Pac-12 Notes – Arizona State Week

September 25th – GameDay!

Oregon State defeats USC, 45-27, for first win in LA since 1960

From the Los Angeles Times … A personal foul penalty by USC’s Michael Triggs on the opening kickoff signaled to a Coliseum crowd itching for an impressive home debut for its new coach that these were instead just the same old, undisciplined Trojans.

Actually, it was much worse.

USC, spiraling from a coaching change and listless offense, reached more lows Saturday, losing to Oregon State 45-27. It was USC’s first loss to Oregon State in Los Angeles since 1960, ending a streak of 24 consecutive wins over the Beavers, a perennial conference doormat that hasn’t played in a bowl game since 2013.

“Oregon State, tonight, they outcoached us, they outplayed us,” interim head coach Donte Williams said. “It will all get fixed. I promise you that.”

Hearing a team with seven straight losing seasons outplayed one of the most storied programs in college football signals just how far the Trojans have fallen. From its seven years of ineptitude, Oregon State (3-1, 1-0 Pac-12 Conference) racked up six touchdowns, including five on consecutive drives that spanned the second, third and fourth quarters, and had its highest-scoring performance ever against USC.

Oregon State quarterback Chance Nolan was electric with 213 yards passing and four touchdowns while completing 15 of his 19 throws with two intercepted passes. He added 57 yards rushing to complement running back B.J. Taylor, who ran for 158 yards in 23 attempts.

The Beavers gained 322 of their 535 total yards on the ground, dragging defenders down the field in a tackling effort that defensive coordinator Todd Orlando called “heart-wrenching.”

After giving up 42 points to Stanford in their last home game, the Trojans (2-2, 1-2) have allowed 40 points or more in back-to-back games at the Coliseum for the first time since 2011.

“Things like this happen and it’s not our last game so we still got more to define us,” USC outside linebacker Drake Jackson said. “We’re going to go out and work until we can’t work no more so something like this doesn’t happen again.”

USC’s Kedon Slovis, who reprised his starting role when challenger Jaxson Dart was sidelined with knee surgery, was 31-of-49 passing for 355 yards with one touchdown and three intercepted passes, relying on desperation fourth-quarter drives to pad his passing stats.

Since unseating injured top recruit JT Daniels, Slovis’ completion percentage has fallen from 71.9% as a freshman to 67% as a sophomore and is 64.3% after four games in his junior year.

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Bowling Green stuns Minnesota, 14-10

Several ways to read this upset … Many will see this as an indictment of the CU program, arguing that this loss by the Gophers translates into Colorado not even good enough to best a middling MAC team … Better way to look at it: Anyone can beat anyone, which gives hope for the Buff Nation going forward … As for me, I’m always looking ahead, and CU has to play at Minnesota next fall. If the Buffs are going to be successful in 2022, they will need something better than a 1-2 non-conference record. The Buffs play TCU at home, before facing Air Force and Minnesota on the road. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be facing struggling non-conference opponents (P.S. TCU lost to SMU today, 42-34) … 

From ESPN … Quarterback Matt McDonald ran for a pair of scores, and two late interceptions by the Bowling Green defense sealed the win as the Falcons shocked heavily-favored Minnesota, 14-10, on homecoming Saturday.

The loss snapped Minnesota’s streak of 21 straight non-conference wins, the longest streak in the country entering Saturday’s game. The Gophers’ last non-conference loss was Sept. 3, 2015 against TCU.

It also marked Minnesota’s first loss to a non-Power 5 conference opponent since losing to North Dakota State on Sept. 24, 2011.

Bowling Green came to Minneapolis as 31-point underdogs but used a strong defensive effort to slow down the Golden Gopher offense. Minnesota’s fans booed their team at numerous points in the game, while Falcons players jumped on the field in celebration after the upset was complete.

The Gophers had the ball with a chance to take the lead late in the fourth quarter after Bowling Green failed to fall on a muffed punt by Minnesota’s Trey Potts. But one play after recovering the fumble, quarterback Tanner Morgan lofted a deep interception into the hands of Devin Taylor with 2:13 remaining. Morgan threw another pick with 17 seconds remaining.

The Gophers’ passing game struggled all day against the Falcons. Morgan was just 5-of-13 for 59 yards.

