It’s time for bowl projections.

Coming off a bye week, the Utes bounced back from it’s first loss of the season for a 34-14 home victory over Cal at Rice-Eccles Stadium. The Utes rushed for more than 300 yards in the win.

BYU and Utah State weren’t so lucky as the Cougars and the Aggies both lost.

Coming off a bye week as well, BYU looked to take advantage of a TCU squad that was going to have to play its backup QB due to an injury to starter Chandler Morris. In the words of Lee Corso… ‘not so fast my friend’ as the Horned Frogs dominated from start to finish in the 44-11 home victory.

For Utah State fans it was another woulda, shoulda, coulda moment as the Aggies rallied to take the lead in the fourth quarter before blowing the game in the final minutes as Fresno State rallied for a 37-32 road victory.

With the week’s results, here’s a look at the updated bowl projections for the Utes, Cougars and Aggies.

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Facing an old Mountain West foe on a two-game skid, many people – me included – gave BYU the upper hand in its matchup with TCU this past week.

Instead, the Cougars played their worst game of the season, with the Horned Frogs winning in a rout, 44-11.

BYU looked equally poor on both sides of the ball in the road loss, which drops them to 4-2 on the season, including 1-2 in Big 12 action.

The Cougars now turn their attention to a home matchup with Texas Teach on Saturday. While the Red Raiders received a lot of preseason hype, they are currently just 3-4 after suffering a blowout loss of their own last time out.

Both teams will be looking to rebound and get back on track, and a BYU win would put them just one win from bowl eligibility in its first season as a Power 5 program.

Projection: Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl
Opponent: UTSA
Date: Saturday, December 23
Location: Amon G. Carter Stadium – Fort Worth, TX
Time and channel: 1:30 p.m. MT, ABC

ESPN’s Football Power Index: Your Ultimate Guide + Key Insights

No. 14 Utah

With Cam Rising’s availability still dominating the headlines, the Utes went out and played perhaps their best game of the season, beating Cal 34-14.

The win saw Utah move up two spots in the latest AP Top 25 poll and improve to 5-1, needing just one more victory to secure a bowl invitation.

Sione Vaki may just be the answer at running back after a 158-yard, two-touchdown week, and quarterback Bryson Barnes did not turn the ball over against the Golden Bears.

Utah does have a much tougher opponent next on the schedule, however. The Utes will travel to Los Angeles to face No. 18 USC in what could be the final matchup between two of the Pac-12’s top programs.

USC is reeling following a blowout loss to Notre Dame, a game in which its defense was exposed once again. If the Utes’ defense can keep the Trojans’ offense in check, they may just have a chance to pull off a victory.

Projection: SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl
Opponent: Wisconsin
Date: Saturday, December 23
Location: Allegiant Stadium – Paradise, NV
Time and channel: 5:30 p.m. MT, ABC

No. 19 Oregon State Upsets No. 10 Utah

Utah State

Facing a Fresno State team coming off a loss and down to its backup quarterback, Friday night seemed like the perfect opportunity for the Aggies to move above .500 on the season.

Despite playing its most complete game of the year, however, Utah State was unable to defeat the Bulldogs, falling 37-32 even after putting up 568 yards of total offense.

Mistakes once again did the Aggies in against Fresno State, as Cooper Legas threw a pair of interceptions, and the defense was unable to force the visitors into a turnover.

At 3-4 overall and 1-2 in the Mountain West, USU will need to win three of its final five games to reach bowl eligibility for the third straight season.

The Aggies will look to rebound against a 2-5 San Jose State team on the road this week, a game they will need to win regardless of whether Cooper Legas or McCae Hillstead starts at quarterback.

Projection: Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Opponent: Bowling Green
Date: Saturday, December 23
Location: Albertsons Stadium – Boise, ID
Time and channel: 1:30 p.m. MT, ESPN

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