Nov 19, 2014 - 04:47 pm -
An unbelievable weekend for ASU & the Pac 12 has left me stunned like so many other Sun Devil fans. A win by Utah in overtime over Stanford started the confusion, but it continued with a near impossible win by Arizona over Washington which was capped off with ASU's heart-breaker in Corvallis. To put it simply, this weekend is H-U-G-E, because ASU needs some assistance to repeat as Champs of the South.
Let's take a look, but first -- the current Pac 12 Standings:
Washington State at #13 Arizona State
ASU needs to bounce back in a big way against the Cougars. The is the first of two must-wins for the Devils to close out their 2014 campaign.
ASU is bigger, faster, and more talented than Washington State. But they must show the will they lacked at Oregon State last Saturday. They need to prove it.
#15 Arizona at #17 Utah
This game is absolutely huge. We're pulling hard for Utah to win and assure the that UA has no shot at winning the division. We don’t want the Territorial Cup game possibly deciding the South Champion because, as I've been saying all year, the Rats have had too much dumb luck on their side.
Stanford at California
This game doesn’t matter much in the standings, but a Stanford win does some good for the Devils due to their victory over the Cardinal on October 18. More importantly, we'd like to see the Trees head to Pasadena next weekend with some added confidence when they match up with UCLA, a game that could possibly determine the Devils' championship fate.
Colorado at #2 Oregon
We just want Oregon to keep winning and hold their spot in the 4 team playoff in representation of the Pac 12.
That said, there is one exception. Should the Devils find their way to the game on Dec. 5, we'll gladly wish the Ducks their third defeat. Shame on us for getting ahead of ourselves.
#19 UCLA at #9 UCLA
This game is nearly as big as the ASU game because unless UCLA loses to SC on Saturday or Stanford the following week, the Sun Devils cannot win the South.
Fight on for a victory on Saturday, Trojans.
Oregon State at Washington
Neither team in the Pac 12 North will have an impact on ASU's championship hopes, but since one of ASU's two losses came at the hands of the struggling Beavers, it would be nice to see them earn a little more cred as a program.
Which Team Wins the Pac 12 South Division & How
UCLA wins if: They win out.
ASU wins if: They win out and UCLA loses to either USC or Stanford (very simple).
USC wins if: They beat UCLA and ASU loses to either Washington State or Arizona.
Utah wins if: They win out and ASU beats Washington State but loses to Arizona and UCLA beats USC but loses to Stanford.
Arizona wins if: They win out and UCLA beats USC and then Stanford knocks off UCLA the following week. In this case I would probably have to kill myself. This would fall on Cal and Washington for blowing late leads in Tucson to even put the Cats in this position.
Unlike the last three years when the South Champion was decided without much fanfare, this year and particularly this weekend will bring heightened drama to the Pac 12 South storyline. Fan bases of one team will find themselves flipping between channels as plays unfold in other match ups that could directly impact their hopes for Pac 12 hardware.
For us, the 5:00 PM battle in L.A. is the biggest one to watch after the Devils hopefully earn win #9 vs Washington State. See you early Saturday for ASU's Senior Day and it's final home stand of 2014. #BeatTheCougs
Nov 15, 2014 - 11:13 am - While #6 ASU controls it's own destiny, there are still some big games on tap that are in the Devils' best interest in a run at a championship. Let’s take at better look at this weekend's Pac 12 match-ups and their impact on ASU.
Cal at USC
The fact that Cal made a late run at their south state foes on Thursday night was impressive. But the Trojans' defeat of the Bears helps our cause. SC now sits a 7-3 on their season with a 6-2 conference record.
After the Cal-SC game, here are the Pac 12 Division standings
Washington at #14 Arizona
That’s right; those Cats down south are ranked #14. While beating them as a top 10 team would be nice, which could happen when ASU heads to Northern Nogales in two weeks, I would much rather see UA lose now and give the Devils a bit of a cushion in the Pac 12 South.
A good day is when UA loses. A great day is when UA loses, and the Devils win. Go Huskies!
#23 Utah at Stanford
This game is a bit strange for Sun Devil fans knowing that we have beat both squads this year. I'm going to pull for the Utes for a couple of reasons.
