SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – After failing to score a touchdown at home for the first time since 2015 in a 35-6 loss to Oregon on Saturday, quarterback Bryson Barnes and the Utes offense have had time to move past it.
“It’s better today,” Barnes said after Monday’s practice. “Yesterday was definitely a lot more down. But today you could definitely see the life come back in everybody after the loss.
Utah gained just 241 total yards and was held without a TD since the 2018 Pac-12 Championship Game.
“We can’t change what happened Saturday,” Barnes said. “We’ve got a whole other team to play. Coach Whitt talked about not letting a team beat you twice. Right now as we’re standing here, we’re past Oregon and onto Arizona State.”
“We beat ourselves up enough,” added running backs coach Quinton Ganther. “We can’t keep beating ourselves up. What’s done is done. It’s over now and we can’t cry over spilled milk. So, the thing that we have to do is keep pushing forward.”
The Utes pride themselves on their rushing attack. Four times this year, Utah had over 200 yards on the ground, including 247 against USC and 317 against Cal. But against Oregon, they had just 99 yards rushing. Sione Vaki, the two-way player who made national headlines the last two games by scoring four touchdowns, had just 11 yards on five carries.
“He wasn’t feeling up to par,” head coach Kyle Whittingham said. “He’s a warrior and he was out there. But I think you could tell that he wasn’t his usual self.”
It wasn’t just Vaki and the running attack. Barnes threw for just 137 yards and was intercepted twice by the Ducks.
“There are a lot of things we can improve as a whole offensive unit,” Barnes said. “That was definitely not our best showing, so we’re excited for Saturday to be able to put more stuff back on tape.”
“We weren’t running on all cylinders at the point,” Ganther said. “But we’ll be better next week.”
Arizona State just snapped a six-game losing streak by beating Washington State, and despite having a record of 2-6,the Sun Devils defense isn’t bad. They held 5th ranked Washington to just 15 points two weeks ago.
“Arizona State has been playing some pretty good defense,” Whittingham said. “They’re in the upper half of the league in most every category defensively. So, we expect a big challenge.”
Utah, which was ranked #18 in the first College Football Playoff Rankings released Tuesday, and Arizona State will kick off at noon Saturday at Rice-Eccles Stadium.