LOS ANGELES — Now that Utah has improved to 2-0 in Pac-12 play after Saturday’s dominating 42-26 victory at USC, earning the program’s first-ever win at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the next test features a battle between the league’s final two undefeated teams.
The Utes (3-2, 2-0) host the only other Pac-12 team that has not lost a conference game — No. 18 Arizona State — Saturday (8 p.m. MDT, ESPN).
The Sun Devils (5-1, 3-0) are coming off a 28-10 home triumph over Stanford last Friday night.
Monday, meanwhile, Utah will continue to honor defensive back Aaron Lowe, who died Sept. 26.
Yes, it will be another unconventional week for the Utes. The team is taking a charter flight to Texas Monday to attend the memorial services while they are preparing for a visit from ASU.
“It’s another challenge,” said coach Kyle Whittingham. “We’re going to the funeral … we’re not going to miss that. It’s something that we will do and we’ll handle it. We have to.”
Against the Trojans, the Utes delivered an impressive performance, scoring 28 unanswered points in the second and third quarters.
For the past two weeks, as the Utes were grieving the loss of one of their own for the second time in nine months, Whittingham noticed that the resolve of his players could carry them through.