First, I would like them to gain some confidence heading into their showdown next week with Arizona in Salt Lake. Also, as long as the Cardinal remain unranked, it makes Notre Dame suffer since their game with Stanford was arguably their best win. Go Utes!
# 6 ASU at Oregon State
This game could be scary coming off the big win last week. The Devils are 9-point favorites, but this is an abnormally late match-up (8:45 PM Arizona time) on the road. Historically, there have been many upsets at the hands of the home team in Corvalis.
While the Beavers have a top-notch quarterback in Sean Manion, they are 4-5 and struggling to make it into the post-season. If ASU can dismiss the notion of the "trap game" and play like they have in five consecutive wins since UCLA, the Devils will return to Tempe with their 9th win.
#1 Mississippi State at #5 Alabama
While this is not a conference game it is still big. We don’t care who wins, we just want a blowout so that the loser drops well below the Devils in the rankings and bumps ASU closer to the 4-team playoff should they beat Oregon State.
The reality is that if they win out, ASU will finish in the top four. However, a jump in the rankings at this high level will serve as a step forward for the national profile of the program now. I'm sick of Alabama, so I am hoping that Mississippi State can win in a route. Go Bulldogs!
Nov 07, 2014 - 02:51 pm - The Devils enter the second week of the College Football Playoff Rankings at #9. No one needs to mention that every game the Devils play from here on out is important but there are plenty of other games that will have an impact on where ASU plays their post season. Without further adieu lets do a run-through of what's in the Devils' best interest on Saturday.
#10 Notre Dame at #9 Arizona State
That’s right, the Devils have jumped the Irish in the national rankings. Fans have been waiting for this one all year. This match-up is what so many fans have been waiting for all year.
This game is interesting for so many reasons. If the Devils win they would climb ever closer to a spot in the four-team college playoff. However, in the race for the Pac 12 title, this game is inconsequential. A win or loss on Saturday will not change ASU’s position in the South. In essence, the Devils are playing with nothing to lose and everything to gain.
ASU needs to come out with their hair on fire! Much of this team has revenge on their minds after dropping a heartbreaker to the Irish last year at Cowboy Stadium in Texas. This is a statement game. If the Devils want the national recognition that they feel they deserve, this game is the answer.
Washington State at Oregon State
Nothing fun going on here. Neither of these teams in the North are competing for the championship. Washington State lost their quarterback for the year and Oregon State is fighting for their post-season lives. These teams have a combined 6-11 record and it makes no difference at all to the Sun Devils who wins.
#18 UCLA at Washington
Tough game in Seattle here. Either way this looks good for the Devils. If UCLA wins and continues to climb in the rankings it makes the Devils loss to them not look so heinous. If Washington wins it proves that they are a quality opponent, which is good for ASU since the Devils won in Seattle a few weeks ago. Just to be safe lets pull for the Huskies so that the Bruins get another conference loss and give the Devils a bit more breathing room in the Pac 12 South.
Colorado at #19 Arizona
Thank goodness the Cats finally lost last week at UCLA. However, look for them to bounce back against the lowly Buffaloes of Colorado. The Buffs come to Tucson with a 2-7 record, but they have been very close to pulling out a win these past few weeks. Let’s hope that this week is the time that Colorado gets a breakthrough win for their program. Unfortunately the Wildcats actually look pretty good this year, but hey, a man can dream. Go Buffs!
#4 Oregon at #17 Utah
This game is really tough to call. On one hand we want Oregon to win and keep a Pac 12 team in the top four. On the other hand, a Utah victory would really help the Sun Devils strength of schedule.
I know it is dangerous to look ahead but as Sun Devil fans this is what we want to happen; we want Oregon to win and stay in the top four. A loss here by Utah actually gives the Devils a little wiggle room for the South division lead. We want Utah to lose but win the rest of their games. We really want a mad Utah team to steamroll Arizona in Salt Lake in a couple of weeks.
If the Devils keep winning and things break right then we could be looking at a Pac 12 Championship game of two top 6 teams in ASU and Oregon with the winner advancing to college football’s first playoff. It actually gives me goose bumps to put this in writing. In any case GO Ducks!
