Michigan vs. Utah: Time, Channel, Line & Prediction

It is not the first game on opening night of the college football season, but it is the biggest game. The Jim Harbaugh era will begin Thursday night in Utah. Many caught up in the new era for the maize and blue might overlook the quality opponent they are playing on the road. Utah went 9-4 last season in the difficult Pac-12.

Since Jim Harbaugh arrived in Michigan the focus has been on him, but he has said little about his actual team. It is challenging to know exactly what to expect from the Wolverines. Harbaugh has not even publicly announced their starting quarterback even though he has told the players. Thursday night will begin to give fans a glimpse of what they can expect during the Jim Harbaugh era.

Here are all the details on the match-up:

The Basics

Michigan vs. Utah

September 3rd, 8:30 PM ET

Fox Sports 1

Rice-Eccles Stadium; Salt Lake City, Utah

Utah by 3 points (Line is according to OddsShark and subject to change.)

Last Meeting:
Last season, Utah defeated Michigan 26-10 at Michigan Stadium.

Michigan Preview

Jim Harbaugh is ready to go. (Getty)

Jim Harbaugh is ready to go. (Getty)

Michigan went a disappointing 5-7 last season. Their marquee victory was against Penn State, but were defeated handily by a number of teams. The Brady Hoke regime is gone and last season was as dysfunctional as it gets. Former Michigan quarterback Jim Harbaugh was brought in to help restore the Michigan prestige.

Harbaugh last coached at the college level in 2010 at Stanford. He led the Cardinal to a 12-1 record and an Orange Bowl victory before heading to the NFL. Harbaugh announced earlier in the week that they would not release who the starting quarterback would be despite the Michigan players already knowing who will get the start Thursday night.

Utah Preview

Travis Wilson is the starting quarterback for Utah. (Getty)

Travis Wilson is the starting quarterback for Utah. (Getty)

This is a good football team. Utah went 9-4 last season with wins against teams like USC, UCLA, and Stanford. Head Coach Kyle Whittingham had to replace both the offensive and defensive coordinators after they each accepted positions at different schools.

As Bill Connelly notes, it is hard to pinpoint the strength of the Utes. Their strength could be described as having solid play across the board. Can they top last season’s great performance? It seems unlikely given the difficult conference they play in, but college football fans should expect another solid season for Utah.

Heavy’s Pick

Utah 24, Michigan 17

For months this game has been dubbed as the “debut of Jim Harbaugh.” Lost in the discussion is how big of a threat Utah poses. Jim Harbaugh instantly makes Michigan credible, but it is going to take time for Harbaugh to turn things around. Utah likely comes into this game with a bit of a chip on their shoulder with little to no coverage of their squad leading up to the game. Michigan is starting a new quarterback in a difficult road environment. Utah covers and wins by at least a touchdown.

Editor’s note: Are you playing daily fantasy yet? Heavy’s partners at DraftKings are paying out $1 billion to daily fantasy players. Sign up with DraftKings promo code HEAVY and get a $600 deposit bonus with no season-long commitment.

Comment Here
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments