The time for talk is nearly over, as the Arizona State Sun Devils travel on the road to and put their unbeaten Pac-12 record on the line against the Utah Utes.
After falling to BYU on the road, the Sun Devils have reeled off three straight wins heading into Saturday night. After falling to 1-2 and seeing former quarterback Charlie Brewer transfer, the Utes are on a two-game winning streak of their own.
After six weeks of college football, Arizona State and Utah are the top two teams in the Pac-12 South, as the winner of this game will find themselves in pole position halfway through the season.
ASU leads Utah in every major team statistical category heading into the game despite ESPN's Football Power Index slightly favoring the Utes.
So, what should you be watching for tomorrow when the Sun Devils take the field? Here's three story lines to monitor throughout the game:
Arizona State-Utah: Three Story Lines to Watch
There's a first for everything- Prior to meeting Arizona State's defense, Stanford quarterback Tanner McKee had yet to throw an interception. McKee ended their matchup with three picks to his name.
The Sun Devils look to replicate that success against Utah quarterback Cam Rising, who stepped in for the Utes the last three weeks as the starter and has thrown seven touchdowns to no interceptions in that time span.
Like any football team, Arizona State truly functions best when they're generating turnovers and putting their offense in the best position to score. Can defensive coordinator Antonio Pierce fire up a gameplan to put Rising in uncomfortable situations and turn the ball over?
Eye discipline- On paper, Utah is such an odd team. The Utes average 5.4 yards per carry on the ground despite having the fewest rushing attempts in the Pac-12.
Utah's top two leaders in receiving yards? Tight ends Brant Kuithe (192) and Dalton Kincaid (188).
The Utes provide a unique challenge for a fairly tough Sun Devils defense, and do so a bunch of different ways. Utah's offense utilizes a fair amount of motion along with saucy play-calls such as receiver sweeps, quarterback runs and flea-flickers to keep defenses on their heels at all times.
Sound familiar, ASU fans?
Arizona State's true eye discipline will be tested on Saturday each and every drive. It's up to them to stick to the basics and handle the game one assignment at a time.
Daniels' Revenge- Last time Arizona State quarterback Jayden Daniels faced Utah, a horrible night occurred. Daniels walked away with just completing 4 of 18 attempts for 25 passing yards in a 21-3 loss to Utah in 2019.
Daniels has had quite the start to his 2021 season. Now older with more experience under his belt, Daniels looks to bury his last outing against the Utes in high-scoring fashion. Fans are clamoring over the play of Rising heading into this match-up, and rightfully so.
However, Daniels looks to flash a little of what he can do when the lights are bright and stakes remain high.