On Saturday the Utah Utes sacked Arizona State quarterback Taylor Kelly 6 times in a 20-19 loss at Rice-Eccles Stadium, limiting the Sun Devils spread offense to 293 yards.
Senior defensive linemen Latu Heimuli (6-3, 305) and Tenny Palepoi (6-2, 300) each had a sack, and linebackers Trevor Reilly and Hale Jacoby paced head coach Kyle Whittingham’s blitzing, stunting defense by combining for 3 sacks and four tackles for loss. In all the unit had 12 TFLs, and Arizona State punted 10 times.
Stormin’ Mormons: Oregon’s challenges with big offensive and defensive lines are not over. Utah goes 345, 320, 305, 325 and 305 across the offensive front, and features a pair of 300+ defensive tackles in an aggressive, active defense.
Utah dominated throughout the game. The Utes held the up-tempo Sun Devils, who had been averaging 46.6 points a game, to less than half of that with their pressure scheme and physical front seven. ASU used a 6-play, 81-yard drive late in fourth quarter to pull out the win, intercepting two passes by Utah quarterback Travis Wilson in the last two and half minutes to preserve it.
Like Marcus Mariota, Wilson has been bothered by an injury that’s limited his effectiveness, in his case, a bruised hand that’s hurt his throwing. He completed just 6-21 passes in Saturday’s game, 18-44 in his last three, with six interceptions. That has grounded the Utah offense, which is 60th in the country at 29.8 points a game.
Three weeks ago, Whittingham’s third PAC-12 squad upset #5 Stanford 27-21. The Utes haven’t been as strong on the road this season, just 1-2 in their trips away from Rice-Eccles. They are 1-5 in the PAC-12, but their lone win shook the house and upended a national title chase for The Cardinal.