McDonald scored on runs of one and three yards. He was 19-of-35 for 170 yards through the air.

Minnesota’s lone touchdown came on a 19-yard scramble by backup quarterback Cole Kramer.

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September 24th

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USC may be down to third-string quarterback for Oregon State game

From 247 Sports … True freshman quarterback Jaxson Dart tore his meniscus during his USC debut against Washington State on Saturday, sources have told Dart underwent minor surgery this week and is expected to be out for an extended period of time.

Dart was electric in his debut performance against the Cougars, finishing with 30 completions out of 46 attempts for 391 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions after he entered the game following a neck injury sustained by starting quarterback Kedon Slovis on the Trojans’ opening offensive possession.

Dart played with a gunslinger’s mentality, as offensive coordinator Graham Harrell put it. The true freshman broke the record for most passing yards by a USC quarterback in a debut. He reached that milestone prior to the end of the game, notching 308 yards by the third quarter.

The quarterback appeared to be injured, however, on the final drive of the first half when Washington State’s Jaylen Watson dove at his knees on a read-option run. Dart finished the drive, connecting with Gary Bryant Jr. on a fourth-and-9 for a momentum-shifting 38-yard touchdown pass. Dart returned with a brace on his right knee after the halftime break and wore it for the remainder of the game, occasionally showing a slight limp.

During the USC-produced Trojans Live show on Monday, interim head coach Donte Williams listed Dart as “day-to-day” after getting “dinged up” on Saturday. Williams added that Dart would be held out, presumably of practice this week, as a precautionary measure.

Players are usually in attendance for USC’s weekly practices even if they do not participate. However, Dart was not seen on Howard Jones Field during the team’s open practices Tuesday and Wednesday. Williams was asked for a status update on Dart during his Thursday press conference but didn’t provide any new information.

“I know everyone wants to ask about our quarterback situation,” Williams said. “There’s no new updates right there. We’ll all find out on Saturday at the game.”

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September 23rd

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The decline of USC: “Clay’s a nice dude, but he had no edge to him”

From The Athletic … From 2009 to 2018, USC had five recruiting classes ranked in the top four nationally and nine top-10 classes. But when the NFL opened the 2021 regular season, USC wasn’t even among the top 20 programs with players on NFL rosters for Week 1. (In 2016, the Trojans were tied for second.) How does that happen? How exactly did USC fall off so badly?

After The Athletic spoke to a dozen people who either worked in the program, were closely affiliated with it, coached against the Trojans or have a deep knowledge of the Southern California recruiting scene since Pete Carroll left for the NFL, this much is clear: There are several factors that have led to the Trojans squandering their talent advantage over the rest of the West Coast, largely recruiting deficiencies and a lack of development — and their next head coach will be the one dealing with the ramifications.

“I don’t think the people who support the team realize the damage,” said one parent of a former USC player whose son played in the NFL this weekend. “You know how when celebrities get in trouble, then bring in a team to fix all their problems? SC needs five of those.”

Last week, a different former USC assistant coach, who is now coaching at another FBS program, sat on the phone reflecting on what went wrong for Helton, the man who hired him. He thought Helton did a good job of letting coaches coach and not micromanaging. But ultimately, there’s more to the gig than people skills.

“Looking back on it,” the coach said, “he didn’t hire the right people, and maybe I am one of them. That sounds bad.”

In the early 2000s, Carroll built a recruiting juggernaut at USC. He set the tone with a dynamic personality which served the Trojans well as the face of the program amid the crowded sports market that is Los Angeles. But he also built a star-studded staff of recruiters with headliners Ed Orgeron, Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian, who remain some of the best recruiters in the sport nearly 20 years later. And that’s not to overlook assistants like Kennedy Polamalu and Rocky Seto, who were really strong recruiters.

… “When they brought Clay in, I just think the lack of hiring really good (assistant) coaches was the downfall,” one successful Southern California high school coach said. “Kids want to be in a professional environment and want to have an opportunity to potentially play in the NFL and play in the College Football Playoff — and they know SC is nowhere near that happening with those guys.”

During one eight-year stretch under Carroll that sparked seven top-four finishes, the Trojans produced 16 first-round picks — 10 more than USC has had in the last eight years.

