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Utes hope to slow down #23 Arizona State

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Sports) - The Sun Devils come into Saturday's showdown at Rice-Eccles Stadium averaging 47 points per game.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Sports) - Arizona State can pretty much do it all. The 23rd-ranked Sun Devils come into Rice-Eccles Stadium ranked second in the Pac-12 in offense, and second in defense.

"The best way I can describe them is a complete team," said head coach Kyle Whittingham. "There is no weakness, and they are hitting on all cylinders."

Arizona State (6-2) has scored at 32 points in all eight games this year, and have put over 50 in its last three games. But it's not just quarterback Taylor Kelly, who has thrown for 23 touchdowns this year. The Sun Devils also have a potent running attack.

"The balance, you can't just load up for the run or the throw because they do both so well," Whittingham said. "They force you to defend everything."

"I would say they're maybe the best offense we've faced," said defensive back Davion Orphey. "They're good all around. They can run, they can pass and they have a quarterback that can run. I think this is going to be a pretty good offense we're going to face."

The Utes (4-4) used to have a pretty good offense themselves. But the Utes were held without a touchdown two weeks ago at USC and have committed 15 turnovers in their four conference losses.

"Often times, the best defense is a good offense," Whittingham said. "We need to take care of the football. This league is too good to hope to win if you're going to turn the ball over at that rate."

"The margin for error is very minimal," added offensive lineman Junior Salt. "We've got to be able to move the ball, score points and execute when we're in the red zone."

The good new for Utah is that after the bye week, quarterback Travis Wilson's hand seems to have fully healed.

"It's feeling 100 percent now," Wilson said. "The trainers did a good job taking care of me and getting me better. I'm really excited for this week of practice."

The Utes need two more victories to make it back to a bowl game this year. With road games at Oregon and Washington State looming, a win at home over Arizona State would go a long way to accomplishing that goal.

"I want to get these seniors to a bowl game," Wilson said. "That's something that we missed out on last year. To hopefully get this win on Saturday would be a huge stepping stone towards that."

Utah and Arizona State kick off at 2:00 p.m. Saturday at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Last season in Tempe, the Sun Devils won handily, 37-7.
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