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Kerry says: Utah likely to beat Beavers, go to 3-0

Utah enters Saturday's game as a three-point favorite over Oregon State, and I'm surprised the spread isn't greater.

The Utes opened the season with a 30-26 win over a Utah State team that went 11-2 a year ago, then demolished FCS patsy Weber State 70-7 last Saturday.

The Utes will be highly motivated to win Saturday for plenty of reasons. It's Homecoming, it's the Pac-12 opener for both schools and it's the opportunity to start the season 3-0 for the first time since 2010. But there's also what lies immediately ahead. Utah's next seven opponents are, in order, Brigham Young, UCLA, Stanford, Arizona, USC, Arizona State and Oregon.

(Curiously, the Utes, who are playing their third straight home game Saturday, don't leave the state of Utah until the seventh game Oct. 19 at Tucson. They play BYU at Provo next week, then the Bruins and Cardinal at Salt Lake City before finally venturing onto the road.)

Utah quarterback Travis Wilson is a load. The 6-6, 240-pound sophomore is no Vernon Adams in terms of fleetness of foot, but against Weber State, Wilson rambled for touchdown runs of 38 and 51 yards. He has completed 31 of 47 passes for 566 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions in the Utes' no-huddle, shotgun attack now masterminded by offensive coordinator Dennis Erickson.

Oregon State's defense must keep Utah's passing game in check and hold down a rushing attack that piled up 338 yards and six TDs against Weber State. The OSU offense will try to be balanced, but will likely be forced to do most of its damage through the air.

OSU's biggest issue is its makeshift offensive line due to injuries. That's going to make it hard to run the ball against a Utah defense that is good, not great.

Road game, injury issues, little running attack, solid opponent. It adds up to a loss for the Beavers, who will be competitive but outgunned in this one.

THE PICK: Utah 30, Oregon State 20