Utah (6-1 straight up, 4-2-1 against the spread) improved to 14-3 ATS in its last 17 games as a road underdog with last night’s 34-32 win at USC. The Utes won outright as seven-point underdogs thanks to Cole Becker’s 38-yard field goal on the final play of the game.
It was Utah’s fourth consecutive win over the Trojans and kept them alive in their quest to win the Pac-12 for a third straight year.
That quest will not happen with quarterback Cam Rising or tight end Brant Kuithe, though.
Whittingham announced after the game that both star players will not play this season. Rising sustained a torn ACL on Jan. 2 in a loss to Penn St. at the Rose Bowl, while Kuithe suffered a season-ending injury in a win at Arizona St. on Sept. 24 of 2022.
Rising started 24 games for the Utes in 2021 and 2022, leading both of those teams to conference titles and appearances in the Rose Bowl. He completed 64.7 percent of his passes for 3,034 yards with a 26/8 TD-INT ratio last year.
In 27 career games, Rising has a 64.1 completion percentage, 5,572 passing yards and a 46/14 TD-INT ratio. He also has 953 career rushing yards, 12 TDs and a 6.3 yards-per-carry average.
In four games before getting hurt last year, Kuithe had 19 catches for 206 yards and three TDs. In 51 career games in five seasons, Kuithe has 148 receptions for 1,882 yards and 16 TDs.
Kuithe also has 162 career rushing yards and four TDs with a 9.5 yards-per-carry average.
In order to pursue an additional year of eligibility, both players have to miss the entire season. Therefore, this announcement seemingly indicates that both players are planning to return next season.
Utah has used three different QBs this year, but Bryson Barnes has emerged as the starter in recent weeks. Barnes completed 14-of-23 passes at USC for 235 yards and three TDs with one interception. He also had 57 rushing yards and one TD on 10 attempts.
Utah will put its 18-game home winning streak on the line Saturday in a crucial showdown vs. Oregon at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City. As of early Sunday afternoon, FanDuel had the Ducks as 5.5-point favorites (-115 price), with the Utes at +184 on the money line.