“Clay’s a nice dude but had no edge to him,” said a former Trojan player who now works in the NFL. “They took advantage of him. Pete was a grinder but as a player you never knew that. When the players weren’t around, he was totally different with the staff. Pete had a big personality and was fun, but he was also a disciplinarian. He had KP (Polamalu) and Ed Orgeron — those guys handled the discipline. They were tone-setters. Pete managed his staff in a great way. That’s what they need to get back to. Someone who can capture the team and the city.”

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Las Vegas puts odds on USC’s next coach: James Franklin and Luke Fickell the favorites

From … It’s only three weeks into the USC football season and already there have been plenty of fireworks, starting with a stunning loss to Stanford in week 2 which was quickly followed by athletic director Mike Bohn announcing that head coach Clay Helton was fired. Bohn also declared that a national search for the Trojans next head man would begin immediately.

Lots of potential replacement names have been thrown around the media (some good and some terrible) so we wanted to check and see how this race to be the next USC head coach was handicapped.

According to Sports Betting Dime, Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell and Penn State head coach James Franklin are the most likely to take over the Trojans, each listed with odds of +450 (4.5 to 1 odds).

Here are the complete odds for all of the potential coaching candidates listed in order of likeliness:

James Franklin+450
Luke Fickell+450
Urban Meyer+500
Matt Campbell+950
P.J. Fleck+1000
Mario Cristobal+1200
Tony Elliott+1600
Dave Aranda+1600
Bob Stoops+2000
Eric Bieniemy+3000
Chris Petersen+5000
Lane Kiffin+5000
Steve Sarkisian+10000
Pete Carroll+10000

The top of the list are names we have heard quite a bit, starting with Franklin. Many USC fans want to rid themselves of the Helton era and can’t get past that Helton beat Franklin head-to-head in the 2017 Rose Bowl, but Franklin would be a good fit in Los Angeles and not only turned things around at Penn State, a college football blue blood, but also at Vanderbilt, one of the worst teams in the country since he left.


September 22nd

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College Playoff Board of Managers will not vote on 12-team format; eight-team format gains momentum

From ESPN … The College Football Playoff board of managers, which is comprised of 11 presidents and chancellors who have the authority to change the playoff, will not vote next week on a proposed 12-team format, further delaying any major changes to the current four-team field.

The board was originally scheduled to meet with the 10 FBS commissioners and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick on Sept. 28 in Rosemont, Illinois — the members’ flights were booked. But after some of the commissioners raised numerous issues on a call last week and again at a meeting in Dallas on Wednesday, they opted to continue working before making a recommendation to the presidents for their approval.

The commissioners and Swarbrick will still meet in the Chicago area next week, but the presidents and chancellors will now join them by Zoom for all or part of the meeting.

“I think we can continue to keep them informed and they’ll decide when they’re prepared to vote,” Swarbrick told ESPN on Wednesday. “It’s ultimately their decision. We thought there remained some issues to be addressed and it would be important for us to address them before we make a recommendation or ask them to act.”

The playoff is entering the eighth season of a 12-year contract that runs through the 2025 season, and it’s still possible the format could change before the end of the contract.

If that were to happen, ESPN would have first rights for any new games, but if ESPN declined to buy them, the CFP could take them to the open market. Sources have said a vast majority of commissioners want to have multiple television partners, but the only way for that to happen within the current contract is for ESPN to agree to it.

CFP executive director Bill Hancock told ESPN on Wednesday “there’s no rush” to determine the next move.

“We have time because if we want to change the format in 2024, we’d have a few months,” Hancock said. “If we wanted to change it in 2026, we have a couple of years. There’s not a set timeline. It will be up to the presidents to decide about that, but there’s no rush.”

The next scheduled meeting for the CFP’s board of managers is currently in January, when the presidents and chancellors gather annually at the national championship game.

Sources with knowledge of the discussions have said there is some interest in an eight-team model, but there isn’t unanimous support for it.

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Angst in the desert: “(The BYU) game was the last straw”/”We’re the frauds” 

From … There are times when Herm Edwards sounds broken. Like someone picked the lock and stole his swagger.

If not, that’s certainly the case with a diehard Arizona State booster I spoke with on Tuesday. The one who cornered me in a health club locker room to tell me he was finished with the football program.

