Rose Bowl Betting Free Pick - #5 Stanford vs. #4 Michigan State

Stanford looks to stay perfect after last week’s escape

(5) Stanford Cardinals vs. Utah Utes
6:00 PM ET, October 12, 2013
Rice-Eccles Stadium, SALT LAKE CITY, UT
Coverage: Pac-12 Network

The Cardinals are coming out of one of the most impressive escapes of the season as they were down to Washington late in the fourth quarter and had to pull off a miracle drive as well as have their defense step up in a way not usually seen by Stanford to stay unbeaten. Utah knows that the hardest part of playing the Cardinals is their focused defense, because they are not on the field too much it’s hard to see them tire, the Utes are coming off a close loss to 12th ranked UCLA on Thursday night.

The Cardinals have to play better offense throughout the game in order to not find themselves in a last quarter battle, their defense is still one of the top in the country, this season they have shown problems running the ball ranking 97th overall with only 197 yards on the ground, this is something they need to improve if they want to make any kind of impact. I expect Cardinals QB Kevin Hogan to add to his great throwing year, reaching the 1000+ yards in this game and improving on the 11 touchdowns he already has.

Utah relies heavily on their passing game, QB Travis Wilson has completed 96 of his 159 passes for more than 1400 yards this season, he has 11 touchdowns and another 3 rushing it in himself and he will give the Cardinals a little more problems because they will have to watch the run of play fake. I like the Utes, they play very hard and can score, having beaten BYU as well as Utah State only builds their momentum this season and I expect big things from this little team this season.

What to Expect:

The Cardinals are -9 in this game a spread that they should cover but I have to admit that the Utes are one of those little teams that you can never get overconfident or cocky with cause they can surprise anyone. I don’t see it happening in this game but I have to admit I’m interested to watch them play this game. Look for Stanford to stay undefeated as they continue their search for perfection.