Utah football did something they haven't done since 1976 last night, beat the Arizona State Sun Devils. It wasn't always pretty, and Utah almost couldn't get out of their own way, but they managed to pull out the win to move to 6-0 for the season. The win puts Utah two games ahead of any team in the Pac-12 south and makes them bowl eligible for the second consecutive season. Here's a look at each position group and how they graded out.
Travis Wilson added another great performance to his senior campaign against the Sun Devils. With Devontae Booker
Booker had a rough night going against the Sun Devil front seven. For three and a half quarters, Booker could not find any room to run, before scoring a couple late touchdowns to put the game away, one on an option pitch from Wilson, and another late game 62 yard run to seal the win. Despite Booker's final stat line of 21 carries for 118 yards and two touchdowns, he was completely shut down and taken out of the game until the very end. Utah struggled to move the ball at times and there was some suspect play calling, but overall the offense scored 34 points and totaled 379 yards against a very good Sun Devil defense.
The Utah defense again proved it is a top caliber defense with their play on the field last night. A sputtering offense and extremely poor special teams play, forced the defense into defending a couple short fields
A program that is so well known for its special teams, almost lost the game because of them. The Utes allowed a 100 yard kickoff that allowed Arizona State to tie the game at 7-7, and allowed a big punt return that needed a Tom Hackett show string tackle, to save it from being returned all the way for a touchdown. Britain Covey had one of the strangest plays of the season when he fielded a kickoff deep in the endzone and faked like he was going to take a knee, before throwing an illegal forward pass to Bubba Poole on a trick play. The plan backfired as Arizona State was able to get a safety from the miscue, putting the Sun Devils in the temporary lead.
Hackett did have another great punting day, with 265 punting yards on 8 kicks for a 46.88 yard punting average. Andy Phillips was able to redeem himself from his field goal misses last season in Tempe, by nailing two critical field goals with pressure in his face. Overall thought the game was only close because of special teams miscues. If special teams had played up to usual standards, the game would not have been close.
The coaching staff made some interesting decisions with the trick kickoff return that backfired and kick coverage was terrible