After a sluggish start following the bye week, Utah stormed past the Arizona State Sun Devils, 49-26
TEMPE, Ariz.—After a sluggish start following the bye week, Utah stormed past the Arizona State Sun Devils, 49-26. Utah (8-2, 5-2 Pac-12) gained momentum and rhythm with two games left and the Pac-12 South championship within reach.
With a halftime score of 21-20 in favor of Utah, it seemed the Utes’ rough streak in the state of Arizona may not be easy to break. But Utah ignited, scoring four touchdowns in the second half, showcasing career nights for several players on offense and defense.
Joe Williams broke out for an 82-yard touchdown run in Utah’s first play of the third quarter, giving Utah further momentum after Hunter Dimick put a stop to Arizona State’s (5-5, 2-5 Pac-12) first drive out of the locker room.
After Arizona State responded with a touchdown pass from quarterback Manny Wilkins to receiver Tim White, Utah’s offense appeared to stall behind a handful of penalties, bring them to a 1st-and-35 situation at the ASU 47 yard line.
Just two plays later, Raelon Singleton caught his third touchdown pass of the game from Troy Williams for 24 yards, giving Utah more of a cushion.
Sack Lake City re-appeared for the Utes, with the team culminating in 11 sacks. Hunter Dimick set a single-game record for the Utes with five sacks, and blew up the Sun Devils behind the line of scrimmage, setting another record with 6.5 tackles for a loss. Fellow defensive end Pita Taumoepenu collected three sacks of his own, with four TFLs.
Utah’s safeties lurked in the backfield on defense, with each safety intercepting Wilkins—Marcus Williams in the first quarter in the end zone, and Chase Hansen returning a pick-six to put the Utes up 42-26 in the fourth quarter.
Joe Williams wasn’t done, putting the final dagger into the Devils’ heart with a 40-yard rush up the middle, breaking tackles, to give the Utes their seventh touchdown.
Todd Graham’s teams were previously 24-3 when holding their opponent scoreless in the first quarter. But it wasn’t nearly the first slow start for the Utes, who have seen themselves down double-digits in the blink of an eye multiple times this season.
Troy Williams fumbled the first snap—a premature snap—of the game, turning the ball over before the Utes could get anything going. After another turnover on a bobbled Troy Williams-to-Joe Williams pitch on the next possession, followed by a pair of punts, the Utes found themselves down 13-0 in the first quarter.
Utah’s next eight plays went 129 yards, including two touchdown passes from Troy Williams to Singleton (64 yards) and Siaosi Wilson (27 yards to the right pylon and with a leaning catch).
Sun Devils wide receiver N’Keal Harry bobbled a screen pass, which he weaved back and forth through a series of bad-angled Utah tackle attempts to the end zone for the 31-yard score.
Utah responded on the next drive with an eleven-play, 82-yard drive culminating in a Troy Williams pass to Singleton, who was alone on the left side of the field in the end zone, giving him his second touchdown catch of the half, giving the Utes a 21-20 lead at the intermission.
Utah will have another relatively long break before facing the Oregon Ducks on Senior Day at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Saturday, November 19.
Head Coach Kyle Whittingham Postgame:
Hunter Dimick Postgame:
Raelon Singleton Postgame:
Chase Hansen Postgame:
Joe Williams Postgame:
Pita Taumoepenu Postgame:
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