Arizona State passed a significant test at Utah, taking advantage of five Ute turnovers, and now the Sun Devils (5-1) are positioned for a big game in Eugene against once-beaten Oregon next Saturday night at 7:15 on ESPN. ASU won 35-14, after trailing in the third quarter 14-10.
ASU gave the Ducks a competitive game last year in Tempe, losing 42-31 after being ahead much of the night. Athletically, it has the juice to stay with Oregon, but there are obviously other components as well.
Meanwhile, there are two football teams in Corvallis right now feeling extremely different emotions. Oregon State got its first victory of the season, hanging on, 37-27, after taking a 27-6 halftime lead against Arizona. Amazingly, this makes it 10 losses in a row against Football Bowl Subdivision teams for the Wildcats — albeit against nasty competition until today — and the fans in Tucson can’t be feeling very sanguine about it. Arizona is now 1-5.
In Utah, the Salt Lake Tribune reported that the Utes held a closed-door meeting after the game. No truth to the notion they were discussing whether there was any possibility of revoking membership in the Pac-12 and going back to the Mountain West.
The 0-3 start in the Pac-12 is Utah’s first 0-3 conference start since it began 0-4 in the Mountain West in 2002. And this is decidedly not routine at Utah; the Utes have only had three four-loss conference seasons since 1993.