Analyst: Key in Arizona State game is Utah QB Travis Wilson’s health
Last year, Arizona State beat Utah comfortably at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe by a score of 37-7. This Saturday, the Sun Devils travel to Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, and ESPN’s Pac-12 blogger Ted Miller doesn’t think last season’s result has much of a bearing on this weekend’s matchup.
The difference and key for Utah (4-4, 1-4), according to the Miller, will be sophomore starting quarterback Travis Wilson, who’s been dealing with injuries on his throwing hand for some time.
“This is a different Utah team if quarterback Travis Wilson is healthy,” Miller told Burns and Gambo Friday. “Their downturn had been entirely due, from my perspective, to the fact that the offense that Dennis Erickson put together was based on a healthy Travis Wilson being able to throw the ball downfield and do the screen game that worked so well against Stanford.”
This season, Wilson has 1,706 passing yards with 14 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, as well as 342 yards and five touchdowns on the ground.
Miller also cited #22 Arizona State’s (6-2, 4-1) struggles on the road, even after coming off a big win against Washington State in Pullman.
“It’s not easy to play in Salt Lake City, it’s not easy to play tough, consecutive road games like ASU is doing right now,” Miller explained. “They’re playing better on the road, but I still think it’s one of those things you wonder. Does Arizona State have what it takes to win consecutive road games?”
Ultimately, Miller predicted the Sun Devils to get the win, but he didn’t back his pick too strongly.
“I would not be overconfident with this one, especially if Travis Wilson’s hand, his throwing hand, is fully healthy after a bye week.”