No. 13 Utah Football (2-1) will open the Pac 12 to play on the road against Arizona State this weekend. The two teams met 32 times, and Utah 10-22 in those games. This also includes a record of 4-15 on the road.
Utah has also won four of its last six games against the Sun Devils, including its latest win on the road. This was a 49-26 win that saw Troy Williams throw for 296 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Aside from Florida’s heartbreaking game, Utah has been a force this year. The team ranks second in the FBS in passing defense, allowing only 90 yards per game. They also lead the Pac-12 in a fast attack with 216.7 yards per game.
Although the team has outpaced rivals 134-43 this season, they only scored 14 points in the first quarter. While that’s no cause for panic, Utes hope they can fix the problem before it costs them a game.
“It would be ideal to start better in attack,” coach Kyle Whittingham told the Salt Lake Tribune. “We’ll be making some adjustments in practice this week to get some more head start and see if we can correct it.”
Arizona State 1-2 this season, losses come from Oklahoma State and eastern Michigan. Their only win came against Northern Arizona. They seem to have their own offensive struggles, as quarterback Emory Jones advanced 20-32 for 182 yards last week.
While these stats aren’t necessarily bad for Arizona, Utah’s strong defense should be a whole new beast. Utah’s defense has recovered twice and has scored three interceptions this season, including one interception that came back for relegation.
Utah’s offense also looks strong entering this game, converting 55% of the third points and scoring 18 total touchdowns. Utes have been on fire lately, and they’re looking to keep the ball rolling as they head into team play this weekend.
But Pac-12 will hold some of Utah’s toughest games of the year, including a No. 15 Oregon showdown and No. 7 USC. The Pac-12 team struggled in the college football game, but the Conference has a real chance of making it happen, with four teams ranked in the top 20.
Utah will once again look to be the shining star of the conference as they play Oregon and USC later in the season. But the team is focused on dealing with it day in and day out, and that starts with the defeat of Arizona State.
While this game won’t be too difficult for the Utah State, it’s definitely a game they can’t hide. Utah has been fortunate to have a fairly easy schedule to start the season, and this game will be another opportunity to hone their skills.
Utah is a 15-point favorite over the Sun Devils. The match will take place at 8:30 PM EST on Saturday, September 24th.