Arizona State Week 4 Recap: A much-needed victory vs the Utes

ASU defeated the Utah Utes, 37-7 on Saturday night in Sun Devil Stadium.

WR Kevin Ozier (AP Photo/Paul Connors)

ASU achieved a much-needed victory on Saturday night.  This victory was necessary for two reasons: to give the Devils the confidence they need to play their next two games away (9/29 at California and 10/11 at Colorado), and to ease the malcontent in the Sun Devil fan base.

Another definitive victory on their home field, the Sun Devils played a fast and exciting first half.  After halftime, the defense held, but the game lost a significant amount of interest (and fans) because of a bland offensive effort.  Throughout the game, the 2-QB system was the topic of much consternation amid the fan base; some fans were hedging bets on Michael Eubank’s success every time he was on the field, most of it involving whether or not he would complete a pass (which he did 4 times for a total of 46 yards, notable for the change from his usual rushing style).  I wouldn’t say the system failed, but it lacked the excitement and effectiveness that it had in the first two home games.

Notable performances on the Sun Devil side include Taylor Kelly, (throwing for 326 yards, a career-high, as well as a 40-yard punt in the 3rd quarter) and Rashad Ross (5 receptions for 87 yards, rebounding from a disappointing performance at Mizzou).  Cameron Marshall also made some noise, with 2 rushing touchdowns (which somewhat abated the chatter that he wasn’t back in fighting form).   The Utes looked perplexed, making a lackluster effort for 209 total yards.  Detailed game summaries can be found here and here (play-by-play), and you can go inside the locker room to see Graham’s post-game speech here.

The tailgate lots were full once again, providing the Pac-12 camera crew with plenty of pre-game fodder (which wasn’t seen by many Sun Devil fans who were watching from home, as DirectTV subscribers still don’t have access to the Pac-12 Network).  The temperatures did nothing to dissuade tailgaters, although by game time it was still sweltering inside the stadium (we were spoiled with cooler temps and a light breeze for the first two home games).

All said, the Devils demonstrated their ability to overcome a rough loss in Missouri, and return to a dominating football style.  Ideally this will be indicative of their ability to learn and continue their forward progress, especially as they travel to their next two opponents.  A-S-U!