Arizona State (3-3, 2-1 Pac-12) is getting a lot of attention in the Pac-12 after upsetting No. 5 ranked Washington. Now the question is can the Sun Devils keep up the momentum as the team face the Utes this coming Saturday? Here’s what the Arizona media are saying about Utah.
The quarterback drama continues
As the Utes are looking to avoid a three-game losing streak, the House of Sparky breaks down Utah’s two quarterbacks. It’s reported that Tyler Huntley might be ready to go for Saturday. Huntley started the first four games, throwing for 968 passing yards and four touchdowns before going down with an injury against Arizona.
Senior Troy Williams filled in for Huntley, starting the last two games. Williams has not won a game as a starter despite cutting it close, and has not completed at least 60 percent of his passes as a starter. Against USC, after scoring a touchdown late in the fourth quarter with less than a minute left, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham decided to go for the win instead of a tie that would’ve led to both teams going to overtime. Williams scrambled to his right to get in the end zone but was 2 yards short in trying for the two-point conversion. With the Sun Devils not knowing who will be the starter, the defense will be ready for whoever is at quarterback.
Also in the article, the Sun Devils' offense has to prepare for Utah’s defense, which leads the nation in takeaways. Protecting the football will be a key against the Utes’ defense.
Then and now
It’s been four years since ASU defeated the Utes at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Before the season started, AZ Central broke down each team in the Sun Devils’ schedule in its preseason analysis. What it wrote about the Utes is the team is not “flashy," adding that “they just beat people up.” Doing a fast-forward in its Pac-12 power rankings, AZ Central has the Utes ranked at No. 5 despite losing two straight conference games, knowing that both defense and special teams play into their strengths.
Who the Sun Devils should look out for
It’s no surprise that the House of Sparky has Williams as one of the Utah players to watch for the Sun Devils’ defense, even though it's not known who is going to start for the Utes. Last year in Utah’s win over ASU, Williams threw for 298 yards and four touchdowns. If giving the starting job this Saturday, the defense will be looking for a repeat performance after shutting down Washington’s quarterback Jake Browning. Darren Carrington II also made the list. Looking back to his Oregon days, Carrington racked up 11 catches for 181 yards and one touchdown in the two meetings against the Sun Devils while he was a Duck. On the defensive side, Utah linebacker Sunia Tauteoli has also made the list. The senior leads the Utes in tackles (42) and tackles for loss (7.5). ASU’s starting quarterback is Manny Wilkins, who has 1,697 passing yards and eight touchdowns this season.