But defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley has liked what he’s seen from his players since then.
The Utes have surrendered only 14 points and 258 yards in their last two games combined.
Utah visits Arizona State Saturday (8:30 p.m. MDT, ESPN) in its Pac-12 opener.
So how does Scalley assess the defense at this point of the season?
“What you’re looking for is progress every week, particularly in the run game. Week 1, not good enough. It starts with us as a coaching staff,” he said. “Week 2, you’re making your best progress from Week 1 to Week 2 if you’re doing it right. I thought we did that. We played San Diego State, a team that thrives on running the ball.
“To do what we did there, another improvement. I like the energy and focus of our guys. They’re intent on getting better. When you’ve got guys that understand how to handle adversity and how to handle what some would say was a Week 1 failure, that’s a tough pill to swallow,” Scalley added. “To come back, they’re resilient. It’s a fun group to coach and I love these guys. It’s a day-to-day, week-to-week deal. I feel like we’re practicing the right way. I’m happy with the progress. … It’s a fun group to coach because they are resilient and they are tough-minded and they made the corrections.”
Utes on the air
No. 13 Utah (2-1) at Arizona State (1-2)
Saturday, 8:30 p.m. MDT
Sun Devil Stadium
Radio: ESPN 700