After a bizarre but earned victory last week against BYU, Utah began Pac-12 play against Arizona State on the road Saturday. The matchup everyone was talking about was Utah's defense against ASU's offense. Who would prevail?
Arizona State's offense prevailed. And they looked like they weren't playing Utah's defense as the Sun Devils whipped the Utes 37-7.
So what happened to Utah? Let's see how each position contributed to the loss:
Aside from an early touchdown to put Utah on the board, Jon Hays was non-existent this game. Hays went 10 for 15 with 117 yards. He needed to be a leader this week to show that Utah belongs in the Pac-12 but ended up being very conservative with his throws as the Utes ran the ball most of the time. He had an interception in the game as well, which led to an ASU field goal. Even Travis Wilson came in late and couldn't get anything going either. Wilson tried to pass the ball and didn't connect. So he ran three times and lost a total of 12 yards.
Running Backs: B-
This was the only bright spot Utah had this week. With John White back in the backfield, everyone was expecting a huge 100-yard game from the "Wolfman." What they got was an underwhelming performance by the senior, as White carried the ball 14 times for only 18 yards while fumbling twice for two of three Utah turnovers. Kelvin York had the big game for the Utes, however, rushing for 86 yards on 13 carries, a career-high.
For what they were given, the receivers didn't necessarily have a bad game. They just didn't shine because their quarterback didn't give them anything to work with. Karl Williams and Kenneth Scott led the receiving end for a combined 90 yards on seven catches. That's an average of 12.9 yards a catch.
Offensive Line: B-
Although Hays was only sacked once, the defense was running through the O-line to stop Utah's running game. As noted earlier, the running game didn't do much even though it was the Utes' only highlight of the game.
I couldn't give the Utes an "F" because they did get a touchdown. But other than that, they couldn't get any offensive rhythm going. They ended the night with a total of 209 total offensive yards. Even with Wilson coming in late in the game, they just couldn't get anything going their way.
Defensive Line: C+
The Utes allowed 140 yards in the rushing game including one touchdown.
ASU sophomore quarterback Trevor Kelly had a field day with his receivers. The linebackers and secondary had no answer for the ASU offense, allowing 512 total offensive yards, with 372 of them coming in the air. The nationally recognized defense didn't show up against its conference rival and now Utah's conference record is 0-1.
This unit just didn't show up tonight. Overall, the Utes were nowhere to be found. Even ASU's backup quarterback Michael Eubank threw for 46 yards in the fourth quarter and led the Sun Devils to a field goal.
Special Teams: B
Utah punted well and protected the return really well. Other than that, Utah's special teams were nothing special.
Utah now takes a much-needed rest next week before it faces another conference rival, No. 13 USC, on October 4th.
Alex Rivera is the Assistant Sports Editor of the UVU Review. You can contact him at email@example.com or through his Twitter account @A_River_Uh