“I was in my late 30’s when they went to the Rose Bowl,” he said. “I’m 63 now. I realized it’s never going to happen. We’ve been through, what, four coaches since then? This last game was the last straw.”

The booster is a long-time acquaintance. He has been sharing intelligent opinions about ASU football with me for nearly two decades, good and bad. He is most assuredly not done with the program.

But he represents a large portion of the fan base that feels nauseated by Saturday’s outcome, the ones who truly believed the 2021 Sun Devils were the long-awaited prize. The team that would end all the suffering. A team that should’ve pounded Brigham Young and not shriveled in the din of Provo, Utah.

Nothing is over just yet. Losing to BYU on the road is not a capital offense. But there’s an undeniable pall over the fan base that can be phrased in the form of question: If not now, when?

Especially with a NCAA investigation that seems to be moving faster than most.

As for that nasty matter of allegedly funding illegal recruiting visits in the midst of a pandemic: ASU committed 16 penalties against BYU. That happened after incurring 13 penalties in the season opener. They are averaging over 106 penalty yards per game, which means a glaring problem is not being fixed. They are a tremendously undisciplined team. And if this is truly the best roster ASU has fielded in years, then the coaching has been positively horrendous.

After Saturday’s loss, a fan posted the following on Twitter: “I cannot believe I thought BYU was a bad football team. We’re the frauds.”

Another noted how Edwards had stridently brushed off any concerns or preparations for the altitude of Provo, which is over 4,500 feet and well above Tempe.

The program has maintained there are no new distractions inside the facility. The ragged performances say otherwise. And you can see the obvious dilemma:

How can leaders of this program demand extreme discipline from its players when they allegedly showed very little of their own? When three of their assistant coaches have been sidelined for something that feels bigger and more nefarious than a small number of rogue recruiters?

The coaches are doing a lot of talking these days. But is anyone really listening? And what does that say in a season that was supposed to be ASU’s ticket to glory?

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September 21st 

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CBS Bottom 25; CSU and Arizona in (CU not in – yet)

From CBS Sports … Three to four games isn’t enough to tell us the entire story of a football team, but it’s enough to give us solid footing to form opinions … and I’m starting to form some opinions. After Week 3 of the college football season, The Bottom 25 is abound with familiar teams, as well as the tourist programs that sometimes get lost on their way to mid-conference mediocrity.

When I look among the familiar faces, the Bottom 25 Playoff contenders are starting to emerge. Things will change in the coming weeks as conference play takes over — that will knock a lot of these MAC teams from the rankings — but the teams that currently constitute The Bottom 10 have thus far looked like teams that don’t intend to stray far from the bottom of the pack.

That said, we have a new No. 1 team this week thanks to Akron’s win over Bryant, but it probably isn’t what you’re expecting to see. So which team is it? Well, the rankings are right below here. Honestly, I’m surprised you’ve read this far without already scrolling down.

No. 21 Colorado State … The Rams bounced back from their 24-21 loss to Vanderbilt with a surprising 22-6 road win over Toledo. Here’s what’s not surprising: I have no idea what to expect from this team in the future! I mean, I assume they’ll lose to Iowa on Saturday, but who knows? (4)

No. 19 Florida State … I never thought I’d become emotionally invested in Florida State football, but now I find myself hosting a college football podcast with two Seminoles who are going through an emotional crisis with this program right now. I wish I could hug them both and tell them the pain will go away, but I don’t like making promises I can’t keep. The Noles get Louisville at home this week. (21)

No. 12 Arizona … There are only four Power Five teams in The Bottom 25. That’s bound to change, but my early impressions of Arizona are that Kansas might have legit competition for Worst Power Five Team of 2021. The Wildcats lost to Northern Arizona 21-19 and play at Oregon this weekend. The Pac-12 seems pretty soft from its second tier down, so Arizona could poach a win or two, but I don’t see the Cats being favored in a single game from this point forward. (20)

No. 9 Kansas … My Kansas under 1.5 wins ticket lives at least one more week following a 45-7 loss to Baylor. The Jayhawks travel to Duke this week, and I’m all sad that Duke beat Northwestern last week to keep it from being a matchup of two Bottom 25 teams. Life isn’t fair! (17)

No. 1 Rice … Through four games, UConn has been outscored 184-49, losing by an average of 33.8 points per game. Rice has played three games and been outscored 140-24, losing by an average of 38.7 points per game. In fact, they’ve been outscored 123-7 over the last nine quarters. While that’s nowhere near all the information that goes into my ranking system, it’s the easiest way to make my point that the Owls have been awful, too. This week presents a winnable matchup against Texas Southern. (5)

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Utah quarterback Charlie Brewer quits the team

From … Charlie Brewer’s Utah tenure lasted three games.

