Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham as the University of Utah faces Arizona State in Tempe on Sept. 22, 2012.
Utah football: Utes’ loss to Arizona State ranks as one of Whittingham’s worst
Utah football » Loss to Arizona State is among the worst for Whittingham.
First Published Sep 23 2012 04:42 pm • Last Updated Jan 07 2013 11:31 pm

Tempe, Ariz. • The Utah Utes weren’t naive enough to believe their time in the Pac-12 wouldn’t be without its difficult losses, but to be completely outclassed to the point of embarrassment as they were in Saturday’s 37-7 loss to Arizona State, that was a new one for the Utes.

"I didn’t see that coming," Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said.

At a glance

Whittingham’s worst losses

2006 » Lost to Boise State 36-3 — The No. 22 Broncos scored 33 straight points and forced five turnovers to give the Utes their worst loss at home in 17 years. The Utes gave up 398 yards and gained just 178 yards.

2007 » Lost at UNLV 27-0 — Utah, coming off an upset of No. 11 UCLA a week earlier, suffers its first shutout since losing to Arizona State 38-0 in 1993. The Utes responded to the lopsided loss by winning their next seven games, and it served as a lifting pad for the Utes’ undefeated run in 2008.

2009 » Lost at TCU 55-28 — ESPN College GameDay and an overflow crowd of 50,307 were on hand to watch No. 4 TCU beat No. 16 Utah. TCU scored three touchdowns in a span of 2:31 in the second quarter. Fans stormed the field to celebrate TCU’s 10-0 record following the game.

2010 » Lost to TCU 47-7 — A matchup of No. 4 TCU and No. 6 Utah turned into a lopsided affair, with TCU’s defense forcing three turnovers while clamping down on a Utah offense that ranked third nationally in scoring

2010 » Lost to Boise State 26-3 — A 10th-ranked Boise State team that missed out on a possible Rose Bowl appearance after an upset by Nevada dismantles Utah in the Las Vegas Bowl. The Utes were without quarterback Jordan Wynn, who was sidelined with a shoulder injury.

2012 » Lost at Arizona State 37-7— A game anticipated to be an early matchup of two of the best teams in the South instead turns into an embarrassing blowout for the Utes, who trailed 31-7 at halftime. The Utes crossed into ASU territory only four times and advanced past ASU’s 35-yard line only once.

Up next

USC at Utah, Oct. 4, 7 p.m., TV » ESPN

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

It’s doubtful anyone did.

ASU, a seven-point favorite, dominated the Utes like they were some season warm-up act from the Football Championship Subdivision, not a team picked to contend for the Pac-12 South title.

Among the lowlights:

• ASU’s 512 yards were the most Utah had given up since allowing 543 in a loss to Boise State in 2010.

• ASU’s 37 points were the most the Utes have given up in Pac-12 play.

• Utah running back John White had just 17 yards on 13 carries, the lowest total of his career.

• Utah’s 209 yards of total offense were the fewest ASU had allowed in a league game since it gave up 181 at Washington State in 2009.

"We really didn’t do much in the way of positives," Whittingham said following the debacle.

story continues below
story continues below

The outcome certainly wasn’t the way the Utes imagined they’d head into a bye week before hosting USC on Oct. 4. Before the season started, that matchup with the Trojans was anticipated to be one of the biggest games Rice-Eccles Stadium has hosted, with the belief both teams might be undefeated.

Now much of the shine has been worn off the golden matchup with USC losing to Stanford a week ago and the Utes looking like a team in a world of hurt.

The Utes still have issues along the offensive line, a situation complicated by injuries, the run game is nonexistent and the defense is playing surprisingly poor.

Whittingham acknowledged it was a good time for a bye week considering how much improvement the Utes must make.

"We have 12 days to get our act together," Whittingham said. "The difficulty only continues to increase. We’re not throwing in the towel, that will never happen, but we have a long ways to go."

One of the most surprising elements of Saturday’s game was the total breakdown on defense in the first half.

The Utes gave up huge chunks of yardage to ASU quarterback Taylor Kelly, who finished 19-for-26 for 326 yards passing and three touchdowns.

He had 259 yards by halftime, when the Utes trailed 31-7. ASU averaged 9.1 yards a play during the first half.

The Utes were without defensive end Joe Kruger and safety Eric Rowe due to injuries, but their absences were no excuse, the Utes said.

"How we played tonight as a defense was not a coach Whittingham defense," defensive lineman Dave Kruger said. "Our defense needs to work on a lot of things. We need to take the bye week and make the best out of it."

Both quarterback Jon Hays and Kruger likened the outcome to last year’s 34-10 loss to Cal, a game that proved to be the pivotal point of the season. Following that loss the Utes held several team meetings, made some personnel changes and rededicated themselves to the season.

Next Page >

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.