Dane Miller’s 2022 Utah at WSU Football Preview

The Cougs have had an up-and-down season but they're more than capable of upsetting the Utes

Posted on October 27, 2022

  By Dane Miller, SuperWest Sports

As a standalone Pac-12 matchup on Thursday night, the eyes of the West figure to be on No. 14 Utah and Washington State.

It’s never easy to win on the road and this game promises to be a battle. Wazzu has had an up-and-down season, yet is more than capable of getting the job done.

I preview the matchup here, and the picks of our Senior Writers and Broadcasters appear at the bottom.

No. 14 Utah at Washington State

Thursday, October 27
7:00 p.m., PT, FS1 

Coming off their season-saving win over USC, the Utes face another challenge.

Washington State has been inconsistent this year, toppling a ranked Wisconsin team on the road but blowing a lead to Oregon in Pullman.

And the past two games, the Wazzu offense has been rendered ineffective.

Running back Nakia Watson was injured against the Trojans three weeks ago, changing the dynamic of the Cougar offense. Without him, WSU is averaging just 12.0 points per game after posting 29.6 in the prior five contests.

Watson isn’t expected back for this game, either, potentially limiting the Coug Raid to a one-dimensional passing attack.

Cam Ward has thrown eight interceptions this season and faces a Utah secondary that is No. 10 in the nation at forcing picks. Ward must take care of the ball or it could be a long game at Martin Stadium.

Cougar QB Cam Ward looks to get back on track against Utah | Tyler Tjomsland/Spokesman-Review

Similarly, freshman running back Jaylen Jenkins must step up to take over the starting role.

Other than the USC matchup, the freshman has yet to be given a full plate of carries. He’s a bit undersized but has plenty of speed and vision to make up for it.

If Jenkins doesn’t get 15-20 carries, Washington State could struggle to score points.

On the other sideline, Utah’s offense is full of confidence.

Cam Rising has a 15-to-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio and 21 total touchdowns. The Ute offense hasn’t been stopped yet, creating a substantial task for Jake Dickert to defend.

And with Dalton Kincaid fresh off a 234-yard game, it’s fair to say the Utah offense is at peak performance.

Unless Dickert can engineer one of his classic defensive game plans, this matchup could turn into a blowout by the fourth quarter.

Game Picks from our Senior Writers and Broadcasters

—More from Dane Miller—