Arizona State at Utah
Saturday, Oct. 8th
Game Prediction: Arizona State 24, Utah 19
Whittingham's Utah was 30-1 at home in the MWC. Welcome to the more rigorous Pac-12. Utah will lose this game at home against Arizona State, but it will be close.
The Sun Devils will be ranked very near the top 25, but losing QB Steven Threet impacts the team due to Osweiler's low completion percentage. ASU's starting wideout Kerry Taylor graduated and WR T.J. Simpson tore his ACL. The replacement WRs are capable and the running attack is their best asset. Defensive tackle Lawrence Guy left early for the NFL and Saia Falahola graduated, leaving ASU softer in the middle. CB LeQuan Lewis graduated, and one of their best players on defense, CB Omar Bolden, tore his ACL.
This Arizona State team isn't as strong as last year's team but their uniforms look as good as Oregon's. The Ute's will be in the top 50, but won't be playing a half-dozen teams who averaged 2.5 wins last year. Utah played six opponents last season who had a combined record of 15-59.
OC Norm Chow dumped the spread for a multiple look. Quarterback Jordan Wynn's shoulder is still recovering from offseason surgery, but will have to adjust to a new offense and a new linemen. Utah's best running backs, Eddie Wide and Matt Asiata (70 percent of Utah's offense) have graduated. True freshman RB Harvey Langi will have to fill in. Last year’s wide receivers Shakey Smithson and Jereme Brooks are both gone, so opponents will be keying on Langi. Only five players return on the Ute's defense. The defensive line and backfield both have one starter returning.
Arizona State will run through Utah's defense for the close victory.