Utah at Arizona State: Staff Selections

The USR Staff Take their Shots at the Match-Up Between the Utes and Sun Devils

James Cella- Football Analyst
The "Cardiac Utes" meet a hot ASU team that's been more than solid against Stanford and Washington, winning big along the way. Injuries finally catch up with the Utes especially, in the secondary and they're unable to keep things close for a fourth quarter comeback.
ASU 28 Utah 17

Andrew Gorringe-- Football Analyst
I like Utah's ability to get to whoever is playing QB for ASU, as the Sun Devil OL is just average. Covering Jaelen Strong will be a tall task but I like Rowe's chances at doing just that as he matches up well with both size and speed. Booker will obviously be the focal point of the offense, but I expect a lot of short and intermediate throws to Tonga, Scott and Patrick, with the occasional bubble screen & deep throw to Clay. Utah's "bend but don't break" defense holds ASU to just two offensive TD's, and Gionni Paul gets the game ball with 12 tackles, 2.5 TFL's and an INT.
Utah 27 ASU 23

Robert Jackson- Managing Editor
Utes will continue to ride what has been the formula for success – running the football, great special teams play and an extraordinary defense. Losing Dres Anderson hurts, but lets be honest, its not like Utah’s passing attack has been extraordinary, heck they haven’t even been average. Utah will have to utilize creative playcalling to counter the heavy blitzes and stacking the box from Arizona State. But get Kaelin Clay one block on a screen pass? He could go the distance with no help in the secondary. Utes win a tough one in Tempe.
Utah 31 Arizona State 27

Jayson Jones- Football Analyst
I may sound like a broken record, but this Utah team is gritty, gutsy and has shown a toughness that teams over the last two year's haven't. I like to call it SWAGG (yes, two g's). The Utes did suffer a big setback by losing Dres for the season, which completely changes the dynamic of the offense, but I think Utah finds a way to move the ball enough to win, especially with the recent emergence of Tonga. The Utah defense is playing at an extremely high level right now and even though Agholor was able to get 10 catches last week, he didn't have the game-changing play I thought he would. If Utah can keep Jalen Strong in "check" in a similar fashion, Utah will be flying back to Salt Lake atop the South. Utah is on a roll and for the first time since 2011 have won back-to-back-to-back conference games. Should Utah be able to win in Tempe on Saturday, it will match the only other Pac12 conference four-game winning streak they have had since joining the league. Game balls to Coach Sitake (like usual) and the Utah offensive line.
Utah 30 ASU 24

Doug Kimmel- Mountain Region Recruiting Analyst
The Utes are due. I don't know whether it's the mountain jerseys or an explosive front 7, but this Utah team is legit. They play a nasty brand of football and Taylor Kelly wasn't Taylor Kelly last week in Washington. The Huskies were able to smack him around a number of times and the Utes will do the same. Don't turn the ball over and the Utes will win. Booker and the offensive hogs will exhaust ASU in the 2nd half and take over the game. Game ball to Kalani Sitake and C.J. Poutasi. #MoarMountains
Utah 27 Arizona State 21

Brian Swinney- Publisher
Will the Utes make me 0 for 6 on my last 6 selections? Probably, but I've got to keep doing my part, so......... Arizona State is hot right now. As hot as any team in the conference, and they did a lot of that with a backup quarterback. Now that Taylor Kelly is back with a game under his belt to shake the rust off of, the offense should be ready to roll. Behind Kelly, Jaelen Strong, D.J. Foster, and an improving defense, the Sun Devils will hold the Utes off and keep them at a distance throughout the game. Utah will continue to move the ball on the ground, but without Dres Anderson, they'll struggle in the passing game again, settling for too many field goals. The defense can only do so much as Arizona State gives Utah their first loss since September, despite another great performance from Sitake's side.
Arizona State 30 Utah 19

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