Sun Devils Travel to Utah to Face No. 4 Utes


If Arizona State Sun Devils fans were nervous about the UCLA Bruins match up two weeks ago, they ought to be extremely nervous coming into this weekend’s rivalry game against the No. 4 ranked Utah Utes.

That’s not to say the Sun Devils won’t win, as they played perhaps their best game of the season against UCLA, but the Utes will be a mighty task that will prove just how good (or bad) the Sun Devils are.

Utah enters the game as the last undefeated team in the Pac-12. They are 5-0 overall and 2-0 in conference play. They hold a half-game lead over the Sun Devils in the Pac-12 South standings as ASU maintains a 4-2 overall record and a 2-1 conference record.

For the Sun Devils, Saturday’s game will mark the second-consecutive road trip against a top 10 teams. Having defeated UCLA, who was ranked 7th at the time, the Sun Devils enter this week with a bit of confidence, even though they are fully aware of the challenge that lies ahead.

Earlier this week, coach Todd Graham called Salt Lake City “a very difficult place to play” and said the Utes are “very deserving” of a fourth ranking.

But unlike many teams, the Sun Devils have figured out the Utes in the past. Arizona State has won 11 straight meetings against the Utes and are 20-6 overall. Against the Utes on the road, the Sun Devils are 5-3, compared to 15-3 in Tempe.

The last two seasons have been nail biters all they way to the end when these two teams play. Two years ago, in Utah, ASU rallied to score late in the game and picked up a late interception to hold on and win the game 20-19.

Then last year in Tempe, the game went to overtime, and Zane Gonzalez kicked a game-winning field goal to give ASU a 19-16 win.


This year will mark Mike Bercovici’s first start against the Utes in his college career. He’s had a great start this season as far as his stats are concerned.

He’s put up 102 of the Sun Devils’ 186 points this year and racked up 14 passing touchdowns and three rushing touchdowns. That’s 17 of ASU’s 23 total touchdowns this season.

Last week against Colorado, Bercovici found the end zone five times. He became just the third ASU quarterback with five-plus touchdowns in a single game on multiple occasions behind Andrew Walter (4) and Taylor Kelly (3).

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Bercovici will square off against Utah’s senior quarterback Travis Wilson, who has five touchdowns of his own this season. Wilson, the 6-foot-7, 233 pounder out of San Clemente, California, has completed 67-of-101 passes this season for 683 total yards.

On top of his touchdown total, Wilson has been intercepted three times and sacked twice.

Last week against the California Golden Bears, Wilson completed 16-of-26 for a touchdown. He also ran the ball 12 times for 49 yards. So, he can run when he needs to.

When asked about the Utes, Bercovici said this match up will define the Sun Devils both as a program and as a brotherhood. He said Utah will be the best opponents his team has faced all season long.

If ASU can pull out a victory in this one, it would mark the first time have defeated two AP Top 10 teams in the same season since 1986.

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