Arizona State vs. Utah rewind: Sun Devils fall apart vs. Utes, lose Pac-12 South lead
Saturday's matchup between Arizona State and Utah featured the only two Pac-12 teams remaining without a conference loss.
Utah turned a 21-7 halftime deficit into a 35-21 win in Salt Lake City, taking control of the Pac-12 South with the victory.
Look back at our updates on the game.
The ASU football team looked like it would seize control of the Pac-12 South for a half against Utah on Saturday.
But games have two halves.
The Sun Devils fell apart after a 21-7 halftime lead in Salt Lake City in a 35-21 loss to the Utes.
The loss puts Utah in the lead of the South Division of the Pac-12 with a 3-0 conference record.
ASU is now 3-1 in the conference, tied with UCLA for second.
ASU allowed Utah to score touchdowns on all four of its second-half possessions.
The Sun Devils didn't score on any of theirs.
Penalties and miscues once again plagued ASU, just like they did in the team's other loss this season, which also came in Utah, a 27-17 loss to BYU on Sept. 18.
ASU had 13 penalties for 115 yards. The Sun Devils also dropped several passes.
ASU is not out of the Pac-12 South race with the loss, however. UCLA and Utah still play each other and both of those schools also play Oregon, who ASU avoids on the schedule this season.
But ASU wasted a prime chance to seize control of the division with the loss.
ASU is off this week and then hosts Washington State on Oct. 30.
Utah adds to lead with time-eating drive
Utah took complete control of the game, and perhaps the Pac-12 South, with a 12-play, 82-yard drive that took 6:58 off the clock and gave the Utes a 35-21 lead with 2:39 remaining.
Utah has outscored ASU in the second half, 28-0.
TJ Pledger ran the ball in from seven yards out for Utah's latest score.
They have scored touchdowns on all four of their second half possessions.
Utah is absolutely dominating ASU in the second half.
The Utes took a 28-21 lead on ASU with an 11-play, 67-yard drive that took 4:44 of the clock.
There is 11:49 remaining in the game.
ASU has allowed three touchdowns in the second half after leading 21-7 at halftime. The Utes have scored touchdowns on all three of their second-half possessions.
Cameron Rising hit Brant Kuithe for a 7-yard touchdown for the latest Utah score.
ASU then had to punt after five plays, giving the Utes the ball back at the Utah 18 with 9:37 remaining.
Missed opportunity for Arizona State
ASU had a 10-play, 42-yard drive that ending with a 51-yard field goal miss by Logan Tyler.
The Sun Devils went down to Utah's 20-yard line, but had their drive stall with an offensive holding penalty and a sack.
The third quarter ended with Utah at their own 45-yard line.
The Utes completely dominated the third quarter, outscoring ASU 14-0.
Utah has had two possessions in the second half. It has scored touchdowns on each one.
ASU has had one possession.
It went three-and-out.
We've got a 21-21 ball game after ASU had a 21-7 lead at the half.
And there is still 6:20 left in the third quarter.
The Utes' latest score came on a 20-yard pass from Cameron Rising to Brant Kuithe.
Their scoring drive went for six plays and 68 yards and took just 2:55.
Can ASU respond?
Utah responds to open second half
The Utes impressed on the first drive of the second half, going 75 yards in nine plays to pull within 21-14.
Utah scored the touchdown on a 7-yard run from running back Tavion Thomas.
The drive took 4:39.
The Utes then forced a three-and-out by the Sun Devils on their first possession of the second half, with another ASU drop on third down forcing the Sun Devils to punt and putting pressure on Arizona State's defense to make a stop.
A big factor in the game in the first half?
The Sun Devils are winning the battle of the quarterbacks.
ASU's Jayden Daniels is 11-for-17 for 157 yards passing and two touchdowns in the game.
He has also rushed six times for 33 yards and a touchdown.
Utah's Cameron Rising is 8-for-18 passing for 107 yards with two interceptions.
He has rushed three times for 32 yards and a touchdown.
ASU's defense also came up big in the first half, especially with the two interceptions that stopped Utah drives.
Utah only has 63 yards rushing.
ASU is not winning the penalty battle, but it hasn't mattered so far.
The Sun Devils had eight penalties for 65 yards in the first half. Utah had three for 25 yards.
The Sun Devils grabbed a 21-7 lead on the Utes on a 15-yard pass from Jayden Daniels to Curtis Hodges with 52 seconds left in the first half.
Hodges, who lost a fumble earlier for ASU, was hit hard after the catch and went to the medical tent. The Utah defender was initially called for targeting on the catch, but it was reversed upon review.
ASU intercepted Cameron Rising deep in their own territory with 17 seconds left in the first half to end a Utah threat.
Utah will receive the ball to start the second half.
The Sun Devils took a 14-7 lead in the second quarter on a 2-yard run from Jayden Daniels.
Most of the damage on the drive was done by receiver LV Bunkley-Shelton, who took a short pass from Jayden Daniels and turned it into an impressive 59-yard gain that gave ASU a 1st and 10 at the 2-yard line.
The Sun Devils were able to take advantage of the Utah turnover, something Utah did not, going 69 yards over five plays on the scoring drive.
Mistakes adding up for Arizona State
Mistakes really hurt the Sun Devils in their loss at BYU earlier this season (they had 16 penalties in that game) and they are doing the same thing for ASU at Utah.
The Sun Devils have been called for offensive holding three times, had a false start penalty against them, dropped a couple of passes and now had the first turnover of the game, a fumble by tight end Curtis Hodges which was recovered by Utah at their own 34-yard lines.
Not exactly a recipe for success for Arizona State.
