No. 16 Utah looks to maintain grip on Pac-12 South
No. 16 Utah (6-2, 4-2 Pac-12, No. 15 CFP) at Arizona State (2-3, 4-4), 4 p.m. EDT (Pac-12 Network)
Line: Utah by 7.
Series record: Arizona St. leads 21-8.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Utah has plowed its way to the top of what has been a wide-open Pac-12 race with four straight victories but the Utes have just a one-game lead over Arizona and USC with the other three teams in the division another half-game behind. Arizona State is coming off an impressive victory in Los Angeles. A win Saturday would not only clog up the Pac-12 South standings but move the Sun Devils within a victory of being bowl eligible.
Arizona State’s big-play offense against Utah’s stout defense. Utah leads the Pac-12 and is third nationally in run defense at 81.1 yards per game. The Utes also lead the conference and rank seventh nationally in total defense, allowing 287 yards per game, pass efficiency defense, and are tops in the nation in the red zone (54.4 percent scores, 12-of-22). So that’s a formidable challenge for Arizona State’s QB Manny Wilkins, RB Eno Benjamin and WR N’Keal Harry.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Utah: RB Zack Moss. The junior ranks third in the Pac-12 and sixth nationally with 964 yards and is averaging six yards per carry.
Arizona St.: Wide receiver N’Keal Harry. There may not be a more enjoyable player to watch at his best than Harry, whose one-handed grab in last week’s win at USC went viral. Almost as impressive was Harry’s 92-yard punt return for a touchdown.
FACTS & FIGURES
Utah has scored at least 40 points in four straight games, first time that’s happened since its undefeated Fiesta Bowl season of 2004. … The Sun Devils won at Utah last season 30-10. … Utah S Marquise Blair won’t start for first time this season after being called for targeting against UCLA. … Benjamin has 938 yards rushing and needs 291 to match Ryan Torain’s Pac-12-era school record of 1,229 yards. … Harry has a reception in all 33 of his college games. … Sun Devils lead the Pac-12 in tackles for loss with 79. … Arizona State has won 11 of last 14 against Utah. … Sun Devils are 1-2 against ranked opponents.