Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Q & A with Addicted to Quack

The fine folks over at Addicted to Quack participated in a good little question and answer session with us at Pitchfork Nation over the past 24 hours. I strongly recommend you check them out as they undoubtedly are the most devoted Duck blog I've come across. Check out their site for our answers to their questions.

PN: Cameron Colvin and Brian Paysinger are gone. Who is Dennis Dixon throwing the ball to now?

ATQ: You failed to mention that Derrick Jones has been suspended for two weeks now, and there is no word yet on his availability for this weekend. Dixon has been slinging the ball to primarily three guys. You may remember Jaison Williams from last year. And while he leads the team in catches, he probably drops even more. I don't really know what happened, but it seems like he drops everything these days. Ed Dickson, the tight end, has probably been the biggest threat, and he finds big seams down the middle. Finally, freshman Aaron Pflugrad has been a huge surprise. He has some of the best hands in the nation. But he is not terribly fast, and is really tiny at 5'9". This is a team that can keep possessions going with the pass, but the deep vertical passing game that you saw against Michigan has been gone since Colvin and Paysinger went down.

PN: I got to see Jonathan Stewart at field level last year, and he's one of the fastest guys I've ever seen. How does the ASU defense shut him down?

ATQ: Pray. Even when you think you have stopped him, he drags you for five yards. The best bet to stop him is to do what SC did—get a couple of turnovers early in special teams, and keep the Oregon O off the field. In all seriousness, you're not going to stop Stewart or Dixon. But what you have to do to slow them down a bit is not let the receivers get any big plays, make clean tackles when you get the chance, and react quickly to the option. If you can do that, you can maybe keep them in the 30s instead of the 50s. With ASUs offensive firepower, that kind of a defensive performance could put them right there.

PN: It's obvious that Dennis Dixon cannot be Steve Levy on ESPN might can only hope to contain him. The question is though, is he more of a passing or running threat?

ATQ: I would say that he's more of a running threat. He can definitely throw the ball, but what makes his so unstoppable is the fact that he has so much speed and elusiveness. We saw it time and time again against SC where the Trojans were playing perfect pass defense, only to have Dixon burn them with a scramble. And it's a lot more than scrambling, too. Most of the running plays that we run are read option. If Dixon doesn't like the read on the handoff, he'll pull it out and take it himself. Oftentimes, the opposing players are celebrating a stop of Stewart only to find out that Dixon still has the ball ten yards upfield. You can run a spy on him, but the spy better be damn fast to have any effectiveness. If there is any justice, Dennis Dixon will be your Heisman winner this year.

PN: How does the UO defense stack up against those from previous years? From giving up 28 in a quarter to Stanford to only allowing 17 against's been all over the board this year.

ATQ: Most Oregon fans think that the Stanford game was a total aberration. We got out to a big lead, and just shut down. The defense, though, really has been all over the board this year. Talent-wise, this is nowhere near the defense we had in, say 2001, although it is much better than what we've had since then. The key is that, while they give up way more yards than I'm comfortable with, they get a ton of turnovers and a ton of sacks. The pass rush is really good and, while our secondary may get burned a bit in isolated coverage, they are going to get enough turnovers to make the system work. That said, the improvement from the first game, in which I was literally terrified of the defense, and now is nothing short of amazing. And this may be only a slightly better than average defense, but with our offense, that's all it has to be. On the other hand, ASU is probably the best offense they've faced this year, so it should be a new challenge for them.

PN: Is there any justice to the fact that, during my freshman year at ASU, I got a duck call confiscated from me at Sun Devil Stadium during our 2003 Duck thrashing? I miss that thing...and it could have come in handy this weekend.

ATQ: Schools taking away noisemakers is beyond lame. That is a terrible injustice, and whoever took that noisemaker away from you should rot in hell.

PN: What's the buzz in Eugene? Tempe is exploding with football fever...I'm sure the same is going on at Oregon.

ATQ: There is always football fever in Eugene, but this is bigger than in recent years. Hundreds of students are camping out for tickets. All everyone in the whole state can talk about is this football team. It reminds me a lot of 2001, but you get the feel that this is even bigger. I think the fact that this was so totally unexpected by most people makes the love affair with the team that much stronger.

These Dudes LOVE Justin Tryon

Shot by me...on the field...after the 31-20 win over Cal.

Justin Tryon...locking down DeSean Jackson...taking Pitchfork Nation by storm.

Men's Basketball Preview

by T.J. Lovejoy, Pitchfork Nation Men's Basketball contributor.

As the eyes of the sporting world turn to Eugene this weekend for the football match-up of the year, another promising Sun Devil team jumps into action back in Tempe. The college basketball season is right around the corner and Herb Sendek’s bunch is full of promise. While this year’s basketball squad won’t achieve the type of success that the football team has reached, what we will see is how far the team has come under just one year of tutelage under Sendek. Although five of the top six scorers from last year’s team are returning, expect a whole new look for this year’s team.

Sendek and his staff have shown their recruiting prowess by bringing in seven new faces with loads of talent. The first is Eric Boateng, a 6-10, 245 pound, sophomore center who transferred from Duke soon after Sendek arrived in the Valley. The other six newcomers are all freshmen, led by McDonald’s All-American James Harden. Harden, a 6-4 guard from Artesia High School in Lakewood, California a suburb of Los Angeles, will be expected to start immediately for the Sun Devils and provide much needed scoring. While Harden has arrived as a heralded recruit, another freshman, Jamelle McMillan, has arrived under the radar and should make an immediate impact. McMillan, the son of Portland Trail Blazers head coach and former Seattle Super Sonics star Nate McMillan, will challenge Derek Glasser and Antwi Atuahene for minutes at the point guard position and could even find himself in the starting spot by the season’s beginning.

With all these new faces, we can expect to see an influx of talent and energy but a lack of experience. This will result in a season full of ups and downs and flashes of brilliance. The importance of this recruiting class will be felt for years, as it has provided the foundation of credibility for the ASU program that has been missing, which will bring in high caliber recruits in the near future. In addition to more energy and talent, the Sun Devil newcomers will allow Herb Sendek to play a rotation that features depth…something last year’s team could only dream of. We could see as many as four new starters this year, with Jeff Pendergraph finishing out the starting lineup. This will move players like Glasser, Jerren Shipp, and Christian Polk to the bench where they can come in as valuable substitutes with a year of Pac-10 experience under their belts. A deeper bench may allow ASU to win a few more of the close games that they lost last year due to a lack of depth and experience in late game situations. More depth also means that we may see less of the zone defense that Sendek was forced to run so much last year. A deeper rotation will allow Sendek to change defensive schemes to frustrate the opposition. Look for the Sun Devils to again have one of the stingiest defenses in the Pac-10.

