TEMPE, Ariz. (ABC4 Sports) – The Utes opened Pac-12 play with a bang, but may have lost one of its top weapons.

Tight end Brant Kuithe suffered an apparant knee injury in the first quarter, but Cam Rising threw for 260 yards and two touchdowns to tight end Dalton Kincaid, as No. 13 Utah rolled past Arizona State 34-13 on Saturday night.

”We’ll find out more tomorrow, but it doesn’t look good,” Whittingham said.

The Utes spoiled the debut of Arizona State’s Shaun Aguano, who was named interim coach earlier this week after Herm Edwards was fired following last weekend’s loss to Eastern Michigan.

”That’s just No. 86 having enough to make a catch,” Rising said of Kincaid’s big night. ”He’s a guy who is just a playmaker. Any time you can put it in his vicinity, he’s going to come down with it more times than not.”

Utah (3-1, 1-0 Pac-12) won its third straight since a season-opening loss to Florida. Arizona State (1-3, 0-1) lost its third in a row.

Utah never trailed, jumping ahead 7-0 in the first quarter when Rising hit Kincaid for a wide-open 29-yard touchdown. The Rising-Kincaid connection hooked up again later in the first quarter when Kincaid made a tough, fourth-down catch in traffic for a 6-yard score that pushed the advantage to 14-0.

The Utes built a 17-0 lead by midway through the second quarter and led 24-6 at halftime. Utah outgained Arizona State 252-59 in the first half. Starting fast was a priority for the Utes, who struggled in the first quarters the last two games.

“It was definitely a big emphasis this week,” Kincaid said. “It was on our minds a lot. We kind of feed off the defense’s energy too, so just being able to go out there and start fast, I feel like they kind of feed off that too. It kills two birds with one stone.”

Rising completed 19 of 29 passes and the Utes finished with 465 total yards.

“Shout out to the defense for just holding it down,” Rising said. “They did a great job dominating on all facets and we just have to be better in the red zone as an offense and just keep it going.”

Arizona State’s Emory Jones was 21 of 36 passing for 261 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Utah’s defense sacked Jones five times and the Sun Devils didn’t score a touchdown until the final minutes when the outcome was already decided.

It’s been a week of upheaval for the Arizona State program, which fired Edwards on Sunday, one day after an embarrassing 30-21 loss to Eastern Michigan. The program is also in the midst of an NCAA investigation that involves recruiting violations.

Utah starting running back Tavion Thomas didn’t play in the first half, but entered the game in the third quarter and ran 11 times for 60 yards. Whittingham hinted that Thomas’ absence was some sort of punishment.

”Sometimes things happen, and you’ve got to make certain moves,” Whittingham said. ”It’s an internal thing, but Tavion is healthy and fine.”

Jaylon Glover started the game at running back and rushed for 48 yards on 13 carries, while Ja’Quinden Jackson rushed for a 2-yard touchdown run to give Utah a 24-3 lead in the second quarter.

Thomas had his 11-game touchdown streak snapped. The last time he didn’t score a touchdown was against Washington State on Sept. 25 last season.

The Utes could move up a few spots in the AP Top 25 after No. 6 Oklahoma and No. 10 Arkansas both lost.

The Utes next host Oregon State next Saturday at 12:00 p.m. at Rice-Eccles Stadium.