UTAH UTES

Scalley Says ASU Doesn’t Lack Talent Ahead Of Pac-12 Matchup

Sep 21, 2022, 11:58 AM | Updated: 12:04 pm

Morgan Scalley - Utah Utes...

Utah Utes defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley (Photo courtesy of Ravell Call, Deseret News)

(Photo courtesy of Ravell Call, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY- The Utes are about to start Pac-12 play this weekend after a dominating performance at home against San Diego State last weekend. Defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley has a lot to be happy with concerning his unit after a subpar week one, but taking on ASU will be an interesting challenge to gage how far his defense has actually come.

Arizona State may not seem threatening on paper after losing to Eastern Michigan last weekend and releasing head coach Herm Edwards from his duties afterward, but Scalley says ASU is a talented bunch and anticipates getting their best shot.

“I tell you what, they have got talent,” Scalley said. “They’ve got talent, particularly the interior three- those running backs, the quarterback can run the ball. It’s definitely not a lack of talent and every week is a different week. Every week is a different week, particularly in this league. They’ve got a new interim coach, they are probably re-engergized, rejuiced and excited to play again. We are going to get their best shot.”

Keeping Assignment Sound Against ASU

Keeping the defense on the positive trajectory they are currently on is goal number one for Scalley this week against ASU. Talking to the media Tuesday afternoon, Scalley was happy with how his defense has taken ownership and really pushed to get better after week one.

“What you are looking for is progress every week,” Scalley said. “Particularly in the run game. Week one, not good enough and it starts with us as a coaching staff. Week two you are obviously making your best progress from week one to week two if you are doing it right. I thought we did that. Then we played San Diego State- a team that thrives off running the ball and to do what we did there, again, another improvement. I like the energy and focus of our guys. They are intent on getting better.”

 

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The Utah defense made a very conscious effort to refocus on the technical details the past few weeks and Scalley sees it paying off for his young group.

“Assignment-wise, guys are lined up correctly,” Scalley said. “It’s the guys at the d-tackle spot trying to get too much in terms of penetration and getting reached. So then then backers try to make up for the missed gaps. It truly is an ‘own your role defense’ with as much man coverage as we play and it just wasn’t good enough week one. We feel like we have made the corrections and guys see what needed to happen.”

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