to the season, the Buffalos completely collapsed, losing seven straight games to end the season with a losing record. Things won’t get much better as they come into 2019 with a barely-improved roster and face the fifth-toughest strength of schedule in the Nation. New head coach Mel Tucker is walking into a nightmare.

The offense will be alright with quarterback Steven Montez, but it doesn’t give us a lot to be excited about, especially with a sketchy offensive line. If the scary offensive line wasn’t enough, the running backs returning for Colorado have a total of 11 career rushing attempts. Montex will need a running back-by-committee system to help him out. At least he’ll be able to throw to future NFL star Laviska Shenault.

The defense doesn’t have much experience up front and has pretty much zero depth, and that makes it hard to win games. Outside of junior defensive end Mustafa Johnson, there isn’t much to expect out of the front seven. The secondary leaves a lot to be desired as well.

Expect Colorado to sit in the basement of the Pac-12 South, if not the entire Pac 12. Their matchup against Oregon State should be…something.

Fun fact: They’ve only been to a single bowl game in the last 11 years.

2019 Regular Season Record Prediction: 2-10


Team: Utah 

2018 Record: 9-5 

2019 O/U: 9 

The Utes are the reigning division champions and the clear-cut favorites to represent the South once again in the Pac-12 championship game. They have a couple question marks that need to be addressed, but they are still far and away the best team in the south.

The offense sustained a number of injuries down the stretch last year, but quarterback Tyler Huntley and running back Zack Moss are back and should be studs in their senior season. New offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig won’t be working with a star-studded offense all around, but he’ll still have plenty of guys playing in the NFL in 2020.

The Utes took the Pac-12 by storm last season with suffocating defense that promises to be even more lethal in 2019. Their defensive line wreaked havoc in 2018 and will be returning the majority of their starters. They lost star linebacker Chase Hansen to the NFL but received a couple high-caliber transfers, including former Penn State linebacker Manny Bowen to fill the void.

The secondary, led by star corner Jaylen Johnson, is also returning three starters and should get their hands on a lot of footballs. They are deep at virtually every position and should create nightmares for opposing quarterbacks.

They will have some questions to answer on special teams, however, as they lost both their starting kicker and punter from a year ago. Matt Gay was an All-American kicker who will be replaced by either a walk-on or a UCLA transfer.

The Pac 12 South is the Utes’ to lose, but it remains to be seen if they can contend with the North in 2019. Utah wants to break through to a college football playoff berth, but they still have not been able to overcome the likes of Oregon and Washington, who both have championship aspirations in 2019.

Utah likely has to go undefeated to even sniff a meaningful postseason game (which is certainly possible), but they’re likely to stumble at least once along the way with USC, Washington, Washington State, and a potential Pac 12 North champion on the schedule.

2019 Regular Season Record Prediction: 10-2


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