The foundation for the Sun Devil basketball team is junior forward Jeff Pendergraph, who averaged 12.1 ppg and 9.1 rpg last year. Pendergraph, a projected first round selection in the 2008 NBA Draft, should step his game up this year with the presence of Boateng, who should pull away some of the double and triple teams that Pendergraph faced continually last year. While ASU has a number of talented guards and wing players, depth in the post behind Pendergraph and Boateng is lacking in proven players. If these two get into foul trouble, look for ASU to run its own version of small ball.

James Harden is the future of the Sun Devil basketball and will open many eyes this year in a Pac-10 conference that is overloaded with talent. Artesia High School has been known for producing great college basketball talent, most of which usually ends up at UCLA in the form of the O'Bannon brothers of the 1995 UCLA championship team and in current Miami Heat sharpshooter Jason Kapono. Artesia achieved its greatest success with Harden and current teammate Derek Glasser leading the team, winning the California Divison III State Basketball Championship back-to-back seasons in 2006 and without Glasser in 2007. Look for Harden to put up big numbers in non-conference play and play solidly against the talented shooting guards of the Pac-10. Harden is an extremely athletic guard who can shoot the lights out from deep and easily make his way through the lane. Want more proof? Check out this YouTube video of his high school days. Harden is #13 in the video and yes, that between the legs dunk (during a game!) at the end of the video is our man.

While this year’s team will definitely have talent and promise, it will still struggle at times being such a young team (1 Senior, 3 Juniors). The team’s success will hinge upon how the newcomers take to Sendek’s system and how the veterans adjust to all of the new players in the rotation. While the Sun Devils are a conference sleeper in the eyes of some experts, expect them to win a few more conference games this year but still finish in the bottom half of the extremely talented Pac-10. While this year’s team will definitely be better than last year’s lovable effort squad, the 2008-2009 season will be the year that ASU makes its move into the top of the conference and finally challenges the University of Arizona for state supremacy.

Happy Halloween Sun Devils

(picture from The Big Lead) If Arizona State teaches you anything, it's how to throw a party. Andrew Walter and Zach Miller obviously haven't missed a beat after becoming professionals. Happy Halloween everybody.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

CSTV Ranks ASU Baseball #1 After Fall Practices

From CSTV's Doug Kroll via The College Baseball Blog...

1. Arizona State (49-15, Lost In CWS)

Many thought the Sun Devils had what it takes to win it all a year ago, with a whole host of sophomore talent. They're all back for head coach Pat Murphy in 2008, and that's why Arizona State takes the top spot. Junior first baseman Brett Wallace headlines the returners, after leading the team in batting average, homeruns and RBIs. Others returning in a stacked lineup include juniors Ike Ike Davis, Petey Paramore and Kiel Roling. As for the pitching staff, senior Josh Satow will be the anchor and hard-throwing closer Jason Jarvis fills in the backend.
Other Pac-10 teams in the top 25 include back to back national champions Oregon State at #4, UCLA at #12, and Arizona at #25. The Sun Devils are primed for a trip back to Omaha and are ready to defend their Pac-10 title.

Kimmel Sets Record

Former Sun Devil Jimmy Kimmel was honored by the Guinness Book of World Records on Monday for "Furthest Distance Commuted in One Working Week."

Kimmel had been performing double duty all week, filling in for Regis Philbin on Regis and Kelly, which is filmed in New York City, while making it back to Hollywood during the evening to film his nightly show Jimmy Kimmel Live. Kimmel reportedly recorded 22,406 air and ground miles, one week after getting banned from Monday Night Football. If I were dating Sarah Silverman, I'd probably spend my life working too.

Tuesday's links

Did you guys know there's other sports going on besides football? The Boston Globe interviews Sun Devil Dustin Pedroia after winning the world series as part of the Boston Red Sox. I thought he was going to win the series MVP.

If you've been living in a cave the past few weeks, Dan Zeiger of the East Valley Tribune has a roundup on what went on against Cal and what's at stake this week.

Mike Bellotti's wife verbally attacks Oregonian reporter John Canzano after he talks about her son being a repeat DUI offender.

Kansas vs. ASU in the national title game? Sunday Afternoon Quarterback profiles how it could happen.

If you're going to Eugene for the game, Rob Moseley of The Register-Guard gives an update for those looking to attend ESPN Gameday.

If you want to find out any articles on Oregon football, Duck Sports News has you covered.

Dennis Dixon shows off Nike's amazing interior decoration skills

PFN reader submission (Frank Sabatasso)

Monday, October 29, 2007

More Pub for The Nation

Thanks to NBC 12 News for featuring Pitchfork Nation on their airwaves today. Check out the report here:

Thanks to all of you who have visited after seeing the report. We hope you'll continue to read as we continue our unmatched coverage of ASU football and other great Sun Devil athletics.

ESPN: Top 10 Most Improved Players includes Rudy Carpenter

Bruce Feldman released a list of the 10 most improved players in college football this season. At #9 on that list is a familiar name.

From the Worldwide Leader:
9. Rudy Carpenter, Arizona State, QB: The arrival of Dennis Erickson and his well-worn crew of assistants has meshed nicely for Carpenter to have a big bounce-back year. In 2006, Carpenter's stats were OK, as he completed 55 percent of his passes with 23 TDs and 14 picks. This season, the accurate QB from California has regained his 2005 form, completing 65 percent of his passes for 17 TDs and 1,949 yards with 7 INTs. Carpenter's improved decision-making and command of the offense has enabled ASU to lead the Pac-10 in red-zone offense with 31 scores in 34 trips (91 percent).
Hopefully Carpenter can continue that efficiency even with a thumb injury. Jeff Metcalfe of the Arizona Republic is reporting that Rudy wore a brace on his hand to the presser today. Nothing is going to stop him from playing in a game of this magnitude. As long as he's not underthrowing receivers like other Pac-10 QB's Nate Longshore and Mark Sanchez did last week, this team should have every chance to come away from Autzen Stadium with a W.


Update #1: Carpenter and Dixon have both shown up on the Davey O'Brien Award semifinalist list for best quarterback in the nation. Last year's winner was Troy Smith of The Ohio State University.

