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Utes taking business-like approach into Pac-12 opener against the Sun Devils

Arizona State, meanwhile, is dealing with adversity after its head coach was fired earlier this week.

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Utah quarterback Cam Rising delivers a pass during win over San Diego State Aztecs in Salt Lake City on Sept. 17, 2022.

Utah quarterback Cam Rising delivers a pass during win over San Diego State Aztecs in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022. The Utes open Pac-12 play Saturday at Arizona State.

Ben B. Braun, Deseret News

After a convincing 35-7 win over San Diego State, Utah has completed the nonconference portion of its schedule with a 2-1 record.

Now the Utes, the defending Pac-12 champions, will begin league play Saturday at Arizona State.

The Sun Devils are dealing with a lot of issues. First, they lost 30-21 last Saturday at home to Eastern Michigan, which prompted the firing of coach Herm Edwards the following day.

Shaun Aguano, the running backs coach, was elevated to interim head coach.

Utah knows all about facing, and overcoming setbacks.

“We’ve faced a lot of adversity the past couple of years. It’s a whole new team,” said tight end Brant Kuithe. “Losing that game to Florida, it humbled us a little bit. We can go through as much adversity as any team in the nation anywhere. That’s what’s great about this team — we can go through things like that and overcome them and go 1-0.”

While the Utes are hoping to capture their second straight Pac-12 championship, wide receiver Solomon Enis said the feeling around the program hasn’t changed now that conference play is beginning.

“Not at all,” he said. “We prepare week-in and week-out like we’re playing in the championship again. We don’t take our opponents lightly. ASU is a great team and we’ll have our hands full.”

In case you missed it

Former Utah star Britain Covey has a funny story from the first home game of his rookie NFL season.

Covey reportedly dealt with some parking issues before the Philadelphia Eagles’ home opener against the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night.

By the way, Covey had three punt returns for 14 yards, with a long of 8 yards, in the Eagles’ 24-7 win.

Numbers game

59-0: Utah outscored its opponents by this margin in the second quarter in the past two games against SUU and SDSU. 

108-14: Utah outscored SUU and SDSU by this combined margin.

From the archives

Extra points

  • Utah running backs room coping with adversity, on and off the field (Deseret News)
  • 3 players that made an impact for Utah against San Diego State (Deseret News)
  • Here are the highest and lowest votes Utah and BYU got in this week’s AP Top 25 poll (Deseret News)
  • Utah moved up in both major polls. Where did BYU land? (Deseret News)
  • As Utah heads into Pac-12 play, it will be without a running back who’s out for the year (Deseret News)
  • ‘We took that personal’: How Utah got revenge, almost pitched a shutout against San Diego State (Deseret News)


Comments from Deseret News readers:

Rising to a wide open Kuithe down the middle kind of did it for an out-manned SDSU Aztec team. The halftime score was not indicative of how Utah’s defense had manhandled the Aztecs. Don’t know if revenge was a factor, more of an everyday performance ... solid, except for a muffed punt. Even the tribute uniforms, including another new and good looking helmet, looked good! All that said, the Utes benefited from the fact that SDSU lost a starting QB, and even with him presented almost no threat through the air allowing the defense to smother the Aztec running game. So much for the nonconference schedule. It is time to focus and get to work! Next team up ... ASU!!! Again, on the road. Go Utes!!!

— stathis

I always thought Edwards was a bad fit for college, perhaps a bad fit as a head coach at any level. Big on talk, short on results. Will this unify ASU or further create chaos? Will be interesting what Vegas thinks until they tee it up on Saturday.

— BW_in_WJ

Up next

Sept. 22 | 7 p.m. | Volleyball | vs. Colorado | @Salt Lake City | Utah Live Stream

Sept. 23 | 7 p.m. | Soccer | vs. Arizona | @Salt Lake City | Utah Live Stream 2

Sept. 24 | 7 p.m. | Volleyball | vs. Arizona | @Salt Lake City | Pac-12 Networks

Sept. 24 | 8:30 p.m. | Football | vs. Arizona State | @Tempe, Arizona | ESPN