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Utah's passing attack burns Sun Devils

TEMPE, Ariz. — What started out poorly for Troy Williams turned into a career night for the junior quarterback in Utah’s 49-26 win over Arizona State.

On the very first play from scrimmage, a major miscue occurred that resulted in a turnover when the Sun Devils snatched up a snapped ball that escaped Williams’ grasp. And so began a tough quarter of football for Williams and the Utes. While Arizona State jumped to an early 13-0 lead, the Utah offense was sputtering. Williams completed 5-of-9 attempts for just 25 yards in the opening quarter.

Utah cioach Kyle Whittingham said the team was in a state of “sleepwalking”.

But in the second quarter, the Utes woke up and it was a whole other story.

Starting with a game-long 64-yard touchdown connection from Williams to Raelon Singleton, Williams got into a groove.

“My confidence, it’s always been high,” said Williams. “But after that, it went through the roof.”

By halftime, Williams had given the Utes the lead, 21-20, and had thrown a total of three touchdowns. Siaosi Wilson was the recipient of the second scoring strike from 27 yards out. The third was another connection, this time from the 17-yard line, from Williams to Singleton.

The Sun Devils could not slow down the passing attack led by Williams and Singleton. Williams found Singleton again for the third time in the fourth quarter to expand the Utah lead to 35-26. Singleton registered four catches for 116 yards and three touchdowns. He came into the game with just one touchdown reception. It was the first time that a Utah receiver had caught three touchdown passes in a game since Brent Castell against UNLV in 2006.

Despite the slow start to the game, Singleton encouraged his teammates to keep grinding.

“I just told everybody keep their head up,” said Singleton. “We were going to keep pushing. We were going to get it.”

“The receivers stepped up today and the o-line did a great job,” said Williams.

It was the first time all season that the Utes completed four touchdown passes in a game. Williams finished with a career-high 296 yards on 21-of-37 passing with no interceptions.

Coming off of an emotional loss last week to his former team, Washington, Williams was pleased with his strong performance and the play of the team as a whole.

“It feels great. We’re on a mission. You could see it in everybody’s face. You could see it in our play," he said. "We had a slow start today but we have a mission and we just have to take it one week at a time. So it feels good to get back on track.”