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TEMPE, Ariz. — The University of Utah never really managed to get things going Saturday night against the Arizona State Sun Devils. In a lopsided affair, the Sun Devils went on to win 37-7 in the first game of the Pac-12 schedule for the Utes.
Because their was not a single event that lead to a Utah loss, here are a few of the reasons why Utah struggled against Arizona State (undoubtedly there are more).
- Utah's defense was sluggish and lacked energy. The defense allowed 512 total yards of offense for Arizona State. ASU quarterback Taylor Kelly went 19-of-26 for 326 yards.
- Arizona State had six receivers who had over 25 yards on the night, led by Rashad Ross's 87 yards on five receptions. The Sun Devils managed 372 receiving yards, compared to Utah's 117.
- Utah's offensive line got severely beat on nearly every play, which exposed quarterback Jon Hays who was sacked three times. Travis Wilson was sacked once in the short time he played as well.
- Arizona State moved the ball quickly, which put the game away early. Every drive in the first half was for a score except for the missed field goal right before the half. It's hard to take a beating like that first half and expect to come back.
- John White is not 100 percent healthy. White lacked explosiveness and appeared sluggish. He also fumbled the ball twice, with one of the fumbles leading to an early touchdown. Backup running back Kelvin York was a much-improved alternative to White's play.
- Brian Johnson has some growing pains before he'll be able to out coach an opposing team. While play calling could be improved, it's not easy with an offensive line that give Hays little time to work with.