This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
It's a good thing Utah quarterback Jon Hays is feeling more confident in his passing abilities this year, for he is going to get tested by Arizona State.
The Sun Devils rank sixth nationally in pass efficiency defense (84.5) and lead the league giving up 147.3 passing yards.
Arizona State is 25th nationally in scoring defense, giving up just 14.7 points a game.
Hays said he is well aware of ASU's skill on defense.
"They have two good corners and solid safeties and they read the pass well," he said. "It's going to come down to using the run game and finding some holes in the pass game and getting the ball to the playmakers."
His two key outlets likely will be Dres Anderson and DeVonte Christopher, who lead the Utes with 111 and 83 receiving yards, respectively.
Hays said he and Christopher have formed a good chemistry.
"He knows when he is getting the ball and what to do with it," he said.
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said the Sun Devils should be 3-0 when asked about their defense.
"They have athletes everywhere," he said.
We hear you
The Utes have spent part of the week practicing inside where they could use loud music to get them ready for what they anticipate will be a rowdy crowd at ASU.
"Utah State was loud and we did pretty well with it," Whittingham said.
In the mix
Whittingham said on Monday it wasn't a guarantee that Brian Blechen, who was suspended for the first three games for violating team rules, would start Saturday.
However, Blechen has had several good days of practice and likely will start ahead of Quade Chappuis.
"He has looked very good in practice and has done all we asked," Whittingham said of the junior safety.
John White accounts for 63.6 percent of Utah's rushing yards even though he missed the BYU game. White is averaging 107.5 yards a game...Senior center Tevita Stevens leads Utah with six knockdowns...Utah trails the series with ASU 17-6 and has lost the last eight meetings, including the last six in Tempe.