Arizona State travels to No. 18 Utah as Sun Devils look to keep momentum going

Nov 3, 2023, 11:45 AM | Updated: 9:13 pm

The Arizona State Sun Devils might be in a rebuilding season, but the team won’t go down without a fight.

The Sun Devils snapped a six-game losing streak by beating the Washington State Cougars last week, 38-27, displaying an explosive offense that first-year head coach Kenny Dillingham had long strived for.

It was only the team’s second win of the season, but it showed signs that hope is on the horizon. The team totaled a season-high 509 yards.

The Sun Devils had shown signs of life in every game since its 29-0 loss against Fresno State. Arizona State kept it close through three quarters against reigning Heisman winner Caleb Williams and the No. 24 USC Trojans, came within three points of Cal and Colorado all while holding No. 5 Washington to just 15 points.

With the cards coach Dillingham has been dealt, his focus remains the same.

“I want to be a football team that’s aggressive, physical, filled with good people,” Dillingham said on Arizona Sports‘ Bickley & Marotta on Friday. “I want to be aggressive with how we call, aggressive with how we coach … I want them to know that if you play us, you’re not going to feel good the next day.”

The Sun Devils now head to Salt Lake to face No. 18 Utah, where they’ll be taking on the defending Pac-12 champions.

Utah is coming off a lopsided 35-6 loss to No. 6 Oregon, seeking to get back on track against the rising Sun Devils. Here’s a few things to keep in mind on Saturday:

Can the run game thrive once again?

In last week’s victory, the Sun Devils utilized their 1-2 punch in Cam Skattebo and DeCarlos Brooks who combined for 188 yards and four touchdowns.

The Utes are second in the Pac-12 in rushing defense, allowing 86 yards per game. However, the Utes have allowed 287 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns over the past two weeks against USC and Oregon.

Nonetheless, the Utes will prove a tough task for the Sun Devils.

Can the offensive line step up?

The Sun Devil offensive line is still racked up with injuries, and for a Utah defense that’s known for getting to the quarterback, it may prove pivotal that the Sun Devils protect Trenton Bourget in every way possible.

Arizona State hasn’t allowed a sack in its last two games, meaning if it can maintain this consistency up front, the offense can continue to thrive like it did against Washington State.

Can the Sun Devils overcome a tough road atmosphere?

It’s not often a team marches into Salt Lake and comes out victorious.

Utah has always proved to be a tough road matchup, but so has Washington and Arizona State nearly came out on top. Utah’s implosion against Oregon certainly stung for the Utes, but will it recover in time for the Sun Devils?

Kickoff will be at 11 a.m. as the Sun Devils look to earn their third win of the season, matching their total from last season.

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Arizona State travels to No. 18 Utah as Sun Devils look to keep momentum going