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If ASU is unable to play this week, signs point toward Utah-Washington matchup instead

The Sun Devils could return to practice as early as Thursday. If ASU can’t play this weekend, Utah will likely face the Huskies, which whipped Arizona 44-27 Saturday

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Arizona State coach Herm Edwards, left, and Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham speak before an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019, in Salt Lake City. Edwards is still recovering from COVID-19 but hopes to return to the practice field soon.

AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

Arizona State, which hasn’t practiced since Nov. 11 due to COVID-19 issues, is set to host Utah Sunday.

The game between the Utes and Sun Devils was originally scheduled for Saturday but was pushed back a day to provide ASU another day of preparation.  

No information about kickoff time or a broadcast partner has been announced.

Arizona State coach Herm Edwards, who tested positive for the virus, released a statement Monday.  

“I hope this message finds everyone safe and sound. Right now the world is presenting us with unique daily challenges. We must huddle up and deal with those challenges together,” Edwards said. “I would like to thank everyone from Sun Devil Nation, my colleagues from college and professional football, the media industry and my family and friends who have reached out since I announced I contracted COVID-19.

“Those messages meant a lot to me and helped me and my family get through this difficult time. I am forever grateful. I am feeling much better and I plan to be back on the practice field soon, preparing for our next contest. Until then, stay healthy, wear a mask, practice physical distancing and as always, Forks Up!”

The Sun Devils could return to practice as early as Thursday. 

If ASU can’t play this weekend, Utah will likely face Washington, which whipped Arizona 44-27 last Saturday.

The Pac-12 announced Sunday that the annual Apple Cup battle between Washington and Washington State, scheduled for this weekend, was canceled. The rivals have played every year since 1944. 

Several news outlets have reported a possible Utah-Washington matchup, including the Seattle Times:

“This remains Washington’s most likely option, primarily because the Pac-12’s nonconference protocols state that such a game can only take place if:

  • All Pac-12 testing and related protocols are adhered to by the nonconference opponent.
  • The nonconference game is a home game for the Pac-12 team and broadcast by a Pac-12 television partner.
  • If a Pac-12 opponent becomes available by Thursday in that given week, the conference game is played in lieu of any nonconference game.

So, in other words: if a Pac-12 team can play, that’s who the Huskies will play.

And Utah, so far, is the most eligible option.”

Meanwhile, Washington State had its game last Saturday against Stanford called off. Washington reached out to BYU about playing but those talks are off the table.

To date, seven Pac-12 games have been wiped out. Utah saw its games against Arizona and UCLA canceled earlier this month. When the UCLA-Utah game was canceled, the Bruins ended up playing Cal two days later.

The Utes finally opened their season last Saturday with a 33-17 setback to No. 19 USC.