Arizona State travels to Salt Lake City, Utah on Saturday in the enviable position of sitting in first place in Pac-12 South Division with a 2-0 conference record, 4-1 overall. Utah, now in the conference formerly known as the Pac-10, is still looking for their first win in the new conference, having lost at USC and losing last week at home to the Washington Huskies despite being a 10-point favorite. This weekend the two will meet at Rice-Eccles Stadium in a 12:30 PM Pacific start with the Sun Devils coming in as a -3.5 road favorite with a posted Total of 48.5 at BetDSI Sportsbook.
Regular Utah starting quarterback Jordan Wynn (shoulder) will be missing this game, he is officially listed as “doubtful” and likely will miss at least two weeks, starting in his place will be junior college transfer Jon Hays who played last week after Wynn left the game. One week after rushing for a total of 17 yard versus Washington, Utah is going to need to get the ground game going for their new quarterback in order to take some of the pressure off. The Utah defense has been its strength so far this season and they will have to come up big in this spot to help the offense with field position as QB Hays makes his first major-college start. The defense has surrendered just 10 points in each of the Utes two victories, while giving up a combined 54 points in the two losses. With the ASU offense notching 48, 37, 43 and 35 points in their four wins, the Utah defense will have its hands full Saturday. Also, in conference play, Utah has managed 14 points in each of its Pac 12 games, that won’t be enough to get a win today.
Arizona State will have to prove it can win on the road, having lost 9 of their past 12 road games including their lone loss this season at Illinois. I like the Sun Devils today as 6’ 8” junior QB Brock Osweiler is enjoying a solid season and the weapons available to him provide many options, and that will be key to moving the ball against Utah here. Even the special teams of the Sun Devils are in fact “special” as junior WR Jamal Miles has done absolutely everything for them this season. Defensively Arizona State has been effectively aggressive and will look to continue bringing the heat facing a starting quarterback making his debut.
The last meeting between these two was back in 1993, so the history of these schools matching up is hardly relevant, but, having said that, ASU has won the past seven meetings.
Arizona State can put themselves in a great spot to take the division with a win Saturday at Utah, and I think they will do just that. The Sun Devils boast a strong offense capable of scoring a variety of ways, have a good, attacking defense and I doubt Utah will be able to keep up with the pace they set. It is a big game, and ASU will have to prove they can win on the road, today they pass that test. I am laying the -3.5 at BetDSI Sportsbook on the road favorite Sun Devils.