Utah’s first four drives at Arizona State on Thursday night were far from what head coach Kyle Whittingham was expecting for a team coming into the game full rested.
There were two fumbles right off the bat for the offense, and then two straight three and outs. Not ideal, to say the least.
Somehow, the Utes overcame that slow start to take a 21-20 lead into the halftime break thanks to some surprisingly sharp passing in a wild second quarter.
Quarterback Troy Williams shook off some rust to finish the half with 215 yards and three touchdowns, the latter of which was to a wide open receiver with just 22 seconds left. It was the third scoring drive of the second quarter, and remarkably the only one of which that lasted more than four plays.
Arizona State did their best to match those big plays from the visitors. Their second to last drive of the half saw them quickly enter Utah territory. Head coach Todd Graham figured that a trick play was in order on the 31 yard line and decided to have receiver N'keal Harry take a double pass and try to throw it into the end zone.
The Utes defense was all over it however and forced Harry to run around. And around. And around. And eventually around every Utah defender all 31 yards to the end zone.
That game gave the Sun Devils the lead but one they were only able to hold for three minutes. If that is a sign of things to come, expect plenty of #Pac12AfterDark in Tempe during the second half.