Arizona State University’s Pac-12 title dreams took a tumble in the foothills of the Wasatch last Saturday night.
It was there Herm Edwards’ team gave up 28 unanswered points to Utah, losing 35-21 to fall to 5-2 for the season and 3-1 in conference play.
The Sun Devils’ vaunted defense gave up 455 yards, with ASU getting outgained 455-385.
Arizona State has been a popular draw since sports betting in Arizona launched Sept. 9.
Where ASU’s Pac-12 Championship Odds Stand
The Sun Devils are currently third at BetMGM Arizona, with +400 odds to win the 2021 Pac-12 championship. ASU ranks behind Oregon (+150) and Utah (+200).
The Sun Devils rank ahead of UCLA (+700), Oregon State (+1200) and Washington (+3000) in the championship chase.
Who Has Excelled for ASU?
The Sun Devils’ offense has been led by junior QB Jayden Daniels, who is on pace to set a career high for completion percentage (69%) this season.
Daniels hasn’t been asked to throw the ball much, averaging 24 pass attempts per game, but has thrived when he has — averaging a career-best 9 yards per attempt.
The junior has already set his career high for rushing yards in a season with 401 and has matched his career high for rushing touchdowns in a season with four.
Offensive coordinator Zak Hill’s offense has relied on the four-headed running attack of Daniels and running backs Rachaad White, Daniyel Ngata and DeaMonte Trayanum — who have combined for 1,346 yards and 19 rushing touchdowns.
Ngata leads the team in yards per carry at 6.7, though all four average at least 5 yards per attempt.
Four players on ASU’s roster have at least 250 receiving yards — tight end Curtis Hodges (16 catches for 330 yards and a touchdown), wideouts LV Bunkley-Shelton (20 catches, 302 yards and 1 TD) and Ricky Pearsall (22 catches, 295 yards, 2 touchdowns) and White (27 catches, 251 yards, 1 TD).
How ASU’s Schedule Looks Going Forward
The Sun Devils’ schedule doesn’t get a lot easier down the stretch after the team’s off week, with back-to-back home games against Washington State and USC.
The Cougars are 4-3 this season and have won three straight — against Stanford (34-31), Oregon State (31-24) and Cal (21-6) — but fired coach Nick Rolovich and several assistant coaches Monday due to the state’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate.
The Trojans also fired their coach, Clay Helton, earlier this year, with interim coach Donte Williams posting a 2-2 record.
USC thumped Washington State, 45-14, before falling to Oregon State (45-27) and Utah (42-26), with a 37-14 win over Colorado in between.
After those two games, ASU hits the road to play Washington (Nov. 13) and Oregon State (Nov. 20), before wrapping up the season with the annual Territorial Cup showdown against winless Arizona in Tempe.
The Sun Devils’ 3-1 Pac-12 record is a half-game behind 3-0 Utah. The Utes still have to play Oregon State, Stanford and Arizona on the road; while hosting UCLA, No. 10 Oregon and Colorado.
ASU owns the head-to-head tiebreak with UCLA (also 3-1 in league play) for the Pac-12 South title after beating the Bruins, 42-23, earlier this year.