Utah vs. Arizona State prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins Thursday night’s matchup between the Utes and Sun Devils.
When: Saturday, Nov. 10 – 9:30 p.m. ET
Where: Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, Arizona
TV Broadcast: FS1
Kyle Whittingham’s team (7-2) is coming off of a bye week, and it was much needed. After starting out 4-0, Utah has gone 3-2 in its last five games. Last time out, the Utes fell to College Football Playoff contender Washington, 31-24, two days before Halloween.
As for Arizona State (5-4), Todd Graham’s squad started 5-1, but it has since fallen in its last three games. The Sun Devils have dropped road games to Colorado and Oregon, along with a home game against Washington State. Their most recent loss, a 54-34 defeat to the Ducks, also came on Oct. 29, and like the Utes, Arizona State is also coming off of a bye week.
Utah did win last year’s matchup with Arizona State in Salt Lake City, 34-18, though the Sun Devils hold the lead in the all-time series, 20-7.
What To Know About Utah
The quarterback play for Utah wasn’t great when it took on Washington, but Troy Williams did complete 14-of-31 passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns. One of those scores went to Evan Moeai, who had four catches for 61 yards. And the other touchdown went to Siaosi Wilson, who hauled in two passes for 14 yards. Tim Patrick led the team with five receptions for 72 yards.
On the ground, Joe Williams took over with 35 carries and 172 rushing yards. Williams also found his way across the goal line once. As a team, the Utes ran for 213 yards on 47 rushes – the third most rushing yards put up on Washington all season.
What to Know About Arizona State
The Sun Devils turned to true freshman quarterback Dillon Sterling-Cole in place of the injured Manny Wilkins against Oregon, and he had some ups and downs. Sterling-Cole completed 21-of-38 passes for 302 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions. His lone touchdown throw went to N’Keal Harry, who caught three balls for 38 yards. Halfback Kalen Ballage also threw a touchdown pass to Kody Kohl.
Ballage did it all, really. Along with the touchdown pass, he reeled in six passes for 105 yards, and took 18 carries for 62 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Nick Ralston added 54 yards on 10 rushes, and Sterling-Cole also ran for a touchdown.
Offense: Utah – Troy Williams is a very good quarterback, and with Wilkins uncertain to play, he gives the Utes the edge because he protected the ball better than Sterling-Cole.
Defense: Utah – The Utes are No. 33 nationally in total defense with 365.4 yards given up per game. Arizona State, meanwhile, is No. 124, allowing 513.6 yards per contest.
Special Teams: Arizona State – Andy Phillips is a good kicker, but Zane Gonzalez is better.
Coaching: Utah – Whittingham had the Utes competing with Washington, and that says a lot. They get the nod.
Matchup To Watch
Joe Williams vs. Arizona State defense
Williams retired, and then he unretired, and then he exploded as a ball carrying monster. The Sun Devils have to find a way to slow him down. If they can’t, Utah will control the clock, keep Ballage off the field, and tire out the Arizona State defense.
Spread: Utah -5.5
Over/Under: No line as of publication
Utah vs. Arizona State Prediction
We don’t yet know if Wilkins will be able to go, but even if he does, it won’t change too much in this one. Joe Williams has been running the ball very effectively, and he’s going to torch Arizona State for at least 100 rushing yards and a couple of touchdowns. Ballage will have a solid game, too, but the Sun Devils won’t be able to complete a comeback attempt against Utah.
Utah vs. Arizona State Score Prediction: Utah 38, Arizona State 31