The Utes said Tuesday that Brewer had left the team. Brewer, a transfer from Baylor, opened the season as Utah’s starting quarterback. He was benched in the second half of Utah’s three-overtime loss to San Diego State on Saturday.

Brewer was replaced at QB by Cameron Rising, who performed much better than Brewer did after he entered the game. Brewer was 14-of-26 passing for 104 yards and threw an interception. Rising was 19-of-32 for 153 yards and threw three touchdowns. Two of them came in the fourth quarter and another came in overtime.

Utah coach Kyle Whittingham was asked Monday who his starting QB would be against Washington State on Saturday. Whittingham said the coaching staff had a “solid idea” who would start but declined to name the QB. That QB is clearly now Rising.

Utah started the season with a win over FCS opponent Weber State. But the Utes lost to BYU in Week 2 and then fell to 1-2 after losing 33-31 to the Aztecs.

Brewer threw an interception in all three of those games. He was 15-of-26 passing for 147 yards against the Cougars and ends his Utah career with a 61% completion percentage and 484 yards to go with three TDs and three interceptions. His arrival at Utah figured to be one of the most significant QB additions of the offseason as Utah returned 19 starters on a team that looked equipped to compete for the Pac-12 South title.

The Utes are still in the Pac-12 race — they haven’t played a conference game yet — and it’s Rising who is now tasked with helping Utah win a wide-open South division. Rising, a transfer from Texas, was a backup to Jake Bentley and Drew Lisk in 2020.

Brewer completed over 60% of his passes in each of his four seasons at Baylor. Brewer’s best season came in 2019 when he was 251-of-389 passing for 3,161 yards and 21 TDs to just seven interceptions as Baylor went to the Sugar Bowl under now-Carolina Panthers coach Matt Rhule.


September 20th

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Report: Eric Bieniemy open to overtures from USC 

From CBS Sports … Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy has long sought to become an NFL coach and remains intent on that goal whenever Kansas City’s season ends, but sources close to him believe he would consider the opening at USC.

Bieniemy grew up in Southern California, went to high school not too far from campus, and has been familiar with the program his entire life. In January, the longtime Andy Reid assistant once again had numerous interviews for NFL head coaching positions, though the timing of another Chiefs run to the Super Bowl played some role in his return, with the league’s rules about when coaches can be hired still seemingly arcane to some. Timing could again be an issue should USC want to complete its hire by Thanksgiving or so for recruiting purposes, but it is one of a few select college openings Bieniemy would be open to, I’m told, if the process played out in the right manner.

In the past, Bieniemy has not pursued some college opportunities. He spent his adult life playing in the NFL and coaching there, and that is undoubtedly still his dream. But after years of being passed over for opportunities by what many would say are less-qualified candidates, and with the NFL still lacking the diversity the league office is seeking in the head-coaching ranks, USC, with it’s storied history and location and potential to be a giant in the college game again, would be the kind of job several people close to Bieniemy believe would resonate with him.

“It’s sad that it would come to that,” said one prominent member of the NFL coaching community who has ties to Bieniemy, “because this is a man who should already be a head coach in our league. But that is the kind of job you would have to entertain, especially with what Eric has been through the past few years. I don’t know how you categorically say no to USC.”

Increasingly, top college programs are seeking out head coaches with pro experience, and recruiting is becoming more like how NFL teams operate in terms of talent evaluation. And for many experienced African American coaches, the NCAA is being viewed as the far more likely opportunity to run their own program and gain head coaching experience.

