Instant Reaction: #13 Utah Handles Business In Tempe Against ASU
TEMPE, AZ- #13 Utah wasted very little time establishing dominance on both sides of the ball Saturday night, handling the Sun Devils handily 34-13. The defense was quick to the ball and made life uncomfortable for ASU quarterback Emory Jones from the go and never let up. The offense needed a series in each half to get going, but once they did they moved with ease.
UTAH MAN AM I pic.twitter.com/Y1xr75VJCU
— Utah Football (@Utah_Football) September 25, 2022
ASU for their part didn’t have many answers for the Utes. When they did have opportunities they weren’t the best at taking them.
Utah Defense Becoming A Stalwart
The Utes were not their usual, impressive selves on defense (particularly against the run) playing Florida and it caused some concern. However, it seems they have put that to bed after yet another stifling performance. Utah wasted no time getting after Jones holding him to 21 of 36 for 261 yards passing and one touchdown.
Utah’s defense was particularly impressive keeping ASU’s rush game to just 6-yards for the entire night.
Playing a starring role in the effort was safety Cole Bishop who brought down two interceptions on the night. Bishop was also key getting after Jones and the running backs with one sack and a tackle for loss.
Linebacker Karene Reid led the team in tackles with ten total, and cornerback Clark Phillips also got in on the interception action reeling in one.
Brante Kuithe Injury
One of the bigger bummers of the night was tight end Brant Kuithe going down with injury. Kuithe has been a big part of the Utah offense for several years and opted to put the NFL on hold one more year to come back in 2022.
In the post game press conference head coach Kyle Whittingham noted the injury doesn’t look good for Kuithe, but they will know more by Monday.
Before Kuithe went down he was responsible for two catches for 15-yards.
Tavion Thomas Sits First Half, Jaylon Glover and Ja’Quinden Jackson Get a Shot.
Running back Tavion Thomas was noticeably missing in the first half and Whittingham said in the press conference after the game that it was intentional.
In Thomas’ place, freshman running back Jaylon Glover got most of the snaps and third string quarterback Ja’Quinden Jackson made his collegiate debut at the position. Glover finished the night with 13 carries for 48-yards and Jackson had nine carries for 31-yards and a touchdown.
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Despite sitting the first half, Thomas still led the running backs with 11 carries for 60-yards. His first series in the game he put up 40-yards on just five carries running like a man possessed.
Offense Still A Tad Slow, Stalls In Red Zone
This one feels very nit-picky, but it was something noticeable. To start the game and coming out of the half the Utah offense faltered in both of their first possessions, but got going after that. They also missed out on points in a few trips to the red zone.
However, while there are still a few things they would like to continue working on and perfecting, the did manage to put up 465 yards of offense and 34 points. Quarterback Cam Rising also had another solid outing going 19 or 29 for 260 yards passing and two touchdowns. He also had one interception and 66% completion rate.
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