Utah Sits In Pac-12 South Drivers Seat After Comeback Win Over No. 18 ASU

Oct 16, 2021, 11:55 PM
Cam Rising - Utah Utes vs. ASU...
Cameron Rising #7 of the Utah Utes throws a pass against the Arizona State Sun Devils during their game October 13, 2021 at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah.(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah football program faced a 21-7 deficit at halftime but shut down No. 18 Arizona State with a 35-21 comeback win.

Cam Rising completed 21 of his 33 pass attempts for 247 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, while rushing for 59 yards and another TD.

Tavion Thomas finished with 20 carries for 84 yards and a touchdown.

Utah’s Offense Stalls In First Half

It was an ideal start for both offenses with ASU storming down the field which resulted in a seven-yard touchdown pass from Jayden Daniels to Jaylin Conyers. That gave the Sun Devils a 7-0 lead with 9:50 left in the first quarter on the opening drive.

On Utah’s first drive of the game, Cam Rising was the star. The momentum carried from the USC game as Rising and the offense faced a third down. Rising ran to the outside and picked up the first down with his legs. After that, he threw some nice passes to Devaughn Vele, Britain Covey and Brant Kuithe.

The drive ended with a nine-yard rushing TD from Rising to tie the game with 4:29 to play in the opening quarter.

The Utes’ offense stalled after that point but would get some chunk plays but two drives came to a halt on two interceptions thrown by Rising. The second one hurt the most as Utah was marching down the field in the final minute of the second quarter to try and pull within one touchdown before halftime. Utah would get the ball to start the second half, just like the USC game.

ASU had a 21-7 halftime lead after Daniels ran in a two-yard TD midway through the second quarter and a 15-yard pass to Curtis Hodges with 52 seconds left until the break.

Utes Shutout ASU For Comeback Win

Utah got the ball to start the third quarter and took advantage on the ground with Tavion Thomas. The JUCO transfer had five carries for 26 yards and a 7-yard TD to cut the deficit to 21-14 with 10:21 left in the third quarter.

The Utes’ defense forced ASU to punt on a three-and-out. Utah then tied the game after Brant Kuithe caught a 20-yard touchdown to tie the game at 21 with 6:20 left in the third quarter. This came after a 15-yard penalty was called on Britain Covey for unsportsmanlike conduct near the goal line for flexing on an ASU defender.

The Sun Devils attempted a field goal on the ensuing drive but missed it. The Utes came back and was rolling on offense and the drive resulted in Cam Rising finding a wide open Brant Kuithe for a 7-yard TD to take a 28-21 lead with 11:49 to play.

TJ Pledger put the game away with a seven-yard rushing TD with under three minutes to play.

Utah improved their record to 4-2 overall and 3-0 in Pac-12 play. They will hit the road on Saturday, October 23 to face Oregon State. Kickoff is at 5:30 p.m. MT on the Pac-12 Network.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com, Co-Host of Faith, Family and Football podcast with Clark Phillips III and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASports.

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