Game Scheduling Update V. 3.0

Here's an official update on the next two weeks of games for Arizona State (updated 3:56 PM):

11/4/07: ASU at Oregon
-Game is still scheduled for a 3:45 PM kickoff on FSN Arizona
-Thanks to a tip from a commentor on this blog and Rob Mosely of The Register-Guard, ESPN has picked up the game as a national telecast. I have had no independent confirmation of this from Arizona State. The game will still be available on FSN AZ in the Phoenix market, if you're so inclined.
-(Latest update) The game will be televised in Arizona on FSN Arizona. HD broadcast available on Cox 721, something else on DirecTV and Dish. ESPN will carry the game in all markets outside of Oregon and Arizona.

11/11/07: ASU at UCLA
-Game has been selected for regional coverage by ABC
-Game will kick off at 1:30 PM Arizona Time (12:30 PM Pacific). Don't forget that Daylight Savings Time ends around the country and Arizona goes back to Mountain time before this game.

Monday Morning Quick Links

What do you do when your team beats a far inferior team at home? Try to take down the goalposts.

Everyone seems to love Dennis Erickson all of a sudden.

I have a feeling the nickname Dmitri "Light Rail" Nance isn't going to stick, but it's worth a try.

Taylor Price of the State Press advises you to save your ticket stub from Saturday night.

Guessing from this article, Sam Keller's college career is over due to a broken clavicle.

Ivan Maisel breaks down Oregon's national championship chances.

The boys over at Addicted to Quack break down why the winner of this weekend's game still could miss out on an invite to the BCS title game while having a perfect record, and why Pac-10 Commissioner Tom Hansen needs to be fired now.

Just in case you forgot, both Oregon and ASU were unranked to start the year.

One game at a time? The Arizona Republic is already talking about this team heading to New Orleans. I know it's been a while since we've been 8-0, but let's break down Oregon first.

Carpenter learns how to bounce back.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Time Change Rumors Are Flying

Yes, that's a flying clock. Quite a metaphor, eh?

Anyway, there are tons of rumors making the rounds that next week's pivotal ASU/Oregon match-up will move from it's scheduled 3:45 PM Fox Sports Net kickoff window to the 12:30 PM ABC kickoff window.

First of all, that would suck, because while FSN's broadcast team's and quality are inferior to those of the ESPN family of networks, at least Fox's afternoon games are in High Definition. I don't think there's been an ABC afternoon game in HD all year.

Anyway, as a member of the media who has legitimate access to information from Arizona State, I'm here to tell you that...there has been NO official word from ASU or Oregon about switching game times.

When we do get official word of any time or network change, we at Pitchfork Nation will tell you immediately. Or, you know, as fast as we can.

And now, some FAQ:
Q: Why is ESPN already mentioning that the game will be on the "family of networks?"
A: The game is, and has been all year, scheduled to be on ESPN Game Plan, as per the ESPN tie-in agreement with the Oregon Sports Network. It was not originally scheduled to be a national broadcast before the season started.

Q: Doesn't ESPN have to be showing a game they're at for College GameDay on their network?
A: Hell no. This season, Chris, Lee and Kirk have been at several games that were telecast by CBS and one that was broadcast by Fox Sports Net. It's not a requirement, but obviously, it helps.

Q: What's scheduled for the ABC west coast 12:30 game now?
A: It's a regional TV window, and our game would most likely be UCLA at Arizona. FSN and ABC could technically work out a trade for the broadcast rights, however.

Q: Has the game time for UCLA been set?
A: No, but the options are limited. The game will not be at 7:15 as Washington/Oregon State has already been picked by FSN for that time slot. USC/Cal is currently the Saturday Night Football game, scheduled for 5:00 on ABC, but there's always a possibility that they would stick ASU/UCLA in that slot instead as a sexier match-up. That leaves 12:30 PM on ABC as the most logical slot for the Devils/Bruins game. We should know later this week for sure.

Gameday Live from Eugene, Saturday 7 AM

It's official, Gameday will invade Eugene for the second time this season. Let's get some Maroon and Gold out there this week.

Longshore checks his voicemail on the sidelines

photo: Michael Chow/Arizona Republic

"Hey Nate, what's up bro? Matt Ryan, quarterback of Boston College calling. I just wanted to call to say thanks for helping me out with my Heisman bid. You know, DeSean Jackson could have gotten back in the Heisman race tonight. You know he's just doing his job, streaking down the sidelines early in the 4th quarter, yet you severely underthrew him by about 15 yards to the waiting hands of Justin Tryon. I mean, DeSean had that guy clearly beat. He was wide open...more open than my receivers in the final two minutes the other night. Man, if I had a receiver like DeSean, he'd rack up like 3 touchdowns a game. Anyways, learn from my mistakes and wait to throw up when the cameras aren't on you. Oh wait, they're not on you, they just keep showing your fans leaving the stadium, jumping back in their Volkswagen buses and heading towards the I-10 West. Maybe if we lose the rest of our games we could play each other in the Emerald Bowl. Or maybe not. Oh shit, you just threw another terrible pick to Robert James. Man that's embarrassing. I better get back to watching this game just in case we have to play these guys. Later."

My attempt at comedy. If you want to try your own, leave one in the comment section.

Eight and 0

That's 8 wins my friends.

Dmitri Nance was the man tonight. Big ups to Nance 3 TD's, Herring, the O-Line, McGaha, James and Tryon tonight. Carpenter was efficient enough with a big second half. I still can't believe Mike Jones dropped that ball in the endzone. And a big thank you goes out to Jeff Tedford for leaving Nate Longshore in the game. Welcome to the Kevin Riley era up in Berkeley.

This team just doesn't make mistakes (after the first drive of the game). If anyone has an extra ticket for the Oregon game, let me know, and I'll take it off your hands for you. This could be the game that decides one half of the national title game (and I'm officially getting ahead of myself.) GO DEVILS!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Keegan Herring on Gameday

Chris Connelley's 8,000th human interest piece on ESPN

Friday, October 26, 2007

Proof that Waiting will get you NOWHERE.

One of the keys in life is that when something has to get done, do it quickly, or the opportunity might pass you up.

For instance:

1) If someone offers you an amazing job that you can't pass up, get your two weeks in at your current job faster than you can say "Peace Out."
2) If that hot girl at the bar really wants to hook up with you, then Jesus Christ, get over there and get her tongue in your mouth.
3) If you have the chance to see two top tier programs come to Tempe and play in games that have Pac-10 and national championship ramifications, then buy tickets EARLY.

Case in point: ASU vs. California and ASU vs. USC are now officially sold out.

71,706 fans will pack the House of Heat for both of those games. Better hit up Stubhub if you want seats and don't have them, folks.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

lag left in Scottsdale? no thanks...

