Is Arizona State really a ‘dangerous’ team? Utes are about to find out

Arizona State quarterback Emory Jones runs the ball during a game Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022, in Stillwater, Okla. Jones is a Florida Gators transfer and a dual-threat QB.

Brody Schmidt, Associated Press

TEMPE, Ariz. — As No. 13 Utah kicks off Pac-12 play, it’s facing what coach Kyle Whittingham calls a “wounded animal.”

The Utes visit an Arizona State team Saturday (8:30 p.m. MDT, ESPN) that is coming off a humbling 30-21 loss at home to Eastern Michigan, then saw coach Herm Edwards fired the next day.

“I don’t think you’re going to see a lot of change based on the change of head coach as far as schematics on the offense and defense. It’s tough to do that in one week. From Saturday to Saturday, there’s not a lot that can be changed in that period of time.” — Utah coach Kyle Whittingham

Running backs coach Shaun Aguano was promoted to interim head coach. 

How will the Sun Devils respond as they face a ranked team at home? 

What has Whittingham told his players about how to prepare for the situation?

“You tell them it’s like a wounded animal. It’s dangerous,” Whittingham said. “Oftentimes, you see where the interim comes in and they circle the wagons and give a supreme effort the next week. You never know what to expect or what’s going to happen. But if you take it for granted, they’ll beat you — I promise you that.”

Defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley agreed. 

“I’ll tell you what — they’ve got talent. The interior three, those running backs, the quarterback can run the ball, so it’s definitely not for a lack of talent,” he said. “Every week’s a different week, particularly in this league. They’ve got a new interim coach, probably reenergized and rejuiced and excited to play again. We’re going to get their best shot.”

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Wide receiver Solomon Enis, a Phoenix native, said he and his teammates can’t overlook ASU. 

“There’s a lot of outside noise around them with coach Herm Edwards but they still have athletes. The film doesn’t lie. They’ve got athletes all over the field,” he said. “You never know. It’s an 8:30 kick down in Tempe in their stadium. It’s going to be a fun game. Looking forward to it. We’re going to get …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News

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