TEMPE, Ariz. – Zane Gonzalez kicked a 36-yard field goal in overtime for his fourth field goal and No. 15 Arizona State overcame an uneven performance to take control of the Pac-12 South with a 19-16 victory over No. 18 Utah on Saturday night.
Utah (6-2, 3-1, No. 17 CFP) had the ball first in overtime and had to call a timeout just before Andy Phillips attempted a 35-yard field goal to avoid a delay-of-game penalty. Phillips, one of the nation’s best kickers, pushed that attempt wide right and pulled the attempt that counted left – his first miss in four attempts on the night.
Arizona State (7-1, 5-1, No. 14 CFP) had troubled moving the ball throughout the second half and managed just a couple of yards on its overtime drive. Gonzalez made it count, though, driving his ball through the uprights to send the Sun Devils charging onto the field.
The victory, combined with Arizona’s loss to UCLA, gave Arizona State a one-game lead in the Pac-12 South and kept the Sun Devils’ College Football Playoff hopes alive.
Devontae Booker ran for 146 yards and a touchdown for the Utes, who were all but eliminated from playoff contention. Travis Wilson had a pedestrian passing day for Utah, throwing for 57 yards and a touchdown while completing 12 of 22 passes.
Arizona State’s Taylor Kelly continued to show a few signs of rust in his second game back from a foot injury, unable to move the Sun Devils throughout the second half against Utah’s constant pressure. He finished with 205 yards on 18-of-32 passing with a touchdown and an interception.
Demario Richard ran for 116 yards for the Sun Devils, who face another big test against No. 6 Notre Dame next week.
The Sun Devils settled for a pair of field goals by Gonzalez in the first quarter despite outgaining Utah 149-21. Arizona State finally got into the end zone in the second quarter, when Jaelen Strong followed a 32-yard catch-and-run with a 6-yard touchdown catch. Right after that, the Sun Devils stalled on another drive and Gonzalez missed from 50 yards.
Arizona State finally generated a bit of offense in the fourth quarter yet again failed to find the end zone. Gonzalez’s third field goal of the night, from 30 yards, tied at 16.
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