Utah football has its first Pac-12 win under its belt in 2022, as it beat Arizona State 34-13 at Sun Devil Stadium on Saturday night.
Here are three takeaways from Utah’s win:
Dalton Kincaid leads passing attack, but Utah spreads the ball around
Utah’s tight ends once again were an integral part of the offense. Dalton Kincaid had four receptions for 66 yards and two touchdowns, and Thomas Yassmin had a 72-yard reception on a nice catch-and-run.
Going forward, Yassmin may have to be a bigger part of the offense. Brant Kuithe suffered what appeared to be a lower body injury and went to the medical tent, then he appeared out of the tent on crutches and with ice on his knee and did not return to the game.
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said the Utes will know more about Kuithe’s injury Monday, but that it “doesn’t look good.”
Kuithe had two catches for 15 yards before the injury. If he is out for an extended period of time, it would be a blow to Utah’s tight end-heavy offense.
Aside from Kincaid’s performance, wide receiver Devaughn Vele also had a nice game, leading the team with six receptions for 63 yards.
Quarterback Cam Rising finished 19 for 29 with two touchdowns and an interception.
Utah uses a variety of running backs during Tavion Thomas’ first-half absence
Utah used a variety of running backs Saturday. Lead back Tavion Thomas did not play in the first half, but was on the sideline. Postgame, Whittingham said the reason for Thomas’ first-half absence was internal.
Thomas’ first carry came during Utah’s second drive of the second half.
Even though he only played after the break, Thomas still led Utah’s offense with 60 rushing yards on 11 carries.
While Thomas was out in the first half, perhaps the most unique look was third-string quarterback Ja’Quinden Jackson, who ran the ball eight times for 27 yards and scored a touchdown.
Jaylon Glover had 13 carries for 48 yards and Micah Bernard had eight carries for 28 carries.
Thomas’ backups have proven capable when called upon.
Utah’s defense dominates
Utah’s defense again showed up in a big way.
ASU got a touchdown in garbage time, but during the competitive portion of the game, the Utes’ defense held the Sun Devils to two field goals.
ASU had 267 yards of offense and the Utes completely shut down the Devils’ run game, allowing ASU only six rushing yards.
Defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley dialed up the pressure, especially in the first half, blitzing quarterback Emory Jones often and with good results.
Utah sacked Jones five times and forced three turnovers — Clark Phillips III and Cole Bishop intercepted passes and RJ Hubert forced a fumble.
Linebacker Karene Reid was also all over the field and led the team with 10 tackles; Bishop had a sack in addition to the interception and Van Fillinger had a sack and five tackles.