There you have it, this week is more about quality than quantity. See you in a sold-out Sun Devil Stadium on Saturday or at one of ASU’s many game watching parties across the country. #BeattheIrish
Nov 06, 2014 - 03:04 pm - 1:30 pm MT Kick-off in Sun Devil Stadium
I hate grey football jerseys.
Nothing turns a cool uniform template into a mundane mess like the color grey. It's boring, usually not a part of the team's color scheme, and often leaves me with unfulfilled expectations.
When I watch Texas Tech, I expect to see red and black. When Miami plays, I expect to see orange and green for the duration of the afternoon. If Tennessee’s on, that light orange should be as well. All of these schools have grey alternates. In my humble opinion, all of them pale in comparison to their respective university's regular duds.
Colors are a part of the basic fiber of a university. There's a reason our student section looks like a golden sea on Saturday nights. It's our color.
So when I heard ASU had debuted a grey alternate, I was decidedly bummed out. A significant part of my game day experience is seeing ASU ball out in a new combination of maroon, gold, black, and white.
I was certain this smoggy alternate was going to be disappointing. Begrudgingly, I clicked the link.
Even I, hater of all grey, dig these slick beauties. And a couple months later, on the week of their debut, I'm still marveling at what the Sun Devils will be wearing in one of their biggest games in the Todd Graham era.
To my earlier point, colors are important to a school's identity. What stands out most to me about these new jerseys is that they have zero school colors. ASU didn't try to slip charcoal or copper into maroon and gold, they separated completely and let those colors stand on their own.
When ASU comes out of the tunnel Saturday afternoon, they will look different than any squad that's ever sprinted out onto Sun Devil Stadium. I like that.
These “Desert Fuel” jerseys do not look forced. The colors are complementary, and the heavy use of white balances the dark tone well.
The blocking is also well done. The white frames the other colors, instead of mixing in with a stripe or a pattern. I am not distracted but intrigued.
My favorite feature is the numbers. The copper-to-white gradient stands out against the dark background and goes really nicely with the helmet (white with copper face mask).
There is a lot of balance in these uniforms. Every color has its own place to shine.
ASU created quite the stir before last year's Notre Dame game by debuting helmets with a flame pattern on them. Those helmets, while no doubt unique and flamboyant, did not help the Devils take home the victory.
This year's metallic ensemble is pretty appealing on it's own, but seeing a victorious Damarious Randall gallop towards the student section with a group of grinning, copper-clad teammates behind him might make them look juuuuuuust a little bittle better.
Don't ya think?
Oct 31, 2014 - 05:02 pm - Is it just me or has this been the slowest week ever? The college football playoff rankings were released on Tuesday with the Sun Devils sitting at #14, so it seems like forever to get this weekend's high caliber match-ups underway. With success in the next two weeks, Arizona State would become a top 10 program, but first things first. There is a huge game looming against #19 Utah on Saturday.
Pac 12 North and South standings going into Week 10
Washington at Colorado
ASU has knocked off both the Huskies and the Buffaloes so no matter the outcome the Sun Devils strength of schedule will improve. However, we want Washington to win for one of the same reasons we want the Trojans to, bowl eligibility. The Huskies also need one more win to get to the magic number of six, and every bowl team that ASU beats helps the Sun Devil program. Go Huskies!
USC at Washington State
Easy pick here as this game has some impact on the Devils. We want USC to prevail for a couple of reasons. First, each win SC earns adds weight to ASU's dramatic victory at the Coliseum on Oct. 4. Second, the Trojans have five wins so a victory at the Palouse makes them bowl eligible. That's another plus for the Pac-12's resume and more revenue to be collected by conference schools.
Stanford at #5 Oregon
On the surface this looks like an easy choice. Naturally, we want Stanford to win to boost our strength of schedule. However, Oregon is currently the only conference team with a realistic shot at the four team playoff.
If Oregon wins big and gets a bump into the top 4, this is good news for the Pac. There is still a scenario where a one loss ASU plays a one loss Oregon in the conference championship with the winner headed to the Rose Bowl and/or the Playoff. If Stanford wins that possibility is essentially eliminated. Do your thing Ducks.