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September 19th 

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CU one of four Pac-12 teams to be “deeply concerned” 

From the San Jose Mercury News

Fans of these teams should be deeply concerned:

Arizona: We figured it would be a long season in Tucson but were dead wrong about that. It turned out to be a very short season — because it’s already over. The Wildcats are 0-3 and don’t look capable of winning more than one or two games. (They play Colorado, after all). Jedd Fisch might have found his quarterback late in the fourth quarter when he gave third-stringer Jordan McCloud a shot. But the defense couldn’t stop NAU’s running game when everyone knew NAU would be running. Next week: at Oregon.

Utah: Cameron Rising’s performance off the bench provides a morsel of hope, but the Utes are a mess on the lines of scrimmage — the units expected to power a run at the South title. (San Diego State controlled the trenches for most of the game in the same manner BYU handled the Utes last week.) Also, we have no idea what Utah wants to be on offense — when it isn’t in desperation mode, that is.

Colorado: It stretches the imagination to think a major college team in the 21st century could gain 63 yards in a 60-minute game. But the Buffaloes were infinitely inept — to the point that Karl Dorrell should evaluate everything about the offense and his staff in the next 24-36 hours. Don’t forget, the shutout against Minnesota came one week after CU scored just seven points on Texas A&M.

Washington State: Multiple reasons to worry on the Palouse. The first is the state of the quarterback position after Jayden de Laura was hurt in the loss to USC. The Cougars also blew a lead for the second time in three games. (Ahead 14-0, they yielded 45 consecutive points to a backup quarterback making his first appearance.) And finally, the deadline for vaccines in Washington is Oct. 18; Nick Rolovich’s situation could become more problematic in coming weeks.

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No. 19 Arizona State finally plays a team with a pulse, falls 27-17 to No. 23 BYU

From ESPN … Forcing turnovers and getting big plays at critical junctures from Jaren Hall is turning into a proven winning formula for BYU.

Hall threw for 214 yards and two touchdowns and added 38 yards on seven carries, leading No. 23 BYU to a 27-17 victory over No. 19 Arizona State on Saturday night.

Tyler Allgeier added 69 yards and a touchdown on the ground as the Cougars (3-0) earned their third straight victory over a Pac-12 opponent. BYU forced four turnovers and posted its third straight victory over Arizona State in the series between the two teams.

“We’re 3-0 against good opponents,” Hall said. “What more can you ask for?”

Jaylen Daniels threw for 265 yards to lead the Sun Devils (2-1), but also tossed a pair of interceptions. Danyiel Ngata ran for 82 yards and a touchdown to lead Arizona State’s ground attack.

In addition to committing multiple turnovers, the Sun Devils racked up 16 total penalties and 121 penalty yards.

“We have the makings of a good football team,” Arizona State coach Herm Edwards said. “But when you do this, it’s not good football at all. It’s hard to watch when you’re going backward, and you just defeat yourself.”

Arizona State cut a double-digit halftime deficit to 21-17 late in the third quarter with back-to-back scoring drives. Ngata covered 51 yards on four straight runs and scored on a 10-yard sweep. Then, Christian Zendejas added a 40-yard field goal on the ensuing drive.

The Sun Devils appeared poised to go ahead before the third quarter ended after Merlin Robinson intercepted Hall at the ASU 25. Tyler Allgeier chased down Robinson as he ran along the sideline and punched the ball out of his hands, forcing a fumble that Hall recovered at the BYU 15.

“Tyler just went back to linebacker mode and saved the game for us,” BYU tight end Isaac Rex said. “That play was, by far, the biggest play of the game for us.”

The Cougars sealed the win after backup quarterback Baylor Romney tossed a 3-yard touchdown pass to Rex with 1:19 left. Romney came into the game after Hall was injured at the end of a QB run with 2:22 remaining.

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Fresno State rolls up 569 yards of total offense in 40-37 win over No. 13 UCLA

From ESPN … Fresno State’s Jake Haener was able to overcome a crushing hit to his right hip to lead the Bulldogs to an upset victory over No. 13 UCLA.

Haener threw for 455 yards, including the go-ahead touchdown pass to Jalen Cropper with 14 seconds remaining, as the Bulldogs beat the Bruins 40-37 Saturday night at the Rose Bowl.

“We know he’s tough, right. We’ve seen that over the course of last year and this year. He’s tough,” Fresno State coach Kalen DeBoer said. “When the pressure was great, he was at his best and that’s what’s awesome.”

Haener had to be at his best in a game that saw four lead changes over the final 7:27 after the Bulldogs had a 23-10 lead at halftime.