Another beautiful Thursday in Tempe, and though I am having a wonderful day, things could always be better. Remember folks; it is a GOOD thing to strive for perfection knowing it can never be achieved. On my quest towards total consciousness I have one small favor to ask of the wonderful people I share this valley with.


There are mounds of unwritten laws most drivers in America abide by as if they were on the books. But here in the "zone" many of those important rules seem unknown. There is also at least one organization that is not helping, ADOT. The Arizona department of transportation is a sad state of affairs. Stop closing roads for cycling events in which I see two women on mountain bikes casually chatting as they "race." (I witnessed this over the summer at the corner of Curry and Scottsdale Rd.) I know what you're thinking too… and no, it wasn't the triathlon. Which is stupid as well, I'm sure they don't have to hold the triathlon in the middle of Tempe. I'm not like most people I guess. Because I would just assume heckle the athletes who are responsible for the "great divide" between north and middle Tempe. "GET OFF MY CAMPUS!"

As for the slow drivers (a-ghem snowbirds) This is not a problem just
on highways, many times I will be stuck behind a whole pack of drivers
going 35mph on Scottsdale Rd. Usually early in the day while most
people are headed to work.

I have also noticed a plague affecting this population called
rubbernecking. IT'S JUST A CAR OUT OF GAS!

One more thing, as Adam Carolla (one of my heroes) might say, "what's
with the left turn red lights? I can literally see the curvature in
the earth's surface and there is no one headed in the opposite way."
Meanwhile I have to wait for the lights to cycle through again. I have
a wonderful solution, go ahead and turn. Look for a camera, and then
just go ahead… Moroni will still love you.

the problem with most people, is that they don't understand just how much more important I am than them... M.I.P. 2007

From now on, please urge your neighbor to

1. Kindly merge on the highway at the speed limit, after all that is
what the ramp is for.

2. Drive the speed limit, and leave room for others to pass. (That
means pass on the left!)

3. Stop being such a pussy and turn on red lights when you are the
only one at the intersection.

4. Don't head home right after the win this Saturday, ADOT will again
have inappropriately shut down roads to help with traffic. Just head
to Mill and take a cab home after last call.

Nick Saia (usa)

Thursday Quick Links (2 Days Left)

If you're going to attend the Devil Walk on Saturday, make sure you RSVP like Carpenter, Nixon and Weber already have.

As Chris Crocker might say, LEAVE DESEAN JACKSON ALONE!!!

Jackson's Cal teammates believe the contest in Tempe will be DeSean's breakout game.

If you're looking for a gold shirt for Saturday and want to voice your displeasure of the management, you can buy one of these.

White Sox General Manager Ken Williams, father of Wide Receiver Kyle Williams, gets nervous watching his son out on the field.

Petros Papadakis thinks Rudy Carpenter is the MVP of the Pac-10.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

It's Time To Make A Stand

A buddy of mine told me that he read about this on a message board...and now I'm going to advocate and campaign for it here on Pitchfork Nation.

I've seen things like the Byrd Blackout (Maryland), the White Out (Penn State) and other examples of fan unity throughout NCAA Football this season. It's time to bring it to Tempe.

Devils fans: gold out the stadium on Saturday. The eyes of America will be on Sun Devil Stadium. Show bowl representatives, East Coast Voters, Pac-10 opponents and the rest of the college pigskin world that ASU has the best fans in the Pacific 10 Conference.

If you're a real Sun Devil fan, you own a gold shirt. Dust it off, put it on, make sure it doesn't smell (for your seat neighbors sake) and shout your ass off for Arizona State on Saturday night.

The House of Heat has been rocking so far this season. Now's the time to shake the stadium at it's core. Wear gold. Get loud and rowdy. Now is the time.

This Devil is Just Plain Sick

And as a diehard Yankees fan, I still must say that I'm totally head over heels proud of what Dustin Pedroia is doing for the Boston Red Sox.

His lead-off home run tonight in the Sox 13-1 thumping of Colorado in Game 1 of the 2007 World Series is only extending this kid's newfound propensity for coming through in the clutch. The dinger followed up what was an unbelievable ALCS in which he went 7-for-15 including racking up five key RBI in Game 7.

Check out a story I'm working on for Cronkite Newswatch tomorrow night at 6:00 PM on Tempe 11. I'll be interviewing former ASU players (and teammates of Pedroia) including Pat Bresnehan, Tuffy Gosewisch and Jeff Larish. Hopefully they'll bring some insight into just how Pedro is getting it done. I'll post the video up here next week as well.

Pat Murphy had some kind words for the guy whom he called a "balding midget" during his time in Tempe. These are from a story in a New Hampshire newspaper:

"(Pedroia) laid a foundation, an expectation of this program that it's not OK to be in the Top 10. It's only OK to win the national championship. In the '05 World Series, I had his name printed out on my hat. Everybody thought that he was sick or something, or that he had an injury. But really it was just because I thought that he got us there. ... We took on his identity. That's what pushed us over the top."

All his hard work and all his perseverance and all his overcoming came together in one moment. That's the beauty of sports."

Wednesday Quick Links

The Sporting News previews Saturday's game.

Who would have thought Troy Nolan would be the safety everyone would be talking about instead of Josh Barrett?

Jeff Tedford's playcalling got a little conservative on Saturday.

Thomas Weber has come a long way since Camp T.

Phil Steele's computer predicts ASU will finish the season with 2 losses.

Carpenter 4 Heisman?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Cal Bandwagon Has Lost a Wheel

Wondering what the most popular thing to do as a Bay Area college football fan is?

No, it's not running to the nearest mall and picking up the hottest t-shirt on the Stanford campus.

It's apparently hopping off the Cal to the Rose Bowl bandwagon.

Taking a look at the major papers around Berkeley and the San Francisco Bay Area...there's once again frustration surrounding the latest shortcomings of Nate Longshore, Jeff Tedford and the rest of the California Golden Bears.

Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News says that in a mere eight days, Cal has gone from a National Championship contender to a "Sun Bowl wannabe." He goes on to say that against top teams, Cal plays evenly but always seems to give up one or two plays that turn the tide of the game. And the way that Keegan Herring and Dmitri Nance (who, by the way, will most likely be ASU's starter on Saturday night) have been breaking off big runs over the past month, that could be something to look out for, especially the way UCLA's Khalil Bell was able to run the ball down Cal's throat's last weekend.

Rusty Simmons, a football writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, talks about how over the past two weeks and since the team assumed the #2 ranking in the nation, the Cal players have stopped having fun. However, that has not stopped WR Robert Jordan from boasting of a guaranteed win over Arizona State, but apparently there's tension between fellow wide out DeSean Jackson and Tedford.

