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Down 21-7 at halftime against No. 18 Arizona State, Utah turned the tables against the Sun Devils in the second half.

The Utes scored 28 unanswered points over the final two quarters and looked every bit a team that could reach the Pac-12 championship game. Utah leads the Pac-12 South and is the only team with a perfect league record as it prepares to visit Oregon State Saturday.

During the offseason, the Utes received plenty of hype as a Pac-12 championship contender. But after two straight losses to BYU and San Diego State, some wrote Utah off. Now, after three consecutive wins, as ESPN analyst Lee Corso would say, “Not so fast.”

The Utes aren’t just playing good football, they’re playing for something more than just football.

Of course, there are still tough tests to come. After traveling to Oregon State, Utah hosts UCLA before traveling to Stanford and Arizona. The Utes conclude the season with back-to-back home games against Oregon and Colorado.

What does wide receiver Devaughn Vele hope to see the rest of season?

“Keeping the consistency going, keeping these wins coming and running the table so that we can go to that Pac-12 championship and prove all of the doubters wrong,” he said. “That’s what I’m looking forward to.”

Numbers game

6: With a win Saturday, Utah would win its sixth straight over Oregon State.

4-0: With a win Saturday, the Utes would improve to 4-0 to start Pac-12 play for the first time in history.

28: Consecutive points scored by Utah in the second half in its 35-21 victory over Arizona State.

From the archives

How Utah scored 28 unanswered points to knock off No. 18 Arizona State, claim 1st place in Pac-12 South
How the Utes went from underachieving to being in the catbird seat

Extra points

  • Red-hot Utes are playing for something bigger than themselves (Deseret News)
  • Utah football report card: Utes’ second-half performance is a masterpiece (Deseret News)
  • ESPN’s College GameDay features Aaron Lowe, Ty Jordan (Deseret News)
  • Do resilient Utes have what it takes to seize control of the Pac-12 South? (Deseret News)
  • Utes suffer ‘a big blow’ on the injury front (Deseret News)


Comments from Deseret News readers

“ASU had more than 50% of their penalties in the 1st half. And took a 21-7 lead into half-time. Guessing the penalties, while not optimal, are NOT the reason Utah dominated the second half. Utah came out ready to play in the second half. Allowing 97 total yards of offense and zero scores, in the second half. That wasn’t because of ASU penalties. It’s because Utah dominated them defensively. Sacking (Jayden) Daniels 3 times in that half. And really just shutting their run down. And teams that are trying harder and nervous about their opponents, have more false starts, have more holding calls, etc. Then Utah also has Rising. Cam Rising went 13-15 with 2 TDs in the second half. While Tavion Thomas ran them over. No team has done that to ASU in a second half all season. That was a dominating performance by Utah.”

— ArizonaUte 

“Nice job Utes. I doubted. I didn’t think you would get it done under the circumstances —emotional week, likely letdown after a big win at SC, and ASU is really good. So pleased to have been wrong. Rising is pure guts. O-Line is coming together. Receivers and Backs playing with heart. And the D figured things out and just shut the Devils down. That was impressive. And with all that — one of the best in-person game experiences of my life, and I’ve been doing this for a long, long time.”

— Realism337

Up next

Oct. 21 | 7 p.m. | Soccer | vs. Oregon State | @Salt Lake City

Oct. 22 | 6 p.m. | Women’s volleyball | vs. Arizona State | @Huntsman Center | Pac-12 Network

Oct. 23 | 5:30 p.m. | Football | vs. Oregon State | @Corvallis, Oregon | Pac-12 Network

Oct. 24 | 1 p.m. | Women’s volleyball | vs. Arizona | @Salt Lake City

Oct. 24 | Noon | Soccer | vs. Oregon | @Salt Lake City | Pac-12 Network