Fresno State finished the job against a Pac-12 program after leading then-No. 11 Oregon in the fourth quarter two weeks ago before losing.

“I mean, we just made one more play, right? We made one more play,” DeBoer said. “Fifty-four seconds that I just think about what our guys are capable of doing, it didn’t feel like it was too big of a feat at all.”

Haener’s 19-yard strike to Erik Brooks put Fresno State back in front 33-30 with 2:55 remaining, but he was wincing in pain on the ground after taking numerous hits throughout the night.

After UCLA regained the lead with 54 seconds left on Dorian Thompson-Robinson’s 15-yard pass to Kyle Phillips, a limping Haener directed a six-play, 75-yard drive that gave the Bulldogs (3-1) their fourth straight win over the Bruins.

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San Diego State takes out Utah in three overtimes, 33-31

From ESPN … By the time San Diego State dialed up a successful Philly Special on its final 2-point conversion attempt, it wasn’t even the craziest part of the Aztecs’ triple-overtime thriller with Utah.

And after one last video review went their way, the Aztecs could celebrate another win over a Pac-12 foe.

Quarterback Lucas Johnson caught a 2-point conversion pass from Jesse Matthews in triple overtime, and San Diego State blew a 14-point lead in the final minutes of regulation before hanging on for a 33-31 victory over the Utes on Saturday night.

“It was exciting,” Aztecs coach Brady Hoke said. “I’m not going to deny that.”

Johnson scored easily on a picture-perfect Philly Special after both teams’ kickers missed field goal attempts in double overtime. Moments later, the Aztecs (3-0) collectively ran across the field in a frenzy when officials reversed their call of a 2-point conversion catch by Utah’s Connor O’Toole, ruling the ball hit the turf.

“I still can’t believe it,” Aztecs defensive lineman Cameron Thomas said. “When it was official, I was so excited. I don’t even know what was going through my mind. I’m excited to keep this season rolling.”

Greg Bell rushed for 119 yards and two touchdowns and Jordan Byrd returned a kickoff 100 yards for a TD, but the Aztecs passed for only 44 yards and nearly gave away their second straight victory over a Pac-12 opponent after beating Arizona last week.

Backup quarterback Cameron Rising led the Utes’ improbable comeback, passing for 153 yards and three touchdowns while engineering three strong regulation drives after replacing ineffective Charlie Brewer late in the third quarter.

“It was an amazing feeling to fight back from the situation we were in and dig ourselves out of that hole,” said Rising, a native of nearby Ventura County. “It was a great feeling, but we’ve just got to finish.”

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Arizona losing streak hits 15 games after 21-19 loss to Northern Arizona

From ESPN … Northern Arizona freshman quarterback RJ Martinez took the final snap and dropped to a knee on the final play. Lumberjacks streamed across Arizona Stadium. One even did a backflip.

Inside the press box, NAU coaches screamed as they walked down the hall.

“We (expletive) run this state!” one shouted. “It’s personal!”

Its roster full of players FBS programs didn’t want, Northern Arizona pulled off a program-defining victory while extending Arizona’s school-record losing streak to 15 games with a 21-19 victory Saturday night.

“This is one of those games that’s an opportunity to make a name for our program,” Lumberjacks coach Chris Ball said. “It just shows our team, our staff, what we’re capable of doing.”

The Lumberjacks (1-2) didn’t play like a winless FCS program, keeping it close at halftime, rising to life offensively in the second half.

Northern Arizona took the lead on Kevin Daniels’ 12-yard TD run in the third quarter, went up 21-13 on RJ Martinez’s 9-yard TD pass to Hendrix Johnson. Even after Arizona scored late, the Lumberjacks kept their composure, stuffing a 2-point conversion and fair catching a pooch kick to end a 14-game losing streak to Arizona that dated to 1932.

“I’m ecstatic right now,” said Northern Arizona linebacker Harrison Beemiller, who went to high school in Tucson. “Hopefully, we can fuel it going forward.”

Missed opportunities sent Arizona (0-3) to one of the worst losses in program history.

Continue reading story here


51 Replies to “Pac-12 Notes – Arizona State”

    1. Cool.
      Then expect all future comments on this game to be deleted.
      If you aren’t willing to suffer along with the rest of us, you don’t get to complain.
      Have a nice week.