#12 Arizona at #22 UCLA
At the beginning of the season, who would have thought that tucson would be the higher ranked team in this match-up? No one. Sun Devil fans know that, other than their big win at Oregon, the Wildcats' resume is truly not all that impressive. They barely got by Cal at home on a Hail Mary, snuck by UTSA in the waning moments of the game and lost at home to USC in their most high profile match-up in years. However, I feel that the Bruins aren't quite the same since they won big here in Tempe.
UCLA was very fortunate to win their last two games against Cal and Colorado, yet somehow find themselves a 6.5 point favorite over the Cats at home. I wish both teams could lose, but since that can’t happen we'll pull for the Bruins. Another conference loss by Arizona should take some of the pressure off of ASU's trip to Tucson in four weeks. Make no doubt about it. A win by both Territorial Cup schools on Saturday will jump-start the hype for this year's showdown in Tucson in four weeks. Still, go Bruins.
Cal at Oregon State
Both of these North teams head into this match-up with four victories and are fighting for bowl eligibility. An Oregon State win could benefit ASU when they go for a victory at Corvallis in two weeks.
#17 Utah at #14 Arizona State
One of the biggest games in the country takes place here in Tempe as the Utes come to Sun Devil Stadium in a Pac 12 South fight. Both teams control their own destiny, and Saturday's loser will find themselves on the outside looking in.
After a tough battle at Washington last week, I see the Devils coming out of Tillman Tunnel focused and ready to perform in front of the Maroon & Gold faithful. Utah has a tough defense, but I am not impressed with their quarterback play. Add in the loss of Dres Anderson, Utah's best receiver, for the season. I see this one being very similar to the Stanford game with the Devils pulling out win #7.
#10 Notre Dame @ Navy
While this is not a conference game, it is big for ASU. I traditionally root for Navy in this one, however this year is different. With a big win by the Irish, Notre Dame will head into Tempe next Saturday as a top 10 team. Should ASU take care of Utah, a win over a top 10 Notre Dame would thrust the Devils into the single digit rankings and into the playoff conversation. It pains me to say but Go Irish!
There you have it, this weeks matchups that have the most impact on your Sun Devils. Come Sunday, the Pac 12 race will be much clearer. But for now, let's sit back and enjoy a beautiful Saturday in November.
Oct 31, 2014 - 04:41 am - Mihkail Cooper of JustVisualsMedia has produced an inspiring film about Arizona State Basketball’s Shaquielle McKissic titled, #SM40-The Shaquielle McKissic Documentary.
Enjoy it here.
Follow Mihkail Cooper, of South Bend, Indiana, on Twitter. #ForksUp
Oct 25, 2014 - 06:23 pm - The following is an ASU Athletics Media release
TEMPE -- The American Heart Association and The Paul Bear Bryant Awards’ Title Sponsor Marathon Oil Corporation today announced the watch list for the coveted Coach of the Year Award and Arizona State University head coach Todd Graham was among those named. The winner of the award will be revealed at the 29th annual event on Jan. 14, 2015 in Houston.
The coaches on the watch list for the 2014 Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year Award include (alphabetical order):
• Art Briles, Baylor University
• Mark Dantonio, Michigan State
• Jimbo Fisher, Florida State
• Huge Freeze, University of Mississippi
• Todd Graham, Arizona State
• Mark Helfrich, University of Oregon
• Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia University
• Doc Holliday, Marshall University
• Brian Kelly, University of Notre Dame
• Gus Malzahn, Auburn University
• Ruffin McNeill, East Carolina University
• Dan Mullen, Mississippi State
• Gary Patterson, Texas Christian
• Bo Pelini, University of Nebraska
• Mark Richt, University of Georgia
• Rich Rodriguez, University of Arizona
• Nick Saban, University of Alabama
• Bill Snyder, Kansas State University
• Bob Stoops, University of Oklahoma
• Kyle Whittingham, University of Utah
Graham has led the Sun Devils to a 5-1 record to open the 2014 campaign and the Sun Devils are coming off back-to-back wins over AP-ranked opponents for the first time since the 1997 with the team’s most recent victories over USC and Stanford.
Arizona State is 18-5 in the last 23 games, the second-best record of all Pac-12 teams in the most recent 23-game span behind only Oregon (19-4). Of all the coaching hires made prior to the 2012 season, Graham has posted the fourth-best record at 23-10, half a game behind UCLA’s Jim Mora at 24-10 with only Urban Meyer (29-3) and Kevin Sumlin (25-9) ahead of them.
