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Utes control their own destiny. Really

After bumpy beginning to the season, Utah is right where it wants to be in Pac-12 play

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Utah defensive end Mika Tafua (42) reacts after sacking USC quarterback Kedon Slovis during game Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Los Angeles.

Utah defensive end Mika Tafua (42) reacts after sacking USC quarterback Kedon Slovis during game Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Los Angeles. At 2-0 in Pac-12 play, the Utes control their own destiny heading into Saturday’s Pac-12 showdown with No. 18 Arizona State in Salt Lake City.

Marcio Jose Sanchez, Associated Press

This article was first published as the Ute Insiders newsletter. Sign up to receive the newsletter in your inbox each Wednesday night.

Over the weekend, Utah made history.

For the first time since 1916, the Utes beat USC in Los Angeles. Utah dominated in the second and third quarters and crushed the Trojans 42-26 Saturday night.

Utah Arizona State TV box

Utes on the air

No. 18 Arizona State (5-1, 3-0)

at Utah (3-2, 2-0)

Saturday, 8 p.m. MDT

Rice-Eccles Stadium


Radio: ESPN 700

Then on Monday, the team left on a charter flight to attend the memorial service for Aaron Lowe, who died Sept. 26. Coaches and players spoke and delivered inspiring messages.

As if that weren’t enough for one week, the Utes host No. 18 Arizona State Saturday night. Utah and ASU are the only teams in the Pac-12 without a conference loss. So the winner will take control of the Pac-12 South race.

Though the Utes have dealt with so much adversity this season — a loss to BYU for the first time since 2009; a triple-overtime setback to San Diego State; the departure of starting quarterback Charlie Brewer; Lowe’s tragic death — they are in control of their own destiny in the Pac-12.

Utah is still in position to win the Pac-12 championship. And that quest continues Saturday against Arizona State.

Numbers game

3-0: With a win Saturday, Utah would improve to 3-0 in the Pac-12 for the first time since 2015.

42: Number of negative plays forced by Utah’s defense, best in the Pac-12.

306: Yards thrown by quarterback Cam Rising against USC.

From the archives

Extra points

  • Fresh off big win at USC, Utah’s week includes Aaron Lowe’s memorial service, facing No. 18 Arizona State (Deseret News)
  • Utah earns inspired, historic victory over USC (Deseret News)
  • Utah Utes football report card: Utes turn in best performance of the season at the perfect time (Deseret News)
  • Highlights, key plays and photos from Utah’s 42-26 win over USC (Deseret News)
  • Utes, USC Trojans honor Aaron Lowe (Deseret News)
  • Utes with L.A. ties can’t wait to play at the Coliseum — and make history (Deseret News)


Comments from Deseret News readers

This may very well go down as one of the all time greatest victories of all time in Utah football history. They broke a 105 year losing record to USC in the Coliseum and played inspired football for two of their fallen teammates. Yes they put it together on both sides of the ball. Great victory — Go Utes (TJ/AL).

— What To Do

There was an ‘attitude’ coming from the players and coaches that has been missing for too long. Keep that chippy play going and beat up ASU.

— U 96

A complete game. Cam Rising shared the wealth and I noticed he went through his progressions. The defense also played great. USC is a mess; always nice to win at the Coliseum. ASU game is HUGE.

— Spokane Ute

Up next

Oct. 14 | 8:30 p.m. | Women’s volleyball | vs. Stanford | @Stanford, California | ESPNU

Oct. 15 | 7 p.m. | Soccer | vs. California | @Salt Lake City | Pac-12 Network

Oct. 16 | 8 p.m. | Football | vs. Arizona State | @Salt Lake City | ESPN

Oct. 17 | 2 p.m. | Women’s volleyball | vs. California | @Berkeley, California | Pac-12 Network