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White started the game for the Utes but the running back struggled, gaining just 17 yards on eight carries. A fumble by White midway through the first quarter was recovered on Utah’s 34-yard line, setting up ASU’s third scoring drive.
The lone bright spot in the half was running back Kelvin York, a junior college transfer who until Saturday has struggled to live up to his billing.
Storylines Utes lose Pac-12 opener
IN SHORT » The Utes lost to the Sun Devils for the ninth straight time, with ASU scoring on its first five possessions.
KEY STAT » ASU had 512 yards of total offense, the most given up by a Utah team since allowing Boise State 543 in the 2010 Las Vegas Bowl loss.
KEY MOMENT » ASU quarterback Taylor Kelly completed passes of 16, 12 and 38 yards in ASU’s first scoring drive.
Replacing White in the second quarter, York bulldozed his way through the Sun Devils’ defense to key the Utes’ second-quarter scoring drive.
He was responsible for 70 of Utah’s 79 rushing yards in the first half.
But even he was rendered ineffective in the second half after ASU made some adjustments in the middle. The Utes finished with 92 rushing yards to ASU’s 140.
A lack of a run presence left quarterback Jon Hays with the task of moving the offense through the air against one of the league’s best passing defenses.
As improved as he might be this year, Hays could do little to rally the Utes. While he connected early with Kenneth Scott on a 36-yard pass, Hays didn’t have the time he needed to stand in the pocket and let the offense develop.
Hays was sacked three times in the first half and hurried several other times.
Visibly shaken at times, Hays managed to stay in the game. Unfortunately for the Utes, they were never in the game as a team.
"We have to go in and as players bond together and rededicate ourselves to the season," Hays said. "It’s gut-check time."
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