Post game comments in Jonathan Okanes' article in the Oakland Tribune allude to players that seem to have let the Oregon State and UCLA losses emotionally devestate them. He also talks about big plays, such as rising star Jahvid Best's 54-yard kickoff return which was negated two plays later by a terribly thrown ball by Longshore that resulted in a Bruin pick-six.

Even Cal's student paper, The Daily Californian, has seemed to throw in the towel. A column by Gerald Nicdao seems to compare missed opportunities this season to ones in the past, such as the 2004 loss to USC in which Aaron Rodgers did not throw an incomplete pass until the 4th quarter. He mentions "high expectations and not-so-wonderful results." Unfortunately, that's something we know a lot about here in the desert, but then again, the Devils were never the #2 team in the nation and knocking on the door of the National Championship in the past four years.

Now despite all this, there is absolutely no way that fans should overlook Cal. Despite two losses in back to back weeks, Cal is still by far the most dangerous team the Devils have faced all season, especially now that the Bears will certainly come into Tempe with a chip placed squarely on their gold and blue shoulders.

Mike Jones and Jarrell Woods have both been working out and are expected to play Saturday against California. Head Coach Dennis Erickson said at his Monday press conference that Brent Miller is still questionable after minor knee surgery.

Tuesday Links (4 Days til Cal)

Let's start it off with a little Dirk Koetter bashing. Matt Mosley and Mike Sando of the ESPN football blog Hashmarks criticize the him for some terrible playcalling. AOL Fanhouse also had a take on the playcalling.

Todd McShay of Scouts Inc. talks about Dennis Erickson's influence on Carpenter and the Sun Devils (ESPN Insider required)

Cal's DeSean Jackson makes Bruce Feldman's "Top 10 Hardest Players to Gameplan for" list

An LA Times piece on the emergence of Dustin Pedroia

Linebacker Gerald Munns will be back this week.

Dan Zeiger of the East Valley Tribune has a similar post to my last one, but his actually has relevant information and not just opinion.

The 2nd Annual ASU Academic Bowl concludes tonight, and the action so far has been filled with controversy. Get these nerds some red replay flags. $4,500 in scholarship money is on the line. That covers like 6 units of out of state fees. If you want to know what the fierce Academic Bowl action is like, here's the scouting video that the Cronkite School of Journalism used to take out Narsty Nate Hudson and the Mary Lou Fulton School of Education last week:

Sunday, October 21, 2007

4 games to decide it all

I'm glad to see ASU getting a #4 ranking in the BCS. It just really doesn't matter, though. Thus far, we are 4-0 in the Pac-10 against the four weakest teams, U of A excluded. I'm not diminishing what the Sun Devils have accomplished in the least, but with getting where we want to go, the polls don't matter. We've got a 4 game playoff ahead of us with Cal, Oregon, UCLA and USC, and it is not double elimination. We lose one, and we have no chance at New Orleans, and I would love to go to Bourbon Street again.

Looking ahead, Cal is playing the worst out of the big four teams we have left. The opening spread is favoring us by 3, which is nothing shocking. Personally, if I had a farm, I'd put it on ASU.

Looking even further ahead than Cal, the Sun Devils travel to Autzen Stadium to play Oregon on November 3rd. If we have no major defensive injuries against Cal, we should be able to contain this offense, considering we contained Jake Locker aside from his 32 yard touchdown run.

Oregon should get a good test out of USC next week, but will most likely come away victorious. I see ASU as the only team capable of containing this Oregon offense enough to put a second loss on their record. Even if we pass the test up in Eugene, we still have a UCLA team who figured out how to win on Saturday and a USC team who could be a lot healthier of a team by the time we play them on Thanksgiving.

So it's great that the team is getting recognized as the #4 team in the country, but a high ranking really doesn't mean anything, just ask South Florida.

One game at a time, and Cal is up first in the playoff.

Sunday Morning Hangover Links

photo: Bruce Ely/The Oregonian

Oregon racked up 661 yards of offense on the Huskies last night in a 55-34 win, with 465 of that coming on the ground.

Saturday was bittersweet for Bruins fans. They beat the #10 team in the nation, but now it'll be harder to get rid of their coach.

PTI talking head Bill Plaschke thinks that Mark Sanchez should keep the starting job at USC after replacing John David Booty, who had a hand injury. Does this situation sound familiar?

They have completely given up down in Tucson.

We're #7 in both polls, while BCSguru thinks we'll be #7 in the BCS

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Saturday Morning Observations

There really needs to be no idle Saturday's for ASU, because when there are, I make dumb decisions such as:
A) Dropping $900 on a brand new computer
B) Watching USC/Notre Dame

But in between doing those things, I've watched a good amount of non-Sun Devil football, and here are some things I've picked up on.

-Those throwback Notre Dame jerseys are awful. Even more awful in HD. As Mark confirmed earlier, I feel like Akili Smith is about to come running out in those awful, mid-90's style green and yellow unis.

-I still really can't stand Pam Ward as a play by play announcer. She just irritates me, and she needs to put more research into her work. Her being on the call made the Iowa/Purdue game even more unwatchable.

-Those of you who were so insistent that Michigan State would take out Ohio State at the Horseshoe, eat it. Eat a lot of it. State is nowhere near the upper echelon of the Big Ten. P.S. this guy still sucks.

-South Carolina's lack of a competent quarterback finally caught up to them. Smelley had two picks and Blake Mitchell had one...all three of them terrible throws...and the Gamecocks lose to the Vanderbilt Fighting Jay Cutlers.

-That loss doesn't help the case of Kentucky, who's currently on the verge of losing control against Florida.

-I'm still looking for someone who really cares (minus alums of the schools) about the Miami/Florida State game.

-Not that Minnesota was a much respected program previously...but the fall from grace (?) came full circle today as they became the second Big Ten team this season to lose to a I-AA opponent. Where's your Laurence Maroney now, Goobers fans? Not only did you lose to the Bison, you gave up 585 YARDS of offense.

-Iowa State's pathetic defense came through today. They really shut down Oklahoma for the majority of the 17-7 loss today...this coming from a team that gave up 35 points to Nebraska two weeks ago. Refer to the previously posted video from the happiest Husker fan in Lincoln to confirm how bad the Cyclones defense is.

-The latest team to put up 70 in a game...your underachieving Clemson Tigers.

Games to keep an eye on

Vanderbilt at South Carolina(6) - Vandy is already up 17-0 as we speak. We could always do without an undefeated SEC team. Go Commodores!