The Sun Devils have won six straight road games and Todd Graham is 9-5 on the road in his time at ASU. Graham has eight Pac-12 road victories under his belt already, tied for the second-most among all ASU coaches since 1980 behind only Bruce Snyder’s 18 from 1992-2000. In four seasons prior to Todd Graham, ASU was 5-13 in conference road games while Graham has led the squad to a 8-3 record in such games in his three seasons at the helm.
Legendary Alabama Football Coach, Paul Bear Bryant
In December, a finalists’ list comprised of five to 10 coaches will be announced. Finalists will attend an awards dinner on Jan. 14, 2015 at the Hilton Americas Houston, where the winner will be announced live. The Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year Award is the only college coaching honor voted on after all of the bowl games are concluded and is voted on by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. Last year’s winner was Gus Malzahn of Auburn University.
January’s event will also recognize Jimmy Johnson, one of the most respected and accomplished football coaches in NCAA and NFL history, as the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Recipient. The award recognizes excellence in coaching on and off the field during a career, allowing recipients to take their place in history alongside legends such as Paul “Bear” Bryant. Among the past recipients of the award are R.C. Slocum (2014), LaVell Edwards (2013) and Hayden Fry (2012).
The Bryant Awards honor excellence in coaching while raising funds to fight heart disease and stroke, the nation’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers. Bryant himself suffered a heart attack prior to his death in 1983. Funds raised benefit research, community education and outreach programs of the AHA. For more information, or to purchase tickets or a table for the event, contact Jimmy Comerota at 713-610-5026 or visit www.bryantawards.com. Join the conversation on social media by following @ahahouston and #bryantawards.
Oct 25, 2014 - 01:17 pm - In a 2013 season full of impressive wins, ASU's 53-24 domination of then #20 Washington was arguably their most complete performance against quality competition. With the Devils taking on U-Dub tonight, here we take a look at five of ASU's Stars in the 2013 victory and where they are today.
Then: Sweet Tea Willie was his usual disruptive self against the Huskies, racking up three tackles for loss, an assisted tackle, a pass breakup and a sack. Thanks to performances like this one, number 90 would go on to win his second consecutive Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year award at season's end.
Now: The Chicago Bears selected Sutton with the 82nd overall pick in the third round of the NFL Draft. Currently in a backup role, he's played every game this season and racked up 13 tackles and one pass defended. He had a four tackle game in the Bears' 31-24 loss to Carolina in week five.
Will Sutton #90 did plenty of EATIN' vs the Huskies
Then: Kelly had one of the best single quarters of his young career, throwing for two touchdowns and running for another in the second quarter. He'd follow that up with another rushing touchdown in the third quarter and finish the game with 101 yards on the ground and 271 yards through the air.
Now: Kelly will be back as ASU's starting quarterback today, after missing three games against Pac-12 opponents due to an ankle injury. ASU has not lost with Kelly at the controls this season, although he's faced some sub-par opponents. This will be TK's first game against the Pac-12 North this season. He's thrown for 6 TD's and 625 yards this season. He has not been intercepted.
Taylor Kelly added 6 points with his feet
Then: Bradford had three tackles, including two for a loss. He also had a sack and a pass batted down. In other words, he had a typical destructive Carl Bradford afternoon. His sack and blocked pass, along with one of his tackles were all third down stops. He was named to All-Pac-12 Defensive Team after recording 8 ½ sacks and 61 tackles.
Now: Bradford was selected 121st overall in the fourth round by the Green Bay Packers. He has yet to play in a game this season.
#52 Carl Bradford with the Sack - photo, DieHard Devil
Then: Grice made quite possibly the sickest grab of the year (non-Jaelen Strong division), snagging a spiral from Taylor Kelly with one hand in the corner of the endzone for a 9-7 lead in the second quarter.
He ran all over the Huskies to the tune of 158 yards and 2 touchdowns along with 37 yards receiving. At this point in the season, Grice had more rushing yards by himself than multiple FBS teams. On a day where the Sun Devil defense was able to keep Bishop Sankey in the shadows, Grice shined.
