Utes welcome Sun Devils to Rice Eccles Stadium for Pac-12 South summit battle


Utah Head Coach Kyle Whittingham (Photo: Scott Stevens, Getty)

After a seemingly disappointing start to the 2021 season, the Utes have rebounded in a dominant fashion and currently find themselves 3-2 on aggregate and 2-0 in the Pac-12 game. While the win over USC was impressive and momentous, Utah faces their biggest test of the season as they host Arizona State at Rice Eccles Stadium for a battle atop the Pac-12 South. This match has major implications as the winner will gain a huge advantage in the division and could very well become the Pac-12 South champion later.

How to watch

Saturday kicks off at 8 p.m. MT and will air on ESPN with Dave Flemming, Rod Gilmore and Stormy Buonantony on the show. Meanwhile, Bill Riley and Stevenson Sylvestre will call the match on Home of the Utes radio, ESPN700.

Scoop on the Utes

Rating: N / A

2021 record: 3-2 (2-0 Pac-12), W against USC 42-26

Uniform Combo: White helmet with tribal band and tribal U block, black jersey with white pants

The Utes are coming off their most impressive win of the season as for the first time since 1916, Utah won against the Trojans in Southern California. While it was undoubtedly a team effort, there were outstanding performances across the board as the offense broke loose and the defense held on.

# ThiccBoi7 showed up at the Coliseum with a goal last Saturday as the sophomore quarterback went 22-28 (79%) for 306 yards and three touchdowns, leading Utah’s offense to victory. For his efforts, Cameron on the rise was also named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week.

As for his favorite targets, it was a distribution of wealth since nine Utes brought receptions. Notably, Devaughn Vele, a walk-in freshman, led the room as the California native scored 84 yards and one touchdown on four receptions.

As for the racing game, Tavion Thomas was back on top, finishing with 113 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. His superior size and strength has given him a noticeable advantage, and as long as he sticks to football, he should dominate opposing defenses like he did against USC.

Defensively, the Utes were magnificent, limiting the Trojans to just 26 points despite 27 top downs and 401 passing yards. A major key to containing USC was their ability to stop them on third downs, keeping their offense at just 5-14 (35%). Overall, freshman safety Kamo’i Latu led the team with 10 total tackles, including six solo. For his efforts, Latu was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Week.

Utes to watch

Cameron on the rise

Rising will have to pick up where it left off, as the secondary Sun Devil is much more of a handicap than the front of the defense. In six games, ASU allowed 1,088 yards in the air, compared to just 696 rushing. If the Utes have the slightest chance of suffering another upheaval, Rising will need to be in peak form again.

The defensive line and linebackers

Between the quarterback Jayden daniels and the Sun Devils’ running game, the offense is a two-headed monster as they produced a total of 2,652 yards. If defense is to contain ASU, the defensive line and linebackers will need to constantly pressurize, block the gaps and contain Daniels as best they can.

Hear it from Coach Whitt

“Arizona State this week, good football team, first in the Pac-12 South, 3-0. They are strong in every way. Their quarterback is dynamic, very balanced in attack, good running back, good receiving body, offensive the line is playing well. Defensively they are playing well. There really is no weakness you can tell. We have to play some exceptional football this weekend and that should hopefully be a great one. match ”, the head coach Kyle Whittingham noted.

Scoop on Sun Devils

Ranking: n ° 18 of the AP

2021 results: 5-1 (3-0 Pac-12), W against Stanford 28-10

The Sun Devils have turned a lot of heads this season as they orchestrated a 5-1 overall record and sit atop the Pac-12 South at 3-0. In their last clash, ASU took the win by dominating Stanford at home, 28-10.

Daniels had a respectable day against the Cardinal, finishing 14-23 (60%) for 175 yards. Although he did not throw any hits, he also did not throw an interception as he connected precisely with his targets. As for his favorite receiver, Curtis Hodges led the room with 76 yards on four receptions.

Offensively, the runners’ hall did most of the damage as they totaled 255 yards and three touchdowns in 44 carries. Notably, Three Sun Devils traveled more than 50 meters while Deamonte Trayanum finished with 50 in nine carries, Daniels totaled 76 yards and one touchdown on 13 carries and Rachaad White also led the room with 96 yards and one touchdown on 13 carries.

Defensively, as ASU allowed 369 yards of total attacking, they absolutely stifled the Cardinal running game as they allowed just 13 yards. Additionally, they also did a great job holding their home ground in third as the Cardinal converted just five of 14 attempts.

Sun devils to watch out for

Jayden daniels

While he didn’t necessarily have the best performance against Stanford, Daniels still poses as a versatile offensive threat, able to move the ball with his arms and legs. Up to this point in the season, Daniels has thrown for 1,270 yards and four touchdowns while picking up 369 yards and three touchdowns with his legs. The trick to Utah’s defense will be to try and contain it as it can clearly hurt you in a number of ways.

Ball carriers

As mentioned before, the ASU offense is a bit of a two-headed monster as they burned enemy defenses to the ground in addition to air. In six games, the Sun Devils racked up 1,279 yards and 21 rushing touchdowns while allowing just 696 yards and six touchdowns. The Utes will have to be prepared to challenge this well-oiled machine if they are to have any chance of coming out victorious on Saturday.

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