Arizona State Sun Devils (4-2, 2-1 Pac-12) vs. Utah Utes (5-0, 2-0 Pac-12)
Kickoff: 10:15 p.m. ET/7:15 p.m. PT
Television: ESPN (Mark Jones, Rod Gilmore, Quin Kessenich)
Radio: Arizona Sports 98.7 | Sirus 137 (Tim Healey, Jeff Van Raaphorst, Doug Franz)
Weather: The temperature is expected to be in the high 50s on Saturday night in Salt Lake City. The forecast calls for mostly cloudy skies and a 20 percent chance of rain.
Betting Line: Point spread varies depending on sports book, but Utah is widely favored around 6-6.5 points.
Series History: ASU leads the all-time series against Utah 20-6. The Sun Devils have won 11 straight games against the Utes, with the last Utah win coming in 1976 when both teams were in the WAC.
Utah in 2015: The Utes started 2015 with an impressive 24-17 victory against Michigan to spoil Jim Harbaugh's return to college. That win looks better and better each week, as the Wolverines have not lost since and are now ranked No. 12 in the nation.
Following their victory over Michigan, Utah beat in-state rival Utah State Aggies 24-14 and Fresno State Bulldogs 45-24 to close its nonconference slate 3-0.
Even though Utah's win over Michigan was impressive, its breakout performance came against the Oregon Ducks. The Utes blasted the Ducks 62-20 to break into the top-10 of every national poll.
Last week, the Utes beat their second ranked team with a 30-24 victory over the California Golden Bears. The Utah defense forced six turnovers, including intercepting future first round pick Jared Goff four times.
ASU on Offense: After a forgettable four-game start, the Sun Devils have seemed to have gotten their mojo back offensively. In their first four games, ASU had 11 turnovers but only coughed up two since.
The Sun Devils' offensive line has also dramatically improved. After giving up 14 sacks in its first two games, the offensive line has allowed just one per game on quarterback Mike Bercovici against the UCLA Bruins and the Colorado Buffaloes.
"Just the way they've been able to communicate these last couple of weeks and just their confidence going into the game, I mean, they're the heart and soul of our offensive unit," Bercovici said. "Just being able to communicate with them during games, before games...They're confident and they're just excited for whoever is against them."
Much like Arizona State, the Utah defense specializes in forcing turnovers and swarming to the football. Utah forced six turnovers in their last game against the California Golden Bears, including five interceptions off Jared Goff.
"Utah's very opportunistic football team," Bercovici said. "They've done a great job thus far. They play with energy, and they play with passion, and that's something that we've got to match and surpass. But the reality is we've got to focus on ourselves, do what we need to do."
Limit Turnovers: Although it seems the Sun Devils are out of the woods when it comes to their turnover woes, they still need to sustain it against a ball-hawking Ute defense. Utah leads the Pac-12 in turnover differential this season, creating 17 turnovers on defense while giving up just seven (+10).
Get an Early Lead: Utah has outscored opponents 36-16 in the first quarter this year and that has allowed them to play from ahead most of the season. Because of this, the Utes are able to chew clock and keep the ball out of their opponents' hands - Utah averages 34:08 time of possession.
The Sun Devils need to get an early lead and make Utah chase them. This can limit their running game, especially if they can take a lead into the second half, and quiet the Salt Lake City crowd.
ASU on Defense: The Sun Devils face one of the most formidable running backs in the country tonight. Senior Devontae Booker is averaging 133 rushing yards per game and is also Utah's leading receiver. He is getting an average of 31.8 touches per game and he is 28 carries a game leads the nation.
"Well, I think that he's up there in the caliber with Paul Perkins," Todd Graham said about Booker. "Those two guys have got to be as good as there is in this league. I mean, really strong runner. He's a powered, downhill runner, makes a lot of his yards straight ahead and cutting it back. So the challenge is like it is every week.
"But more so with this week because I think their offensive line is really good. I think their offensive line is blocking really well and that coupled with a great back like Booker is a big challenge. On the same hand, that's one we have to rise up and meet."
Utah has surrounded a total of two sacks this season, while the Sun Devils lead the conference in tackles for loss and sacks. Because of this, senior quarterback Travis Wilson is having the best year of his career. His completion percentage is the highest it has been in four years and his total QBR has also improved.
Stop Booker: This one is obvious but it needs to be addressed. Booker makes the Utah offense go, not just on the ground but through the air as well. He is Wilson's safety blanket and when Utah is playing from ahead, he eats clock and keeps the opposing team's offense off the field.
Past ASU opponents - mainly USC and Texas A&M - have spread ASU out and made them tackle in space. Utah is going to run right at the Sun Devils, particularly with Booker. Instead of making tackles in space, the Sun Devils will have to make more tackles inside the box and it is important they go low on Booker.
Win the Line of Scrimmage: This second key to victory coincides with the first. Graham prides himself on his defenses getting tackles for loss and recking havoc on the quarterback. Utah has a lot of experience on their offensive line - including Phoenix native J.J. Dielman - and they have surrendered the third fewest sacks in the nation. If ASU wins the line of scrimmage, they have a great chance to win the game.
These are only two teams in the Pac-12 South that control their own destiny. If Utah beats ASU tonight, they hold a two-game lead over everybody in the division. If ASU wins, arguably their toughest division games are behind them and they will remain in control of their destiny.
This game will come down to which team does the little things right. This includes: turnovers, special teams, field position and the battle along the line of scrimmage. Utah does not beat themselves and they figure to have a raucous crowd on their side.
Going on more of a gut feeling than anything, I say the Sun Devils pull this one out in overtime.
Final: ASU 27, Utah 24