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Arizona State running back Marion Grice (1) gains a first down during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Utah football: Utes will have close eye on ASU-Washington St. game
Utah football » TV game will provide Utes an extra chance to scout their next opponent.
First Published Oct 30 2013 06:01 pm • Last Updated Feb 14 2014 11:37 pm

While many people have Halloween activities planned for Thursday night, the Utes will continue to have football on their minds and do a little scouting by taking in the Arizona State-Washington State game that kicks off at 6:30 p.m.

Players including running back James Poole and quarterback Travis Wilson said they were planning to watch the game.

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"It’s another good way to study them," Wilson said. "We want to make sure we are prepared after this bye."

Utah coach Kyle Whittingham admitted the Utes had a little advantage over the Sun Devils thanks to the bye week.

"We’re already thinking about them and preparing for them while their minds are on Washington State," he said.

ASU is favored in the game by 11.5 points, but the contest could be a close one if history is any indication.

The Sun Devils haven’t won on the road this year, losing at Stanford 42-28 and to Notre Dame 37-34 in a game played in Arlington, Texas.

Moreover, the Sun Devils lost to Washington State 37-27 two years ago in Pullman. Just like that night, the weather is supposed to be on the chilly side Thursday.

However, ASU coach Todd Graham played down the notion the Sun Devils don’t perform well in chilly weather.

"We never worry about that; that is part of the game," he said. "You have to be prepared for anything but it doesn’t affect us. We are a run play action pass football team and it never has affected our thinking or what we are doing."


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Similar philosophies

Both the Sun Devils and Utes are treating their bye weeks in similar fashions. The Sun Devils practiced without pads during their bye last week after a challenging schedule that featured games against Wisconsin, Stanford, USC and Notre Dame.

Going without pads was a departure for Graham, but he wasn’t worried doing so would hurt the Utes’ momentum.

"We needed to heal up and a mature team should come back and play well again."

The Utes are following a normal practice schedule this week, although the veterans are allowed to leave practice early while coaches spend extra time with the developmental players.

The players will have the weekend off while the coaches are out recruiting.

The glove is gone

Wilson said he isn’t planning to wear the glove that he wore against USC when the Utes play ASU. Both Wilson and Whittingham believe the quarterback will be closer to 100 percent by Monday.

"I want to get back to my old ways of throwing and I want to make sure I’m doing everything right," Wilson said of his decision to ditch the glove.

lwodraska@sltrib.com



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