The fumble didn't end up hurting ASU on that drive, however, thanks to an interception of Utah quarterback Cameron Rising by Darien Butler at ASU's 36-yard line.
Rachaad White was smiling after exiting the injury tent on the sideline after coming out of the game and appeared to be in good spirits and good condition.
The Sun Devils and Utes ended the first quarter tied 1-1.
DeaMonte Trayanum came in at running back for White and ran for 15 yards on two plays before Jayden Daniels ran for 7 yards to give ASU a third and 1 at the Utah 45 to end the quarter.
Bad news for ASU?
The Sun Devils were hurt by a false start on their second possession of the game and had to punt after three plays.
More concerning however, is the status of running back Rachaad White, who came up limping after getting three yards on third down.
White is an integral part of the Sun Devils' offense and him missing any amount of time could really hurt the team.
Penalties are mistakes are plaguing ASU early. The Sun Devils already have three penalties and a pair of dropped passes.
ASU did force a three-and-out of its own on Utah's ensuing possession.
Utah answers against ASU
Cameron Rising and the Utes had an answer for ASU's 75-yard scoring drive to open the game.
They went 75 yards themselves and tied the game with a 9-yard run from Rising, the quarterback.
The drive included a beautiful completion from Rising to wide receiver Dalton Kincaid and another one to Devaughn Vele.
The Sun Devils took the first possession of the game and marched 75-yards over 5:10 to score a touchdown on a 7-yard pass from Jayden Daniels to Jalin Conyers and take the 7-0 lead.
The 12-play drive included six passes and six runs.
ASU overcame two holding penalties and a dropped pass in the drive.
The game was moved to ESPN from ESPNEWS shortly after ASU's touchdown when the Alabama vs. Mississippi State game ended.
The Alabama vs. Mississippi State game is still showing on ESPN, so the network has moved the ASU vs. Utah game to ESPNEWS until that game concludes.
It will then move back to ESPN.
ASU football shorthanded vs. Utah
It's looking like ASU will be without WR Johnny Wilson (hamstring), S Evan Fields (hamstring) and CB Chase Lucas (back) in the game against Utah.
Wilson will be out for third time this season.
Fields missed a game, came back, and then went out again.
Lucas was hurt vs BYU and missed a game before coming back against UCLA and then getting hurt against Stanford.
The Sun Devils have some depth in the secondary, but the Field and Lucas absences could hurt.
How will the team respond?
ESPN's Football Power Index gives Arizona State a 47.5% chance to win the game and Utah a 52.5% chance.
Some of the site's other odds are pretty intriguing.
It gives ASU a 57.7% chance to win the Pac-12 South entering the game. Utah has a 36.8% chance, according to the site.
ASU is currently given a 31.6% chance to win the Pac-12, first in the conference. Utah is third at 18.4%.
Oregon, in the Pac-12 North, is second at 29.7%.
No other team is given more than a 7.6% chance (Washington).
Oregon interestingly has a 1.6% chance, according to ESPN, to make the College Football Playoff and ASU has a 0.4% chance.
As for the national title game, the Ducks, according to the Football Power Index, have a 0.3% shot at making the national title game.
The Sun Devils have a 0.1% shot.
So you're saying there's a chance …
The ASU football team is honoring a pair of former Utah football players tonight by wearing a special helmet sticker in their game against the Utes.
The Sun Devils are wearing a sticker honoring former Utes Ty Jordan and Aaron Lowe.
The logo contains the initials "TJ" and "AL" with their number, 22, reversed so as to make a heart.
It also contains the word "FOEVER" and a block U for Utah.
Lowe, a defensive back, was shot and killed in Salt Lake City in last month.
Jordan, a running back, died of an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound last December.
Utah's football and equipment Twitter accounts responded to ASU's gesture.
College Game Day ran a feature on Jordan and Lowe on Saturday.
ASU wide receiver Bryan Thompson, a transfer from Utah, is serving as an honorary team captain for the game.
He played with Lowe and Jordan when he was with the Utes before coming to Arizona State as a grad transfer.
Limit mistakes. Penalties and turnovers have haunted the Sun Devils at times this season and they need to limit them on Saturday if they want to get the victory.
Continue to see DBs step up. ASU had three interceptions in the win over Stanford (including one that was flipped to a teammate for a touchdown) and needs the secondary to shine against Cameron Rising and the Utah wide receivers.
Keep emotions in check. The Sun Devils have had issues playing Utah recently, especially in Salt Lake City. The crowd will be wild and the play could get chippy at times, but ASU players can't afford to lose their focus.
Keys for Utah in game vs. ASU
Get efficient play from QB. Cameron Rising went 22-for-28 for 306 yards and three touchdown passes in the 42-26 win over USC last week. A similar performance would really help the Utes' chances to upset the Sun Devils.
Keep ASU's defense guessing. Utah rushed the ball 35 times against USC and gained 180 yards on the ground in the game. Tavion Thomas (16 carries, 113 yards) did a lot of the damage, but others stepped up, too. A balanced attack could keep ASU guessing on defense and help Utah hold its own on offense.
Slow down ASU's rushing attack. The Trojans ran the ball for just 92 yards against Utah. ASU's rushing game has been a strength all season and Utah's rush defense against the Sun Devils could end up deciding the game.
Predictions for ASU vs. Utah game
My take: Utah's win over USC was very Impressive, but the Sun Devils are starting to put everything together. They will continue to progress in Salt Lake City. ASU 41, Utah 33
Click here for Michelle Gardner's ASU vs. Utah scouting report and prediction.
Click here for more picks and predictions for the ASU vs. Utah game.
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