The 10 Most Important Numbers from Utah’s Loss to Arizona State


Curtis Lin

Senior running back Troy McCormick Jr. (4) runs as the Utah Utes take on Arizona State at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, UT on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (Photo by Curtis Lin/ Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Justin Adams

20 – Utah lost the game by 20 points and they played even worse than that. The only touchdown came in garbage time when ASU was leading 30-3 with about two minutes left in the game. It’s the first time Utah has lost by 20 or more points since a 42-10 loss to Arizona in 2014.

6.8 – In their nine losses since dropping their game against the Sun Devils, the average margin of Utah’s defeats has only been 6.8 points. Even when the Utes lose, they’re usually close enough games to keep fans on the edge of their seats well into the fourth quarter. Not this game. Rice-Eccles looked to be less than a quarter full when the final whistle blew.

4 – After looking sharp at the beginning of the season before going down with an injury, it appeared that Tyler Huntley was going to herald in a new era of Utah offense. When Troy Williams stepped in for two starts, Utah dropped both those games. Many fans were looking forward to the return of Huntley, who they hoped would lead Utah back to victory. But that didn’t pan out on Saturday evening. The sophomore quarterback completed 19-of-35 passes for zero touchdowns and four interceptions, including one that was returned for a touchdown. Since Utah joined the Pac-12, Huntley is the first quarterback to go without a touchdown against Arizona State, and his four interceptions were more than Utah had in their previous five meetings with the Sun Devils combined.

4, Again – After breaking out with a monster game this past week against USC, running back Zack Moss had only four carries in the first half. He finished with 12 carries on the day for 52 yards. In contrast, Arizona State had two running backs with 14 or more carries. It’s bizarre to see those kinds of numbers from a Utah team that for so long has built its identity on establishing the run game.

45 – Excluding Utah’s 81-yard touchdown drive that happened in garbage time, Utah’s longest drive of the game was 45 yards. Arizona State had five drives with at least that many yards, including touchdown drives of 75 and 94 yards.

3 – Seven of Utah’s offensive drives lasted only three plays. Three of those were three-and-outs that lead to a punt and four of them ended with an interception. The short drives led to Arizona State dominating the time of possession. The Sun Devils offense held the ball for 36:19, compared to only 23:41 for the Utes.

1 – Utah had one sack this game, which is not very good, but it’s better than the zero they had the previous few weeks. With the lack of pressure, the defense is applying to opposing quarterbacks, Utah’s “Sack Lake City” moniker is becoming a distant memory.

2 – In one drive, the Utah defense had two defenders ejected for targeting penalties. Both plays happened in the second half, which means Corrion Ballard and Donovan Thompson will also be disqualified from the first half of next week’s game.

53 – Matt Gay added another 50+ yard field goal to his strong kicking resume this year. Gay, who entered this week ranked No. 2 in the country in field goals made, has now made three out of four field goal attempts of 50 or more yards.

3 – The loss is Utah’s third in a row, its first such losing streak since 2013 when it lost five in a row. Utah will look to stop the losing streak from snowballing next week when they hit the road to take on Oregon.

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