TEMPE, Ariz. – Joe Williams ran for 181 yards and two touchdowns, and No. 19 Utah’s defense had 11 sacks in a 49-26 victory over Arizona State on Thursday night.
Utah (8-2, 5-2 Pac-12, No. 15 CFP) overcame a slow start with a series of spectacular plays against the FBS’ worst passing defense to end an eight-game losing streak in Tempe.
Troy Williams threw for 296 yards and connected with Raelon Singleton on three of his four touchdown passes. Singleton finished with 116 yards on four catches to help the Utes stay within reach of No. 16 Colorado in the Pac-12 South.
Utah was concerned about Arizona State’s attacking defense, but the Utes were the ones putting on all the pressure. Hunter Dimick sacked Manny Wilkins five times and the Utes had 22 tackles for loss.
Wilkins threw for 309 yards and a touchdown after missing last week’s game against Oregon, but also threw two interceptions. The last one, a 43-yard pick-6 by Chase Hansen in the fourth quarter, sealed Utah’s victory
Arizona State (5-4, 2-4) has lost five of six since opening 4-0.
Utah’s defense was at its harassing best and its offense had a nice balance, setting the Utes up nicely for the season’s final two games.
Arizona State got a spark from Wilkins’ return, but couldn’t protect him or stop giving up big plays on defense. The Sun Devils need to win one of their final two games to become bowl eligible.
Utah hosts Oregon next Saturday before playing at No. 16 Colorado in a potential showdown for the Pac-12 South title.
Arizona State hosts No. 4 Washington next Saturday before playing at rival Arizona in its regular-season finale.
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