In the first week of the College Football Playoff rankings, the Utah Utes came in at 15th. They’ve won four straight and will come to Tempe on Saturday looking to take a tight hold on the Pac-12 South lead. To find out more about the Utes we asked a few questions to our friends at Block U.
Brady Vernon: After starting 2-2, the Utes have won four straight. What’s changed and what are the key components to the win streak?
AJ Woods: Utah’s offense really opened up when they started committing to a run first offense. The passing game really starts to open up and hit its stride after the opposing secondary starts creeping up to contain our running backs, allowing for more open coverage down field. We didn’t see that same methodology in the first few games of the season.
BV: Could you describe Zack Moss’ running style and why has he been so successful?
AW: Moss is animalistic. It’s cliche, but you can’t stop him, you can only hope to contain him. He’s a real up the middle, old school runningback. He’s not always going to break free for a big gain, but he’ll methodically chip away at the defense and wear them down.
BV: If you were an opposing team, what would you do to try to do in an attempt to disrupt Tyler Huntley to get him uncomfortable?
AW: I think getting Huntley in an uncomfortable spot starts with a good secondary. If his receivers aren’t open, he has a tendency to run out of the pocket. A speedy pass rush and a tight secondary could prove problematic.
BV: Everyone knows N’Keal Harry is a probably against who he plays every week. What or who will the Utah use to slow down Harry and make someone else beat them?
AW: Javelin Guidry is a phenomenal corner and is starting to get more attention nationally. Pro Football Focus recently rated him the best slot corner in the nation, and I don’t think that’s hyperbolic. Harry is a special athlete though. Regardless of how well the Utah defense covers him, he’s going to break away for a big play or three. With as balanced as an offense as the Sun Devil’s have, stopping Harry could open up more opportunities for Eno Benjamin to shine, which is just as worrisome.
BV: Score prediction and why?
AW: Utah’s offense is red hot, but I expect I much slower pace this week. ASU has one of the most well-rounded offenses the Utes have faced this season and have weapons everywhere on the field. Controlling time of possession and limiting ASU’s offensive opportunities will be key. Beyond that, the Sun Devil’s losses have all been by a touchdown. I’m calling a 27-21 Utah victory.