#DearAndy: Fixing the linemen downfield rule
2:12 | College Football
#DearAndy: Fixing the linemen downfield rule
Thursday September 24th, 2015

The Oregon Ducks are 23–2 straight up over their last 25 games at Autzen Stadium. The Ducks will look to keep that home cooking going this Saturday when they host the Utah Utes in the start of conference play for both teams.

Oregon is an 11-point betting favorite for Saturday night according to sportsbooks monitored by This is just the third time in Oregon’s last 17 home games that the Ducks have been favored by less than three touchdowns at home, going 2–0 SU and ATS in the previous two instances.

Coach Mark Helfrich’s decision to rest quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. last week against Georgia State worked out just fine as the Ducks offense cruised to a 61–28 victory over the Panthers without him. Adams Jr. is expected to return to action this week against Utah, though no official announcement has been made.

College Football
Roundtable: After Myles Jack injury, which is biggest of the season so far?

While Oregon figures to be fine on offense, the real problem for the team so far this season looks to be on defense, where the Ducks are allowing 33.7 points per game. Oregon is just 1–4 ATS in its last five September games per the OddsShark College Football Database, and will need to tighten up on defense to break that trend against Utah.

Utah also rested its starting quarterback, Travis Wilson, last week on the road against Fresno State, and the defense led the Utes to a 45–24 win and cover over the Bulldogs. The Utes defense held Fresno State in check despite the offense coughing up three turnovers, and the unit is allowing just 18.3 points per game so far this season.

The defense will get its toughest test of the year on the road against Oregon this week, but Utah has proven to be a strong road team recently with a 6–1 SU and ATS record over its last seven road games.

CAULDRON: How Mark Helfrich has emerged from Chip Kelly’s big shadow

The total on Saturday for the Utah vs. Oregon betting matchup is listed at 66.5 points. The UNDER is 11–3 in Utah's last 14 games overall and 5–2 in the team’s last seven games on the road.

Oregon holds a 5–1 SU advantage in its last six games against Utah while the ATS record is split at 3–3 ATS apiece.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.