Now: Grice, after being drafted in the 6th round by San Diego, was signed off of the Charger practice squad by the Arizona Cardinals, and returned to the valley of the sun. He has not played but remains on the active 53-man roster.
Marion Grice rushed for 158 yards (7.5 yds avg) and 2 TD's and picked up 37 yards receiving and another score. - photo, DieHard Devil
#21 Jaelan Strong
Then: Strong turned in one of his quietest efforts of what was a pretty loud year for the junior college transfer. He had only seven yards receiving on three catches.
Now: Strong is the number one option on offense for the Sun Devils, and comes into this game fresh off an 8 catch, 75 yard performance against the Stanford Cardinal. Strong is the only receiver on the 2014 team with a catch against the Huskies.
Every week, #21 proves to DieHard Sun Devils that he's one of the top players in the nation. He has seven touchdowns in seven games this season, and was named to the 2014 Fred Biletnikoff Award preseason watch list in preseason.
Whether they're wreaking havoc at Frank Kush Field on Saturdays or running across your television on Sundays, Sun Devil football players are thriving. The future of the program is shining bright in Tempe. Let's hope Saturday brings even more light to the Sun Devil sideline.
Tune in Tonight
Oct 24, 2014 - 01:32 pm - In what has become a weekly occurrence, there were crucial games throughout the land last week that had a huge impact on the Sun Devils, particularly in the Pac 12 and a run at the championship.
Notre Dame lost a close game to Florida State, which doesn’t help ASU. However, UCLA and Utah won conference games against North opponents which strengthens the status of the Pac 12 South. SC also improved their record with a victory over Colorado.
As always, ASU's number #1 strategy is to win out in the South. This weekend has many more big match-ups. Let's have a look.
The Pac 12 Standings Entering Week 9
#6 Oregon @ California (Friday)
The Ducks have found their groove after a hiccup against Arizona and are looking to secure a spot in this year's four-team playoff for the National Champion.
Cal can score, especially at home, but the Ducks can do it better. The Devils skip the Quack Attack this year. We want Oregon to win big and continue to advance in the polls.
#25 UCLA @ Colorado
Usually we want a ranked conference team to beat an unranked team and help advance the Pac 12 nationally, but that is not the case here.
Yes, if UCLA stays relevant and wins, it makes ASU's big loss to the powder-blue look just a little less "big." However, the Bruins still hold a tiebreaker over the Devils, so we're pulling for the Buffs to deliver UCLA another loss in the South.
As a side note, ASU pounded the Buffaloes in Boulder. If they were to beat the Bruins, in a round about way ASU would still look like a better team than UCLA at this juncture with the Devils' loss to the Bruins looking like a Sun Devil fluke. Go Buffs!
Oregon State @ Stanford
This game doesn’t matter so much for ASU. Both of these teams are stuck on four wins, and it is unlikely that a victory would put either team back into the rankings.
We should pull for Stanford to get back on track which would bolster the Devils' win over the Cardinal last week.
#15 Arizona @ Washington State
This game will be close. Washington State can score points as well as anyone behind their record setting quarterback, Conner Halliday.
This sold-out game is being played in Pullman with temperatures in the 40’s. We all gain satisfaction when the cats lose, and this game is no exception. Go Cougars!
#20 USC @ #19 Utah
This is by far the most complex match-up in the conference.
On one hand we want USC to win and climb in the rankings because we have already beaten them. On the other hand we want Utah to win and come into Tempe as potentially a top-15 team next week.
With a close-fought battle right to the end it's also possible, slightly possible, that the loser remains in the top-25 nationally. A physically and mentally taxing game could bode well for ASU as Utah comes to Tempe next week.
In years past, when the Utes have lost this type of game at home, they have tended to sputter down the stretch. We want Utah to be at their best moving forward, with ASU pulling out the win next Saturday.
ASU and Utah victories this weekend will set up a national showdown in Sun Devil Stadium next Saturday on Homecoming weekend.
#14 Arizona State @ Washington
The fact that the Devils dominated Stanford after losing nine defensive starters from last year further proves the legitimacy of Coach Graham's program, but Saturday's game in Seattle is positioned as a “let down” for ASU.
