Utah vs. Arizona State fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, November 3
Game Time: 4:00 ET
Venue: Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, AZ
Network: Pac-12 Network
Utah (6-2) vs. Arizona State (4-4) Game Preview
One Reason Why Utah Will Win
It’s the rise of the defense that’s putting Utah right there on the doorstep of going to its first Pac-12 Championship.
The offense has been fantastic with QB Tyler Huntley playing well, and the ground game has kicked in, but the D is the real star, leading the Pac-12 in third down stops and allowing a piddly 81 rushing yards per game.
When the offense is putting up around 40 points per game over the last month, and the defense is stuffing everything, that’s a good formula.
It all starts, though, with an efficient passing game that helps the Utes control the clock. The D gets off the field fast, Huntley is hitting on his key throws, and the team ends up having the ball for around 32 minutes per game.
Arizona State is awful when it comes to time of possession, and the secondary is getting picked apart lately, allowing the last three passing games to connect on 70% or more of their passes.
The last Sun Devil interception? Washington back in mid-September – it was five games ago.
One Reason Why Arizona State Will Win
The Sun Devil defensive front has to own the Utah backfield.
The offense might be rolling and Huntley might be on, but the Utah offensive line gives up way too many plays behind the line. ASU might not be getting enough production out of its pass defense, but the pressure is coming from the front seven.
ASU managed to come up with 12 tackles for loss against Stanford and has 21 sacks on the season. LB Merlin Robertson has turned into a big factor in the backfield, and he and the group has to keep the pressure on Huntley all game long.
Utah will turn the ball over from time to time. ASU should hold its own on the lines, it has to generate the third down stops, and it has to be able to keep up the pressure with the passing attack.
What’s Going To Happen
Utah is playing too well and too sharp right now, but Arizona State has a way of keeping everything close.
The Sun Devil schedule has been unfair with too many nasty games, and four of the last six games on the road. ASU will play better at home, but the offense won’t find its groove, and the defense will have too many problems with the Ute offensive balance.
Utah won’t come up with a wipeout like it has over the last month, but it’ll take another step forward to the South title – and it’ll have to sweat this one out.
When needed, the ground game will come through to take control of the game late.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Utah 27, Arizona State 24
Line: Utah -7, o/u:56
ATS Confidence out of 5: 3
Must See Rating: 3.5
5: Midterm election coverage next Tuesday night
1: Maryland press conference