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Three Takeaways From Utah’s Big Win Over Arizona State

The Utah Utes celebrate during the second half of an NCAA football game at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019. (Colter Peterson, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The University of Utah football team picked up a big Pac-12 South Division win over the Arizona State Sun Devils.

Utah had their first game of the season where they committed multiple turnovers with four, three fumbles and one interception, but their defense posted an elite performance in the win.

Here is the “three point stance” with the Crimson Corner’s three takeaways from Utah’s win over the Sun Devils.

Utes Elite Defense

Utah’s defense showed on Saturday whey they are one of the best units in all of college football. They allowed Arizona State to complete just four passes, which is the fewest since allowing 4 at Oregon in 2009 (Sept. 19).

ASU quarterback Jayden Daniels had just 25 passing yards on the four completions. That is the fewest by any Pac-12 team in a conference game since Utah joined the conference in 2011.

The Utes limited the entire Sun Devil offense to 136 yards (25 passing, 111 rushing), which is the fewest by Utah in a conference game since joining the Pac-12 (9 seasons) and fewest by any Pac-12 team in a conference game since California gained just 93 yards against Washington in 2017 (Oct. 7).

Also, Arizona State didn’t have an offensive possession where they gained more than 28 yards or a drive that lasted longer than 9 plays, including six 3-and-outs. The Sun Devils were held to single-digit yardage seven times or negative yardage twice in nine of their 13 possessions.

Finally, Utah snapped a significant streak that ASU had entering the game. Holding the Sun Devils to just 3 points snapped a 125 game streak of scoring at least 10 points in a game. It also snapped a 140-game streak of scoring 7 points or more.

The Utes have held three opponents this season to fewer than 10 points (0 by Idaho State, 7 by Oregon State and 3 by Arizona State), the most in a season by Utah since holding three opponents to single-digits in 2010.

Utah’s last three games against Washington State, Oregon State and Arizona State, they have allowed 23 points, which is the fewest allowed by the Utes in a three-game span since 2007 when they allowed Colorado State, Wyoming and New Mexico a combined 13 points. The Utes’ opponents have converted just 18.4 percent of third-down opportunities in the last three games (7 for 38).

It is the first time that Utah has held consecutive Pac-12 opponents to single digits. Utah has allowed just one touchdown and 10 total points in the past 10 quarters of play.

Zack Moss Has Two More Records To Break

After setting a new school record for career rushing yards in Utah football history on Saturday against Arizona State, running back Zack Moss is not done writing his name in the record books. Entering the game against ASU, Moss had 14 games where he rushed for over 100 yards in his career, which is tied for the most in school history with Devontae Booker and John White. Moss finished the night one-yard short of his 15th game surpassing 100 yards as he racked up 99 yards on 25 carries.

The star running back from Miami, Florida had 29 career rushing touchdowns before Saturday’s win. He needed three to pass Del Rodgers for the most career rushing touchdowns in school history. Moss had two of Utah’s three scores against the Sun Devils and is now tied for the most in school history. He just needs to find the end zone one more time to break that record.

After the eighth week of games in the college football season, Moss has 613 yards on just 93 carries. He is eighth in the Pac-12 in attempts, third in rushing yards, second with 6.6 yards per carry and first with 8 touchdown runs.

Bradlee Anae Is Serious Pac-12 DPOY Candidate

Utah Utes star defensive end Bradlee Anae put his stamp on the game defensively and has solidified himself as a serious candidate for Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year with three sacks against the Sun Devils. It’s the second game this season that Anae has recorded three sacks, the other was against Idaho State in Week 3. He now has seven sacks this year, which is good for second in the Pac-12 behind Oregon State’s Hamicar Rashed, who has nine sacks.

Anae took advantage of facing Arizona State left tackle LeDarius Henderson, who is a true freshman.

He has 24 career sacks and will tie Nate Orchard for fourth all-time in school history. His 24 sacks is the third most among active FBS players, trailing Boise State’s Curtis Weaver and Northwestern’s Joe Gaziano. Anae needs six more sacks to pass Hunter Dimick for the school record.

Another player who is in the conversation for Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year is Utah defensive tackle Leki Fotu. He is a big reason why the Utes defense allows just 2.6 yards per rush and ranks second in the FBS in rushing yards per game. Fotu finished the game against Arizona State with 4 tackles and one pass deflection.

Crimson Corner is the one-stop for all things University of Utah Athletics hosted by Utah insider Trevor Allen. Ute fans will find interviews with current players, coaches and staff alongside expert analysis of every game, story and angle coming out of the University of Utah.

You can download and listen to the podcast, here.