The Devils anticipate a ranked Utah team at home next week before hosting Notre Dame, arguably the most hyped game on their schedule. These Huskies at home are not to be overlooked.
This is a "purple-out" game for Washington who can be dangerous in spurts. Regardless of the split time between QB's Taylor Kelly and Mike Bercovici, should the defense plays like it has the past six quarters this could be win #6 for Arizona State.
I am so excited to watch how things unfold the next few weeks as the stakes get higher. Don’t forget, we are still pulling for Notre Dame until they come to Tempe. ND blew their chance to enter Sun Devil Stadium as the #1 team, but if both the Devils and the Irish win their next two contests we could be preparing for a clash of two top-10 teams in the House of Heat on November 8.
Man, I love college football!
Oct 16, 2014 - 02:39 pm - Well, last week was another fantastic weekend among the Pac 12 Conference. With losses by UCLA and Arizona the Sun Devils find themselves right back in the thick of things in the Pac 12 South with a chance repeat as champs of the South. The road won’t be easy and the Devils need some help but this is another week with huge games that not only impact the race to the Pac 12 Championship but also have huge national implications. Let’s see what is on tap for on Saturday.
#20 Utah @ Oregon State (Thursday)
The conference is littered with teams with a 4-1 record and two of these teams match-up against each other on Thursday night as the Utes travel to Corvallis to take on the Beavers. I have been telling everyone I know for the past month to watch out for Utah because I still believe they will determine who wins the South. Both of these teams have a great shot at a bowl but I would really like to see Utah climb in the rankings before coming to Tempe for a huge game with the Devils. Let’s root for the Ute to continue to win and take care of business in Oregon.
#23 Stanford @ #17 Arizona State
This is a revenge game for the Devils and it scares me to death. ASU simply does not match up well with Stanford, which was proven last year with two blowout losses. However, the Cardinal don’t appear as dominant this season, already having lost two games. Word is that ASU will play both Taylor Kelly and Mike Bercovici at the QB spot in order to mix things up offensively. Stanford is still favored to win in Sun Devil Stadium but let’s hope the Devils can do just enough to get a much needed win.
UCLA @ Cal
For the first time all season UCLA goes into a game unranked. They are looking to get back on track after losing two weeks in a row but are traveling into Berkeley to take on a pesky Bears team. I am still upset at Cal for blowing a late lead to Arizona and it would be good for the conference for the Bruins to climb back into the national rankings to make the Devils loss to them not look so bad. Let’s pull for UCLA here.
Colorado @ #22 USC
This is a tricky one. On the surface it might look as if we should pull for the Trojans in order to climb the rankings and make our victory over them look that much more impressive. However, this is a battle of two Pac 12 South teams and ASU has already beaten Colorado. It would not be the worst thing for the Buffaloes to pull off an upset here and hand USC another loss in the South, which would almost eliminate them from contention in the Southern Division. Basically, this is a win-win game and I am hoping for a good battle but if I have to root for one team over the other I’m pulling for the Buffs.
Washington @ #9 Oregon
Here is an interesting battle in the Pacific Northwest. Washington is a very quiet 5-1 and would jump back into the rankings with an upset win here. However, the Ducks seem to be focused on climbing into the top 4 so they can get a spot in the coveted new playoff system. I am torn once again on whom to root for but I think we should pull for the Ducks. They need to continue to move up in the rankings and I am sure that Washington will pick up another win soon and become bowl eligible in their first year under new coach Chris Peterson. Aside from what appears to be a great game you might want to watch to see yet another uniform combination by Oregon, this one is a throwback version of the 1994 season, which feature the old logo and Donald Duck on the sleeves. I think the new unis are pretty sweet.
#5 Notre Dame @ #2 Florida State
Perhaps the biggest game outside of the battle ASU faces with Stanford is this match up of two top 5 teams. We want Notre Dame to keep winning before they come to Tempe on November 8. If the Irish keep winning and there are a few more slip ups at the top of the rankings there is a very real possibility that Notre Dame comes to Tempe as the number 1 ranked team in the land. With opportunities for the Devils to climb in the rankings with quality opponents the next few weeks things could set up for a monster match-up in Tempe. Go Irish
Wow! Another fantastic week to be a couch potato! So many teams and so many possible scenarios but one thing we know for sure is that the Devils need to take care of business against Stanford. Go Devils!
