Originally posted on Fanster  |  Last updated 9/27/12

The first road game is out of the way, the non-conference schedule is finished and unfortunately adversity has been experienced and the two headed quarterbacked team of the Arizona State Sun Devils didn’t handle it well. With all of that being said, we finally welcome the start of PAC-12 conference play with the Utes of Utah visiting Sun Devil Stadium tonight. ASU dispatched the Utes last year in Utah 35-14, so the there will be a level revenge tonight. And for the second straight year Utah has lost starting QB Jordan Wynn to an injury. And this time it was a career ender, as he stepped away from the game two weeks ago. Kick-off on this first day of fall was in a beautiful balmy 99 degrees.

Utah’s first drive stalled out on the ASU 33 yard line as they went for it on a fourth and three. ASU didn’t waste anytime as they took the ball downfield on their first possession and scored on a 38 yard Taylor Kelly to Rashard Ross pass. Utah could only muster two yards on their next drive before punting the ball back to ASU. Taylor Kelly and Michael Eubank then proceeded to head right back into Utah territory on a seven play drive and scored again on a one yard touchdown run by Cameron Marshall to put ASU up 14-0 eight minutes into the game. After the kickoff the Utes had the ball for three plays before John White IV fumbled the ball away. ASU took over on the 34 Utah yard line. Even though the ASU drive started with a sack for a seven yard loss, the Sun Devils took the ball downfield and on a 10 yard Marion Grice reception for a TD putting ASU up 21-0 with almost four minutes left in the first quarter.

The second quarter started amidst a Utah drive that culminated in a two yard touchdown pass from Jonathan Hays to Carl Williams. The Ute drive took up 5:24 minutes with 11 plays and 91 yards. A Hays fumble recovered by a teammate and a defensive interference in the end zone kept the drive alive for Utah. After a penalty on the kick-off, ASU started on their own yard line but a couple of big plays to Rashard Ross and Kevin Ozier set up a 22 yard Alex Garoutte field goal. Another four and out led to ASU getting the ball back on their own 30 after the Utah punt. 10 plays and 70 yards later Cameron Marshall put up his second TD of the game to make it ASU 31 Utah 7. ASU had a chance to make it six for six with points on each drive before the half, but Garoutte missed a 51 yard field goal attempt. Final Damage for the half? 347 total yards and no turnovers. It appears, ‘left lane, hammer down’ is back.

After an exchange of a few punts to start the third quarter, Utah began to move the ball downfield when ASU free safety Keelan Johnson stepped into a Jonathan Hays pass to give his offense the ball on their own 39 yard line. A 10 play, 56 yard drive that looked a little sluggish at times resulted in another Garroutte field goal. For that matter, the 3rd quarter all season has been a little sluggish for ASU. The Sun Devils have given up more points in that quarter combined with scoring the fewest points is something of concern. Almost reminiscent of how you feel the first hour or two after lunch everyday. You could call it a halftime hangover if you may. The funny part of it is that the 2nd quarter is the Sun Devils best scoring quarter.

The first play of the fourth quarter was a fumble by Taylor Kelly, resulting in a 40 yard field goal miss by redshirt sophomore Jon Mora. Travis Wilson replaced Jonathan Hayes at QB for the Utes and it still didn’t help as Utah punted the ball away with a little more than 10 minutes left in the game. ASU went with Michael Eubank at quarterback most of the fourth quarter with the offense only producing another Alex Garoutte field goal. Final score ASU 37 Utah 7.

If there was a doubt on how the tough Missouri loss would affect ASU, tonights game should answer those doubts. With over 500 yards total offense and only allowing a little over 200 yards, the Sun Devils started Pac-12 play with a bang. The receivers looked sharp, the defense tenacious and the more we see of Taylor Kelly, the better this season looks. Although there were no turnovers, there were eight penalties this team will have to answer for during the next week of practices. Next up on the docket is a road game to Cal to face the Golden Bears. If there was ever a time to put a stop to the never ending jinx of losing in the state of California, this would be it.

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