UTAH UTES

Utah Blocking Out Noise, Ready For Arizona State

Nov 2, 2018, 10:38 PM
Utah Utes wide receiver Britain Covey (18) returns a punt up the sidelines during the University of...
Utah Utes wide receiver Britain Covey (18) returns a punt up the sidelines during the University of Utah versus UCLA football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018. (Steve Griffin, Deseret News)
(Steve Griffin, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Sitting pretty in the Pac-12 South division, the Utah Utes aren’t feeling any pressure or a target on their backs. According to head coach Kyle Whittingham, the Utes’ focus is squarely on Arizona State.

“We are just blocking out that noise and getting ready for Arizona State,” said Whittingham. “We don’t really look at where we are, who has what losses, we can’t worry about that. We just want to be completely focused on who we have next and not worry about the peripheral stuff. If you play well, good things will happen and that is our attitude right now.”

Utes Have ‘Utmost Respect’ For Sun Devils

The Sun Devils will welcome the Utes and look to go above .500 as they currently sit at 4-4. But after being USC on the road last week, and having not lost a game by more than seven points all year, Whittingham feels Herm Edwards’ squad is a good team.

“”When is the last time that USC has been beat at home? They went down there and got that done, which speaks volumes. And then every single game they have been in they have been competitive, even the four they lost. We have the utmost respect for them,” said Whittingham.

Utah Looks To Play On Strengths

Arizona State is known for having a particularly stingy rush defense, something that has been a bit less impactful under Edwards, according to Whittingham. As for how the Utes plan to take advantage of the Sun Devils’ pass defense, Whittingham says the Utes will do what they do best and establish running back Zach Moss first.

“There is always what the defense’s strengths and weaknesses that goes into planning, but not as much as what you do best. We feel like we are getting a pretty good idea of what our identity is. So it is kind of a blend of what we do best and then if they put nine people in the box, you have to be able to have an answer for that and throw the ball. We will just do what we think is going to be the most effective but I can tell you that Zack Moss will always be a big part of our plan,” said Whittingham.

The game will kick off Saturday at 2 p.m. from Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz. It will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Network.

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