UTAH UTES

Arizona State Sun Devils Vs. Utah Utes Score Prediction, Game Day Storylines

Nov 3, 2023, 12:00 PM

SALT LAKE CITY – We are around 24 hours away from the No. 18 Utah Utes kicking off against the Arizona State Sun Devils which means it’s time for storylines and a game prediction.

Utah will be looking for a bounce back game of sorts after losing their first home game since USC in 2020 to the Oregon Ducks. After having a few weeks of better offense, the Ducks made the Utes very one-dimensional, and the defense didn’t have their best game either leading to a 35-6 victory for Oregon.

The Utes are trying to put that loss behind them by pouring their full focus on ASU as they roll into town this weekend. The Sun Devils have had a rough season under first-year head coach Kenny Dillingham but have shown to be scrappy despite some roster disparity.

Before game day, make sure you are in the know about important storylines, and questions surrounding the game as well as a score prediction for ASU versus Utah.

Three Storylines For Oregon Vs. Utah Football

  1. Bryson Barnes. We mentioned last week that this is now Bryson Barnes’ team and now we get to see how he responds to a loss and helps to get the rest of the team back on track. Barnes was 5-0 as a starter for the Utes before running into the buzzsaw that was the Oregon Ducks. Not all losses have to be total losses is everyone learns and grows from the experience. It will be interesting to see how Barnes as the unquestioned leader, guides the team through the adversity they faced last week with a new opponent this week.
  2. The Utah Defense. The Utah defense got carved up in a way we really hadn’t seen this year by Bo Nix, Bucky Irving and Oregon’s offense. Interestingly enough, while the Utes didn’t appear to have quite the same edge on defense that they’d shown in other games, they did hold the Ducks to below their season average in several offensive categories. Certainly, credit belongs to Oregon for being just that good, but Utah’s defense does need to find that swagger again this week that makes them formidable and gives the Utes a fighting chance.
  3. Getting Back To A Full-Team Effort. What the Utes have done in 2023 is pretty impressive considering the injury hurdles they’ve had to overcome along with a tough schedule to sit at 6-2. At times those wins have come largely due to a particular side of the ball being on fire, or some massive individual effort. However, the two weeks prior to the Ducks coming to town it felt like the Utes had figured out how to win games with a full team effort which was great to see. Oregon disrupted that last week. Utah needs to get back into that full team effort swing because while they should be able to skate by ASU without it, that won’t be the case the week after when they travel to Seattle.

Two Questions Heading Into ASU Vs. USC

  1. What Did Utah Learn To Improve Moving Forward? There is this saying, “it’s not a loss if you learned.” Now, obviously we know that Utah’s record won’t magically change to 7-1 because they learned from and got better after losing to Oregon. What is done is done, but Utah still has some tough games on their slate that they need to be as good and creative for as possible if they want to win out. Oregon showed Utah some deficiencies that those other good teams could take advantage of if things don’t change starting with ASU. Did the coaching staff get better? Did the players get better? The reset and final push for the Utes starts this week.
  2. Can Bryson Barnes And Devaughn Vele Continue To Foster And Build Their Connection? There wasn’t a ton to love offensively for the Utes in last week’s contest with the Ducks, but if we are looking for bright spots, it appears Barnes and Vele have something good cooking in the pass game. Can they continue to foster and build that connection? The Utah offense was hit particularly hard by the injury bug that has been plaguing the Utes so anything that can help add some explosiveness and dimensionality to that group is a huge deal.

ASU Vs. Utah Score Prediction

Utah should be able to take care of business at home and regain some confidence against ASU this weekend.

I don’t expect the Sun Devils to roll over without a fight, however. While their record is not great, Dillingham is getting the most out of his crew and they’ve taken some really good teams down to the wire all season long. I expect a tight contest early in the game.

Still, I believe the Utes are the better team by a lot and will get back on track this week.

  • Utah 33, ASU 10

Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on XInstagram, and Threads: @BodkinKSLsports

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Arizona State Sun Devils Vs. Utah Utes Score Prediction, Game Day Storylines