Kansas(13) at Colorado - Another Colorado win against an undefeated Big 12 team will definitely boost our strength of schedule.

Cal(12) at UCLA - The Sun Devils would actually benefit from a Cal win in this case. The Bruins are somehow 3-0 in conference with wins against Stanford, Washington and Oregon State. A
Bruins loss would benefit the Sun Devils greatly, and also, I don't want to see Cal's ranking drop any further for when we play them next week.

USC(14) at Notre Dame - As much as you might want to see the Trojans lose, trust me, you don't. If the Trojans lose, that will mean Notre Dame's only two wins will have come against Pac-10 teams. Wouldn't be good for that whole SEC vs. Pac-10 debate.

Oregon (10) at UDub- This game will tell us a lot. One, how will Oregon fair without two of their top receivers and a top running back, who are all gone for the season. If Oregon smokes U-Dub, we'll see that they have depth and are still a very scary team. If it's a close game, we'll see that Oregon has some adjusting to do if they want to compete for a national title.

Report: Elway will be a Sun Devil

Huge recruiting news coming out of Colorado. Sam Adams of the Rocky Mountain News reports this morning that Jack Elway, son of John Elway, has committed to the Sun Devils.

Elway has 21 touchdowns to 3 interceptions on the season for Colorado's Cherry Creek High School. More to come on this story.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Put down the poison pill, folks

I know I'm going to take some flak for this. I don't care. It needs to be said.

I'm as upset as anyone that Ryan Torain will be missing the rest of the season with a busted toe. It sucks. Ryan Torain is an extremely talented running back with almost unlimited potential. He really has made an impact on the transformation of ASU into a running force in the Pac-10. He should still be a high draft pick in the NFL Draft and the Devils will surely and sorely miss his presence on the field.

But am I the only one NOT:
A) banging my head on the wall?
B) using this as the second reason this decade that God hates the Sun Devils? (Number one...of course)
C) crying buckets of tears into a Four Peaks Oatmeal Stout?
D) All of the above?

I totally feel like I am. And when you really look at the grand scheme of things this season, especially in the Pacific 1o Conference...are you surprised?

USC is missing J.D. Booty. Oregon is without top receiver Cameron Colvin and RB Jeremiah Johnson for the rest of the season. Cal's loss to Oregon State can be in some way attributed to the absence of veteran QB Nate Longshore. Hell, even Stanford is missing T.C. Ostrander, but I don't think Cardinal fans seem to mind. The fact is, nearly every team in the Pac is missing a top performer, and ASU wasn't going to be spared.

And now, I'll finally say it. While losing Torain is big, it's not the worst thing that could have happened to the Sun Devils. It will make a difference in their short running game for sure, as Torain is without a doubt the best between the tackles runner on the roster. They'll miss him against USC and California for sure.

ASU is a team now recognized (imagine this!) for being able to break off a big run at any time during a game. Against Stanford, Washington State and Washington, either Dmitri Nance or Keegan Herring have been the guys to break off game changing scampers. Those guys have the potential to be momentum swingers as the Devils enter the meat of their schedule.

Unfortunately, I don't think Ryan Torain is a momentum changer. ASU can only hope that Herring or Nance inherits Torain's prowess for being able to ram the ball down the throats of opponents, but he hasn't yet showed me the ability to change the game on one play. Herring and Nance can do that.

Obviously if Arizona State loses to Cal next week and has no sign of a functioning run game, I'll be eating crow. Lots of it. And I'll admit to it on this site on October 28 if that happens.

But all I'm saying is...don't panic, Pitchfork Nation. Let us see what Keegan and Dmitri can do.

Welcome to the Big Show

From today:

The Arizona State blog Pitchfork Nation caught up with Neal McCready of the Mobile Press-Register, who is the only person to vote the Sun Devils No. 1 in the Associated Press top 25. Of course, he cast that vote before knowing that the team’s leading rusher, Ryan Torain, is injured and out for the season.

Thanks to all of you who visited us via the Times link and we hope you continue to visit us for the best coverage of ASU.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Report: Torain Derailed

The news is not good. Norm Frauenheim of the Arizona Republic reported tonight that ASU's leading rusher Ryan Torain is done for the season after dislocating the big toe on his left foot. Torain injured the toe during the first quarter of the 44-20 win against U-Dub. Torain, a senior, provided much excitement so far this season for the Sun Devils, and was looking to be on his way to a second straight 1,000 yard season.

Torain burst onto the scene last season with games of 191 rushing yards at Cal, and 113 against Oregon (which ironically were both blowout losses). Keegan Herring is now officially the man, with Dmitri Nance filling in the backup role.

With his Sun Devil career effectively over and the depth at the Sun Devils running back position still in good shape, let's hope that Torain can recover in time to post great numbers for the scouts at the NFL Draft Combine in March.

Around the Pac-10

The Band is Out on The Field - Cal's season eerily resembles the season they had in 2005. Will they tank again, or turn a corner?

Addicted to Quack - The Oregon-UW mutual hatred is alive and well.

Seattle Post Intelligencer - U-Dub has a lot of young talent who don't take losing very well.

AOL Fanhouse - Larry Doba's days appear to be numbered at Wazzou.

Los Angeles Times - The Trojans could head into South Bend this weekend with a healthy John David Booty back under center. Also, Patrick Cowan could start for the Bruins on Saturday

Tucson Citizen - For some reason, Willie Tuitama is still the quarterback down at U of A, even though he can't execute in the new spread offense.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A few minutes with...Neal McCready

If you're wondering why ASU received a first place vote in the AP poll, it's because of the influence of Neal McCready of The Press-Register of Mobile, Alabama. Neal took some time out of his busy schedule to talk with me this morning:

PitchforkNation: Do you honestly think ASU is the best team in the country, or did you just use the deductive reasoning of:

The best teams in the nation come from the Pac-10 and SEC Conferences
Arizona State is the only undefeated team in either conference
Arizona State is the best team in the nation?

Neal McCready: We don’t know who the best team in the country is right now; you can’t make a decisive argument for anyone. I’ve always looked at it week to week, and if you look at cases for #1 right now, you’re down to 4 schools, ASU, BC, USF, and Ohio State. ASU is in the strongest league, the Pac-10. ASU is explosive, I love Dennis Erickson, and Rudy Carpenter is really coming into his own. They come back after slow starts and score in bunches, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they end up running the table. I think the Pac-10 and SEC are both close in strength from top to bottom. Look Stanford beat USC and Mississippi State beat Auburn. Both conferences are tough week after week, and ASU is the only team that’s come out unscathed. So for me, ASU is #1.