Apr 05, 2014 - 08:41 am - Rudy Burgess
In 2007, athlete Rudy Burgess completed an impressive career at Arizona State. In his bio, ASU describes Rudy as, “one of the most versatile athletes and one of the top all-purpose threats in the nation… having played wide receiver, tailback, cornerback, kickoff and punt returner..”
Five years after Burgess graduated, another dynamic athlete named D.J. Foster took Frank Kush Field. In just two years at ASU, Foster has also made a name for himself.
Let's compare these Sun Devils to get a perspective on both athletes.
Rudy & D.J. - Freshman Year
In 12 games, Burgess carried the ball 77 times for 404 yards (5.2 avg) with no touchdowns. In Foster’s freshman campaign which included 13 games, he ran the ball 102 times for 493 yards (4.8 avg) and 2 scores.
Through the air Burgess had 22 catches for 248 yards (11.3 avg) and 5 scores. Foster had 38 catches for 533 yards (14 avg) and 4 touchdowns.
Rudy & D.J. - Sophomore Year
In 2005, Rudy Burgess had his coming out party in 12 games for the Maroon & Gold. The dynamic sophomore carried the ball 145 times for 644 yards (4.4 avg) and 6 scores.
Last season in which he played in all 14 games, sophomore D.J. Foster showed steady improvement from his freshman year across virtually all categories. #8 rushed 93 times for 501 yards (5.4 avg) and 6 TD’s.
Through the air, Burgess caught 59 passes, accumulating 655 yards (11.1 avg) with 4 trips to the end zone. Foster caught 63 passes for 653 yards (10.4 avg), also scoring 4 touchdowns.
While Rudy Burgess holds the distinction as one of college football’s most versatile players, he was unfortunately hampered by injury his junior year. In his senior season, Rudy bounced back. Coach Dirk Koetter used him mostly in the slot where he caught 34 passes as opposed to just 6 carries. That year, #3 gained nearly 1,000 yards from scrimmage, 976 to be exact.
A notable difference between Rudy Burgess and D.J. Foster is on special teams, and Rudy reins supreme. He returned 99 kicks and punts in 4 years, collecting 1,750 yards. His younger counterpart has returned a single kick for 16 yards.
D.J. Foster’s body is still filling out. He's put on another 10 lbs, now weighing 205, and he's looking to add a few more while maintaining his quickness. Should he stay healthy in his upcoming junior season, D.J. could very well be at his best. It could be that his first two years in Maroon & Gold were simply a prelude to what’s coming this season.
Maybe in 5 years (hopefully sooner) we'll be comparing the next great athlete to D.J. Foster and his accomplishments at ASU. Perhaps D.J. is just warming up.
Check out our comparison of Sun Devil receivers Jaelen Strong and Derek Hagen.
Mar 31, 2014 - 07:34 am -
Fueled by a lead annual gift from new Vice President for University Athletics Ray Anderson the Sun Devil Club 2014 Membership Drives are off and running. To date the Sun Devil Club has completed two, 10-day long membership drives using grass roots fundraising tactics by utilizing participation from volunteers throughout the community.
The Sun Devil Club first focused on volunteers that are active in the Sun Devil Club Young Professionals organization and who are all under the age of 40. The goal of the Young Professional group is to create awareness of the Sun Devil Club through a younger demographic. During the Young Professional Membership Drive 21 volunteers assisted in collecting 138 new members, while renewing 41 current members. Through this effort $77,245 in annual fund pledges was collected.
The Young Professional’s effort was followed by the employees of Sun Devil Athletics volunteering time outside of their regular responsibilities to increase the Sun Devil Club membership base. The Sun Devil Athletics Staff Membership Drive included 47 volunteers who pulled together 165 new members, 102 renewals, and collected $224,639 in annual fund pledges.
The Sun Devil Club is completing two more membership drives one of which includes ASU fraternities Lambda Chi Alpha and Delta Sigma Phi. The Sun Devil Club and Sun Devils Athletics are excited about collaborative effort in maintaining the Sun Devil Club as the largest fundraising organization of our kind in the Pac-12.