The Arizona State Sun Devils are one of those teams you wouldn’t consider a favorite to win the conference to begin the season, but it seems like they always put together a solid run and are one of those teams that you never want to play at the end of the year. Sitting at 6-2, the Sun Devils are looking to make a push at a Pac-12 title.
On the other side of the field, the Utah Utes are just 4-4 this season after a 1-4 start to the conference season that has not been the easiest of schedule. Upsetting the Stanford Cardinal at home was the only victory for this team, but have yet to have any luck since then.
Arizona State is led by one of the most talented quarterbacks in the nation in Taylor Kelly. The junior quarterback could be a solid NFL prospect for 2014, but he is still looking to win a conference title. Kelly has 2,511 yards and 23 touchdowns on the season thus far, hitting his favorite target, Jaelen Strong, 49 times for 720 yards and five touchdowns. As the sixth-best scoring offense in the nation, the Sun Devils have depended on a strong run game as well from Marion Grice. The running back has 647 yards and 12 touchdowns on the year.
Utah’s offense ranks in the middle-of-the-pack nationwide in nearly every major category. That just shows how balanced the offense is, but also how far away from being elite it is. Sophomore quarterback Adam Shulz has been splitting time in the past couple of games with fellow sophomore Travis Wilson. Shulz has 247 yards and a touchdown in two games while Wilson began the season as the clear starter, passing for 1,706 yards and 14 touchdowns. His downfall, however, has been his 14 interceptions. Dres Anderson leads all receivers with 33 catches for 642 yards and five touchdowns.
Defensively, the Utes rank 60th in the nation in points allowed and 74th in yards allowed per contest. Arizona State is pretty close to the Utes in overall defense, ranking 61st in points allowed and 30th in yards allowed per game — that aspect of the defense is considerably better than Utah’s.
Arizona State will travel to Utah to take on the Utes at 4 p.m. EST on Saturday, Nov. 9. The game will be broadcasted on the Pac-12 Network.
PREDICTION: Arizona State 37, Utah 21