PFN: What do you think of Arizona State's chances the rest of the season?

Neal: I like their chances. Autzen is a tough place to get a win, but I like their chances against Cal. UCLA is a winnable game at the Rose Bowl for them, they have USC at home, and I think they’ll beat Arizona. So I like their chances to go undefeated. The trip to Oregon is scary and that is a tough place to go get a W, Mike Bellotti really knows how to coach up his teams.

PFN: Have you ever given a #1 vote, before this week, to a team who seemed to be on the outside looking in?

Neal: Not that I recall. In 2004 I was one of 2 people to vote Auburn #1 midway through the season. I don’t look at it and say “what’s everyone else going to do, I’m going to follow their lead." That’s not my job. The AP wants you to cast your own vote. In '04 I thought Auburn was the best team in the country most of that year, and I didn’t have any problem voting for them. If ASU beats Cal in a week and a half, I won’t be the only one voting them #1. If they lose, they’ll be done. The same people who are criticizing for me for ASU, I can criticize people just the same who voted for Ohio State. I mean come on, who have they played? Right now you can make a compelling argument for or against any of those 4 teams LSU is a foot away from being undefeated, Auburn is 2 plays away from being undefeated; this is college football today. Teams don’t dominate anymore, kids are too suave, they read the internet. Kids go to schools to play early. The days of the big program are over. There’s going to be balance. If you have a good coach, a good quarterback and a good defense, you have a shot. Florida Basketball coach Billy Donovan told me “If you replay the NCAA tournament, you’d get a different winner everytime," and it's the same way with these football games this season. There is a lot of parity and equality amongst teams in college football now. The margin between the team that goes 6-2 and 2-6 in the SEC isn't what it used to be. Ole Miss got screwed out of a win against Alabama on Saturday, and Vanderbilt almost beat Georgia. 10 years ago those teams had no chance.

PFN: How long have you voted in the AP poll?

Neal: This is my 4th year.

PFN: Which team do you think will win the SEC?

Neal: I'll have to say LSU, it's close though.

PFN: Which teams will face off in the National Title Game in New Orleans?

Neal: South Florida and somebody, hopefully either a team from the Pac-10 or SEC and those are the best leagues. Maybe ASU, USC, South Carolina or LSU.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Keller Era at Nebraska officially a complete disaster, Athletic Director Pederson fired

This guy can explain what has gone on at Nebraska this season better than I can: Language warning, NSFW.

Now comes word over the wire that Nebraska's Athletic Director has been fired, with Nebraska chancellor citing "disappointment in the progress in the football team."

Here are Keller's stats in comparison with Carpenter's

PASSING              GP-GS   Effic Cmp-Att-Int   Pct  Yds  TD Lng Avg/G
Keller, Sam 7-7 133.18 156-246-10 63.4 1849 11 73 264.7
Carpenter, Rudy 7-7 158.85 132-199-7 66.3 1730 16 64 247.1

Keller has been pretty mediocre for all the hype, boasting a pass efficiency that is ranked #51 among quarterbacks, just ahead of U of A's Willie Tuitama. Ask U of A fans, and they'll tell you those kind of stats don't get the job done. Carpenter has the 12th best efficiency, just ahead of Hawaii's Colt Brennan. This all isn't on Keller either though; if Nebraska had anything resembling a division I defense they would probably still be in the top 25.

Monday Morning Sun Devil Links

ASU is ranked #8 in the first BCS poll of the season. We're ranked #12 in the AP poll, with 1 first place vote from Neal McCready of the Press Register in Mobile, Alabama.

Just in case you didn't already know, Ryan Torain and Mike Jones both suffered injuries on Saturday.

Barack Obama will be speaking on Hayden Lawn on Friday at 10 AM.

Men's basketball kicked off practice this weekend.
No midnight madness necessary, and unlike with Jerry Rice at Georgetown, there was reportedly no Soulja Boy going on at practice:

Jack Elway Highlight Reel

Jack Elway, son of John, was in attendance at the U Dub game as most of you probably know already. Here's a little high school highlight reel of him:

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sunday (mild) Football Hangover

List of drinks drank on Saturday:

Jack and Coke via Ruben Estrada and a Bud Light at a Parent's weekend tailgate.

That was all for the I was completely into the game and the second half. Rula Bula provided the Guinness post game.

Anyways, thoughts on Saturday:

At first I wasn't happy Cal lost. Then I realized, I don't want to beat the #1 team in the country in Cal in two weeks, because it would be too much hype too early.

If we beat the #1 Cal Bears, then we would get way ahead of ourselves, considering Cal has been overhyped all year. They were #2 in the country because Oregon lost that game themselves, not because they were the superior team. Cal is the 4th best team in this conference, and can be beat by any team in this conference. Oregon State proved that.

Oregon smashed Wazzou yesterday 53-7, but in the process lost wide receiver Cameron Colvin for the season with a broken ankle, ending his Duck career. Also, running back Jeremiah Johnson is possibly out for the season as well with a severely sprained knee.

USC couldn't do anything against the Wildcats. Fred Davis was their only reliable offensive player. If U of A wasn't U of A, that's probably the Trojans' second straight loss.

So get this, says ASU will be #9 when the BCS rankings come out. If we showed some consistency in the first half in some of these games, we would be ranked much higher.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Pac-10 Power Rankings

  1. Cal-Berkeley 5-0 (2-0) - They took down an impressive Oregon team and are currently ranked #2 in the nation. Not much is known about the ankle injury to quarterback Nate Longshore due to the fact that Cal had a bye this past week. They play in Pasadena next week, and due to all the athletes they have, they should just walk all over UCLA. Cal by at least 3 scores.
  2. Oregon 4-1 (1-1) - They lost to Cal due to some real unfortunate turnovers and could easily be the #2 team in the nation. They play Wazzou at home next week, and will probably have some trouble because of the speed of the young linebackers the Cougars have. They'll win though.
  3. Arizona State 6-0 (3-0) - We play the Huskies next week at home for family weekend. Carp torched U-Dub two years ago in his first start as a Sun Devil, and I don't think next weekend will be much different.
  4. USC 4-1 (2-1) - What an embarrassment. And John David Booty has a broken finger. See you on Thanksgiving.
  5. Oregon State 3-3 (1-2) - Needed a confidence booster against Arizona yesterday, will give teams a scare and should make a bowl game.
  6. Stanford 2-3 (1-3) - They've only lost to one mediocre Pac-10 team in UCLA, and hung with Oregon. No one saw that upset of USC coming
  7. UCLA 4-2 (3-0) - Karl Dorrell will not be coaching UCLA next season. The fans are pretty fed up with this. An awful performance against Notre Dame yesterday and with no healthy reliable quarterback, this team will be lucky to be smelling the Poinsettias.
  8. Washington 2-3 (0-2)- Impressive OOC wins against Boise state and Syracuse keep them up this high, but they have got to find a rhythm soon. I just hope they find it in two weeks.
  9. Arizona 2-4 (1-2) - Only wins are against Northern Arizona and Washington State. Lame duck QB, lame duck coach, lame mascot.
  10. Wazzou 2-4 (0-3) - This team will not finish the season at #10 in the power rankings or conference standings. They have an awesome quarterback and are about to surprise some people. I'm glad we didn't play them any later in the season, because this team is improving.

