Utah moved to 3-1 Saturday night with a 34-13 win over Arizona State on the road. It was a wire-to-wire victory for the Utes to open Pac-12 play.

This game was over before the two sides went to the locker room for the halftime break. After 30 minutes ASU had just 59 yards of total offense and six first downs. It had minus-10 rushing yards. Quarterback Emory Jones had been sacked four times. Utah talked about needing to take a wounded Arizona State team seriously, and that’s exactly what it did.

Here are three takeaways from the game

A mismatch at the line of scrimmage

Utah just completely dominated Arizona State at the line of scrimmage.

On the offensive side of the football, the Utes did what they wanted. They averaged 9 yards a play on first downs and ran the ball for 205 yards and two scores all while the lead back — Tavion Thomas — sat on the sideline for the first half (reportedly due to disciplinary reasons).

On the defensive side of the football, Utah mauled the Arizona State line. The Utes had eight tackles for loss and five sacks. The Pac-12’s leading rusher, Xazavian Valladay, had just 30 yards on eight carries after entering the game with three straight 100-yard performances. ASU quarterback Emory Jones was under duress all night long.

Van Fillinger had a sack, as did Cole Bishop and Lander Barton. Gabe Reid had two. Arizona State finished with 6 total rushing yards. Utah looked bigger than Arizona State. The gulf between the two teams was noticeable, and that points directly back to the two men shown prominently throughout the game — ASU athletic director Ray Anderson and president Michael Crow — for allowing the level to slip to where it’s at.

Utah’s offensive line didn’t give up a sack on the other side of the ball. Thomas finished with 60 yards on 11 carries. Jaylon Glover had 48 yards on 13 carries. Ja’Quinden Jackson had 17 rushing yards and a score in a new role.

The Utes flexed their muscles at the point of attack. Two weeks ago it held Southern Utah under 100 rushing yards. Last week it held San Diego State under 100 passing yards. This week, it’s Arizona State’s ground game that gets shut down. Best of luck to Oregon State’s pass game next week in Salt Lake City; it doesn’t look like it’ll be a good day for Beaver quarterback Chance Nolan. This Utah front is playing very well right now.

What’s next for Arizona State

Not from a coaching standpoint, but from a “this team still has to play eight more football games” standpoint. What’s left in the tank for Arizona State, now that it sits at 1-3? The head coach that brought most of these players to Tempe is gone. The season is very clearly trending in the worst of directions. Does this look worse before it starts to look better?

Arizona State fought throughout the game, but quarterback Emory Jones and the rest of the offensive attack looked awfully vanilla at times.

The commentary crew on ESPN’s broadcast spent most of the fourth quarter talking about who might be the next Arizona State head coach. The eyes in Tempe have fully turned to what comes next. But there’s still a ton of football left to be played. Arizona State travels to Los Angeles to face No. 7 USC next Saturday. Then it comes home to host No. 18 Washington. Both moved to 4-0 on Saturday. It seems more likely than not the Sun Devils will be staring at a 1-5 record when they head into a bye week in mid-October.

How does this group handle that reality?

Concern for Utah

Early in the second quarter, Utah tight end Brant Kuithe was helped off the field after an apparent knee injury.

The star tight end went straight to the medical tent on Utah’s sideline and stayed inside for a bit. When he emerged, he was on crutches with a large bag of ice wrapped around his right knee. He did not return, finishing the game with two catches for 15 yards.

Without his favorite target, Utah quarterback Cameron Rising spread it around. Devaughn Vele saw nine targets, hauling in six of them for 63 yards. Dalton Kincaid got eight targets, reeling in four catches for 66 yards and two scores. Solomon Enis had three catches for 16 yards. Money Parks had one catch on two targets for 19 yards. Reserve tight end Thomas Yassmin even had a 72-yard catch where he rolled over several ASU defenders who wanted to strip the football more than they wanted to try to tackle the big man.

Rising finished with 260 yards and two scores, completing 19 of his 29 pass attempts. The Utes didn’t need Kuithe to dispatch the Sun Devils, but there’s reason for concern if Kuithe has to miss any amount of time with the injury. He’s one of the top players in the conference, and Utah just isn’t built to be without him for too long.