ASU recap, Defense, ST & summary


Moss really needs to share the game ball with the Defense. That was as dominant a performance as I’ve seen Utah give on defense, in a long time. 136 yards of total offense by the #17 team in the nation? Are you kidding me?

Upfront we manhandled the Devils, Anae came through over & over in sacks, pressures, bat-downs. But it wasn’t just him. Fotu, Penisini, Pututau in the middle, with Tafua on the other bookend.

Scalley’s never-been-seen-before-scheme-of-the-game: Maxs Tupa’i as a LB. As the DL introduced young Jayden Daniels to what it’s like to go against a serious defense, Tupa’i got some snaps at LB, presumably to bring added “emphasis” to stopping their run game.

Much vaunted WR Aiyuk got a single reception vs. Jaylon Johnson, who stayed disciplined throughout, and our secondary flaunted their flexibility over & over, with minimal substitutions and Burgess and Blackmon interchangeably picking up coverage on a TE or WR in the slot. (That’s the genius of moving CBs and NBs back to play Safety. Simply put - Morgan Scalley is a DC at the top of his craft.)

Bernard & Lloyd were overall excellent in their assignments, though Benjamin gave a few painful reminders that you have to wrap him up. I think it was Lloyd who pounced on the PR fumble late, right before Zack Moss made history.

Special Teams

KOs were excellent, even with that asinine double-cheapshot move against Enis. Redding didn’t have any work to do, Lennon did his job… even though the pressure is getting way too uncomfortable. Serious credit to Simpkins on punt returns. One punt he misjudged and it got to the 5 - those happen sometimes - but otherwise he’s been rock solid.


"I want to know, have you ever seen the rain?"

Adios, Sun Devils. See you next year.

Gut check win against a nemesis. I know we have some guys who are physically hurting today, but we definitely dished it out, too. I think Cal’s QB had a collarbone a few weeks back, so it might be possible to expose Huntley less next Saturday night… but Cal’s defense is for real. My sense is this might be a good game for TH to get healed up as much as possible, and let Lisk & Shelley run the show.

Stay focused, stay hungry… take care of business next week against another team from palm tree territory.

The game ball clearly goes to the defense with a note that Moss also crossed a milestone. Moss was good, his usual self, but the defense was ‘lights out’ as reported by Whitt. The pass rush and QB contain was truly uncommon. Game management in rain was very good.


One of my most favorite defensive performances ay a Ute team of all time. It’s one thing to dominate when both sides of the team are clicking (like last week in Corvalis) but another thing to do it when you have to. First time in 125 years the Sun Devils failed to reach double digits.


125 years! That’s incredible that they were scoring in double digits 3 years before their first season. (I think you mean 125 games.)


Great write-up, Mark.

One small correction -it was Bronson Boyd with the PR fumble recovery.

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Yeah, I saw that on a replay last night. Good for Bronson!


Oops, indeed it was 125 games not years.

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I watched a clip from the ASU post-game press conference, and the players blame the loss on their excessive penalties. Jayden Daniels in particular insisted over and over that it was ASU’s penalties that did them in. Interesting case of denial from a guy who got sacked by our defense 3 times, was running for his life all night, hardly ever got time even to look downfield, and pretty much wasn’t allowed to do anything Saturday night. He was pretty cocky in the PAC-12 Network’s interview 2 days before the game.

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