Sunday Morning Hangover: News and Notes

AP Photo

ASU is now ranked #14 in the AP and #13 in the USA Today Poll after getting away with one yesterday in Pullman.

Positives from yesterday:

  1. The emergence of Brady Conrad as a reliable tight end.
  2. Thomas Weber is still perfect.
  3. Only one real mental mistake by Carpenter on that pick; that was a Keller-esque underthrow.
  4. Ryan Torain was great again, especially in the second half. Wish we would have switched it up and gone to Keegan more, but we'll take it.
  5. After seeing that performance by Kyle Williams, I'd have to say we have the most athletic receivers in the Pac-10 next to Cal.
  6. Robert James had another 9 tackles. Beast.

  1. 7 sacks for -56 yards...I know a lot of you out there are already jumping off the Carpenter bandwagon even though ASU is 6-0, but I really don't want to see him lost to injury. Even when he's not sacked, he's being pressured but still completing passes.
  2. Saia Falahola is probably gone for the season after injuring his triceps and elbow again.
  3. Petros Papadakis was calling the game. What the hell is FSN thinking with this guy? Stick to Pros vs. Joes and let the washed up, burnt out "ex"-drug user athletes deal with him.
  4. Justin Tryon pulling a Deion on that 69-yard touchdown return. Great play to make the pick, but come on man, wait until you're in the CFL to pull that crap.

Cal has risen to #2, while USC fell to #10 in the AP after falling to Stanford in the upset of the decade.

USC could be in big trouble after John David Booty broke his middle finger on his throwing hand in the second quarter. He stayed in the game and ended up throwing 4 interceptions. USC is still undecided if backup quarterback and fake ID user Mark Sanchez will start next week against Arizona.

I said in the season preview that Jim Harbaugh would be successful in Palo Alto, I just didn't realize it would be this soon.

Stanford's victory was remarkable for a few reasons:
  • Their starting quarterback T.C. Ostrander was out after having a seizure at a local restaurant the day after the ASU game
  • Mark Bradford lost his father last week, and came back to his hometown only to catch the game winning touchdown on 4th down.
  • 40 1/2 point underdogs!
  • We beat this team by 38 last week

Saturday, October 6, 2007

What it feels like to be Rudy Carpenter right now

@ Wazzou First Quarter Comments

1 PM: Watching the game intro on the Mojo network. Looking at Wazzou's cheerleaders in HD makes me even more happy to be a Sun Devil.

1:02 PM: Already mentioned Carpenter being a leader, and have mentioned Burgess changing positions many times. That's two drinks.

1:04PM: First Dane Cook Actober least it's a break from Petros Papadakis.

1:08: Mention of the 1-2 Torain Herring punch, take another drink.

1:10 - Does anyone actually own a Kyocera phone? They've been promoting on FSN since the first Clinton administration and I've never known anyone to own one. And we have a sideline report about Dennis Erickson's past. That's 4 drinks so far by my count.

1:12 - Burgess gets across the 30 on the kickoff return....visually this game is a complete 180 from the NFL Europa game that was broadcast last week.

1:15 - 3 and out including Carp gettin thrown around like a rag doll...and an awful punt. Wazzou has the ball at the ASU 47. Better wake up quick guys.

1:17 - Robert James is now dishing out the headaches. Looks like WR #2 just got a knee to the head.

1:18 Wazzou has to punt, getting the ball back on the 20 after a touchback.

1:21 - Two straight runs with Ryan Torain, 3rd and 4.

1:22 - Tight End Brady Conrad gets two straight first downs for the Sun Devils on his first two career receptions. Keep it up.

1:24 - Carp throws a pick off of a tip, looks like he was aiming for Mike Jones on a quick slant. Hopefully a 3 and out is coming for Wazzou.

1:27 - After a personal foul on Robert James, Vasquez gets a sack on Brink. He's not credited with it, but Brink gets called for intentional grounding. Wazzou backed up to the 41.

1:29 - Kyle Williams with a nifty move on the punt return and gets out to their own 30. 1st and 10 Sun Devils.

1:35 - Carp might be tipping when he is gonna hike the ball...Wazzou jumped the snap perfectly. Well, spoke too soon, got them to jump offsides on the next play. First down.

1:40 - Wazzouw has the ball back...and we have audio difficulties on the MOJO network. False start for the Cougs, negates a 5 yard gain on a pass. 2nd and 10.

1:43 - Kyle Williams backs off a punt and lets it roll back into Sun Devil territory. First and 10 at about the Sun Devil 46. Still no audio.

1:45 - Quick slant all day to Kyle Williams. First and 10 in Wazzou territory at the 41.

1:47 - End of the First...

The Pitchfork Nation Drinking Game

Every time one of the FSN announcers mentions one of the following about Arizona State football when we play Washington State today, take a drink. If you follow these rules and survive, you might be able to hang with Hakim Hill:

  • Dennis Erickson's past (About how he coached at Washington State, Miami, Oregon State, THE NFL, and Idaho)
  • How the Sun Devils finally won a game in California. Even though I don't blame them for mentioning that again. I actually was at the last game they had won in California...AT USC...IN 1999....WHEN I WAS 14.
  • How the Sun Devils should be 7-0 going into the Cal game.
  • Kellergate and Rudy's ascent to mediocrity last season, and how he's proving to be a leader this year.
  • The 1-2 punch of Ryan Torain and Keegan Herring, and take an extra drink if they mention that Herring could easily be the starter.
  • Rudy Burgess and how he's had to battle back through injuries while playing 47 different positions.
  • Thomas Weber being perfect so far replacing Jesse Ainsworth
  • Robert James' migraines that sidelined him last season
  • Freshman Omar Bolden's interception return last week