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Moss sets record, leads No. 13 Utah past No. 17 Arizona State

Utah running back Zack Moss (2) is tackled by Arizona State safety Aashari Crosswell (16) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

SALT LAKE CITY — Zack Moss broke Utah’s career rushing record and scored two touchdowns in the No. 13 Utes’ 21-3 victory over No. 17 Arizona State on a rainy Saturday night.

The Utes (6-1, 3-1 Pac-12) ended Arizona State’s modern-era record streak of 125 games with more than 10 points. The last time the Sun Devils were held under double-digits was a 28-0 loss to Southern California in 2008.

Moss was held in check most of the game as Arizona State (5-2, 2-2) keyed on the senior back. But he broke through the line and outraced the defense for a 32-yard touchdown run that broke the rushing mark with 5:24 left.

Moss ran for 99 yards on 25 carries to push his total to 3,264. Eddie Johnson set the previous record, running for 3,219 yards from 1984-88.

Eno Benjamin ran for 104 yards but Arizona State managed only 136 yards of total offense. Freshman Jayden Daniels was 4 for 18 for 25 yards and an interception. He was sacked three times and was running from pressure almost every time he dropped back.

Utah was one of just three teams in the country without an interception, but Arizona State’s Chase Lucas picked off Tyler Huntley’s pass and returned it to the Utah 28 in the third quarter. In the end, Arizona State couldn’t capitalize on Utah’s four turnovers.

Huntley, who passed for 171 yards before leaving in the third quarter, was hobbled after he took a hit in the second quarter as he tried to scramble out of a sack. The play was reminiscent of last year against Arizona State when he evaded an initial tackle and sustained a broken collarbone on the ensuing hit that left him out for the rest of the season.

Tyler Johnson knocked the ball out of Huntley’s right hand and Jermayne Lole recovered at the Utah 18, which led to Arizona State’s only score — Cristian Zendejas’ 40-yard field goal.

Moss took a swing pass 46 yards on Utah’s opening possession, but fumbled and Evan Fields recovered and returned it 18 yards for Arizona State. Utah was driving later in the quarter and Demari Simpkins lost another fumble after a pass reception on the Arizona State 11. On their third trip inside the Sun Devils 25, Jaylen Dixon finally converted on a 10-yard end around.

Fields was ejected for a targeting penalty on Moss in the second quarter. The play nearly started a brawl as several Utes charged the defender. Fields was so frustrated by the call he flung his helmet against the wall as he was escorted to the locker room.

Later in that drive, Moss and Huntley returned and Moss scored on a 1-yard run to make it 14-0 for Utah at halftime.

Utah defense has only given up one TD in the last 11 quarters and that was a last-minute score in the Utes’ 52-7 win over Oregon State.

The Sun Devil offense never crossed midfield in the first half and had just 42 total yards and two first downs.

THE TAKEAWAY

Arizona State: Besides a handful of successful runs by Benjamin, the offense never got untracked. Daniels was under constant pressure and 12 penalties for 122 yards stopped any momentum before it really began. The defense played well but the Sun Devils failed to take advantage of the four turnovers.

UP NEXT

Arizona State: At UCLA next Saturday.

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