Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Hump Day Quick Hits

A few news and notes to pass along from various media outlets to get you through your Wednesday...and if you're struggling...just keep telling yourself there are only 3 1/2 more days until your latest fix of Sun Devil football.

From the Arizona Republic on the Arizona State front:

-DE Dane Guthrie was held out of practice yesterday and may not be available for Saturday's game. He suffered a concussion against Oregon in spot duty behind Luis Vasquez. This slides Kellen Mills most likely into the backup role, but with Vasquez playing well recently, this shouldn't make a giant impact.
-The team has been juggling its O-Line personnel with Zach Krula ruled out for the UCLA game (knee) and Paul Fanaika not participating in practice Tuesday (ankle). Look for Shaun Lauvao to get regular playing time Saturday at LG. Richard Tuitu'u has been spending time at guard to help fill the void.
-Speaking of Fanaika, don't forget that his sister Lavinia and the rest of the women's basketball season is beginning tomorrow with an exhibition against the US National Team at Wells Fargo Arena.
-Mike Nixon may get the start over Travis Goethel at the OLB spot opposite Robert James against the Bruins after a strong game in Oregon. This is no surprise; Goethel has struggled this season and Nixon's tackling skills in the open field have improved dramatically.
-Jeremy Payton has improved, but is still out for Saturday. He's expected back for the USC game on Thanksgiving.

From the Los Angeles Times and L.A. Daily News for an update on UCLA:
-Sophomore Oscar Rasshan will get the start at QB against the Sun Devils with Patrick Cowan (collapsed lung) and Ben Olsen (knee) out. In fact, Cowan just arrived back in LA yesterday after spending several days at a Tucson hospital. Rasshan is a converted wide receiver who did not play a down last season as a redshirt freshman. He has played in three games this year, completing three passes for 82 yards. And for the record, he's a history major.
-Look for the UCLA offense to be drastically simplified this week as the team's fourth string QB takes over the reins. Oh, and no pressure Mr. Rasshan, you're only being counted on to save your coaches jobs.
-They're banged up, period. I know UA actually looked like a competent football team last week, but it was helped in part by the fact that I'm fairly sure UCLA was trotting out freshmen that they found sleeping in dorms that morning.
-This week in practice so far, LB Reggie Carter was carted off and starting RB Chris Markey sat out an entire day of drills. On Markey, he says his toe and ankle are bothering him but he was sitting out mainly to give other guys necessary reps. Well, with Khalil Bell out for the season and UCLA still in position (somehow) to get to a decent bowl game, don't you think you'd want your starter in there taking ALL the reps with the first team?
-Then again, Karl Dorrell is still their head coach, so nothing about UCLA surprises me anymore. Chane Moline (who?) and Craig Sheppard (who^2?) took the reps at tailback in practice. Surprising that we haven't heard Dorrell frantically placing calls to Maurice Jones-Drew and the NCAA trying to find out if he had any years of eligibility left.

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