Not a lot of mystery to the Utes' loss today as five turnovers led to another big defeat for the Utes.
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham put it bluntly in the press conference after the game, noting the hunt for the Pac-12 title is over with the two back-to-back losses.
"It's a done deal," he said. "Going 0-3 in conference, that is an insurmountable figure. But we have to find a way to win the next game, It doesn't get any easier next week."
Actually, it could get easier for the Utes, as long as they figure out a way to hang onto the ball.
As most coaches would do, Whittingham blamed coaching for the turnovers, but receiver Reggie Dunn said it was more a matter of effort on the players' part.
"We have to work on ball security and just play smarter," he said. "I have to hold the ball closer to my body. It's real simple. You hang onto the ball and you'll be Ok."
Backup quarterback Jon Hays had a mixed game in his first start. He ran the two-minute offense well at the end of the first half but then threw an interception, one of three he threw.
Hays said afterward he was disappointed in himself, but still, he didn't look like a guy who was totally out of his league.
That has to be encouraging for Utah fans who were concerned Utah's offense would fall apart without Jordan Wynn.
Utah offensive coordinator Norm Chow mixed things up, using Reggie Dunn more, tapping into the wildcat formation more and using the flea flicker.
A lot of those elements worked, at least until the second-half turnovers.
"We had momentum for a while," Whittingham said.
Utah's defense did Ok too, holding ASU to 74 rushing yards. Brock Osweiler was 25-for-41 for 325 yards, but it's hard to blame the defense when the offense keeps putting it on the field with the turnovers.
A bigger concern has to be the Utes' mental outlook as they head into next week's game at Pitt.
Utah had a team meeting following Saturday's loss where the players said they talked about the need to re-focus on the season and not let the season spiral downward.
"We're disappointed, but we're going to look at it as a new season," Hays said. "We want to be bowl eligible and win the rest of our games and that is what we are going to go ahead and try to do."
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