Utah’s Stout Defense Shines In Road Win Over Arizona State

Sep 24, 2022, 8:12 PM | Updated: 11:42 pm
Clark Phillips - Utah Utes vs. Arizona State...
Cornerback Clark Phillips III #1 of the Utah Utes reacts after an interception ahead of wide receiver Charles Hall IV #0 of the Arizona State Sun Devils during the first half of the NCAAF game at Sun Devil Stadium on September 24, 2022 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

TEMPE, Ariz. – The 13th-ranked University of Utah football team used their stout defense to pick up a big 34-13 win over Arizona State in their Pac-12 opener.

Cam Rising completed 19 of his 29 pass attempts for 260 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. Tavion Thomas led the rushing attack with 11 carries for 60 yards. Dalton Kincaid caught four passes for 66 yards and two touchdowns, while Devaughn Vele recorded six receptions for 63 yards.

Utah’s defense held Arizona State to 251 yards of total offense and just six rushing yards. They recorded five sacks, including two by Gabe Reid and one each from Van Fillinger, Cole Bishop, and Lander Barton. Clark Phillips III and Cole Bishop each had an interception.


First Quarter

Both teams punted the ball on their first possession. On the second drive, Cam Rising took the snap and handed the ball off to running back Micah Bernard. Bernard pitched the ball to tight end Brant Kuithe, who pitched the ball back to Rising. The Utah quarterback threw the ball downfield to a wide-open Kincaid for a 29-yard touchdown.

That play gave Utah a 7-0 lead with 11:41 remaining in the first quarter. It’s the ninth touchdown pass by Rising this season and the third TD catch of 2022 for Kincaid.

Utah’s defense shut down ASU’s offense and forced them to punt. The Utes faced a fourth and one at the ASU six-yard line, Cam Rising rolled out of the pocket and connected with Dalton Kincaid, while having two Sun Devils draped on him for a six-yard touchdown.

That play gave the Utes a 14-0 lead with 3:16 remaining in the first quarter. It’s the 10th touchdown pass by Rising this season and the fourth TD catch of 2022 for Kincaid.

Second Quarter

Arizona State quarterback Emory Jones threw his first interception of the season when Clark Phillips III picked him off. Utah couldn’t turn that turnover into a touchdown but settled for a 23-yard field goal to give the Utes a 17-0 lead with 7:03 remaining in the first half.

Arizona State scored their first points of the game on a 36-yard field goal to trim the Utah lead to 17-3 with 4:45 left in the second quarter.

In the final play of the first quarter, Brant Kuithe had a catch and was tackled near the sideline and suffered an injury. After going into the medical tent, Kuithe came out with his shoulder pads off, sporting crutches and ice on his right knee.

Kuithe finished the game with two receptions for 15 yards.

Ja’Quinden Jackson made his running back debut for Utah in the second quarter. He ran in a two-yard touchdown late in the second quarter to give the Utes a 24-3 lead with 44 seconds left in the half.

Arizona State kicked a 47-yard field goal as time expired in the half. Utah had a 24-6 lead at the break.

Third Quarter

The Utes were in the red zone when Cam Rising handed the ball off to Jaylen Dixon as he ran in motion. He took the ball 11 yards for the touchdown.

That play gave the Utes a 31-6 lead with 6:16 left in the third quarter. It’s the first touchdown of the season for Dixon and the second rushing touchdown of the game for the Utes.

Fourth Quarter

Utah was going for it on fourth and goal but Braeden Daniels flinched, forcing the officials to call a false start penalty. The Utes settled for a 28-yard field goal to extend their lead to 34-6 with 10:49 remaining in the game.

Arizona State’s first and only touchdown of the game came on an 11-yard pass from Emory Jones to Messiah Swinson. ASU cut Utah’s lead to 34-13 with 2:06 remaining.

Utah improved its record to 3-1 on the season and 1-0 in Pac-12 play. They will return to Rice-Eccles Stadium to face Oregon State on Saturday, October 1. Kickoff is at 12:00 p.m. MT on the Pac-12 Network.

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