      1. And I won’t post stuff about this game if that is what your wish is

        Cancel culture, like twitter, facebook etc

        you don’t like it you cancel


        print this stu and respond I dare ya

        i know you won’t cause cancel culture people are like that. No response eH

        Stu’s site………………..


        oh never mind


        1. Yes, it’s my site.
          Not communism. I not only allow you to post on my site, but I allowed you the opportunity for your own column. Fact.
          You found it took too much time. Sigh.
          Sorry. If you don’t like how I run my site, go elsewhere.
          Have a nice day.

      2. BOYS……………….BOYS !!!!!!

        (UR TOO FUNNY) You both are sooooo very important to this site. Stu, thanks for your years (decades ? ) of dedication. You bleed black and gold…………. so do you VK.

        TWO CLASS “A” PERSONALITIES. Yikes…….. Man the oars.

  1. A&M lost too. Clemson is tied 14 all into overtime with NCST. Shocking ….is some parity actually creeping into college football? Can the Buff’s join the parade?

    1. Nah. Dabo and his offensive staff just forgot how to coach. Or maybe not having Trevor Lawrence and deshawn Watson matters?

      And holy crap. You and VK will be calling for Karl’s head in…. three, two, one, go!

      Go Buffs

      1. If he doesnt get rid of chev you can count on it. Wrestling aint a team game. A team without a coach aint a team. The better the coach the better the team. Its as simple as that. I have new respect for Adazzio taking Iowa to the wire with 2 stars.
        My own personal experience validates that. My football team had serious talent. Our coaches were moonlighting lousy gym teachers let alone coaches and we wound up close to the bottom of the league. Players werent placed in the positions that maximized their abilities and the OC must have been Chev’s father. My hockey team was filled with average talent and a wonderful intelligent and experienced coach and we won the league because he had us playing a a team.
        On the other hand I dont think football coaching is rocket science. Its getting better across the board Thus the Dabos, Days and Rileys etc are having a tougher time with the opposition.
        This the last word I’m going to have on it Earache. You will have to try and satisfy your standardized computer mind’s deficient football ego with someone else from now on..

        1. Yes, coaching matters. Not as much as having a quarterback though.

          My concerns about this season are playing out, because they don’t have a qb. Would shrout have been the answer? We don’t know. And hey, Brendon did have his best game so far, as a starter, so there is that. Onward and upward.

          Go Buffs

  2. so lets get stupid.

    Say Chev has an epiphany ordered by HCKD
    Buffs beat ASU
    Buffs beat USC
    Buffs beat arizona
    Buffs beat Cal
    Buffs lose to Oregon
    Buffs beat OSU
    Buffs Beat UCLA
    Buffs beat washington
    Buffs lose to Utah

    Yup it could happen thanks to Chev

  3. CU 27 ASU 17. Yep, you heard it first right here! CU is going to win this game because we will get the running game going. How do I know this, HCKD said they have to tweak a few things and the run game will be as good as new!! Once the run game is established, miraculously the passing lanes will open up and B Lew will throw for 250 yards.

    Now with the offense humming along, the D will look dominate like in our first two games. I’m also feeling a pick 6 in this game and a fumble recovery for the Buffs. Mark my word, take CU and the points…bet a boat load cause your gonna win big baby!!

    1. Nice!!

      As the subway commercial says


      Come on Buff “O” handle it…………We need a refresh……………now

  4. I think that USC is gonna have to overpay for Franklin and I don’t think that the pedophile enablers at PSU are going to just let him leave without a fight. What makes USC think they’re a better program than PSU at this point in time? Same argument holds for Cristobal and Oregon. Fickell may be more gettable but he turned down Mich State and Cincy was not headed to a Power 5 conference at the time. Money may not be his primary motivation.

  5. USC has no problem firing their coach right before conference play whose level of success would be well appreciated on a lot of teams including Buff land….and we cant even get rid of the OC

      1. Is it so silly [expectations] that a team that recruits 4 & 5 star players can’t win at the same level as schools with similarly rated classes?

        If your talking coordinator position, then yes, but if Helton can’t win more consistently during big games and also loses games they shouldn’t, how could he come to a school with 3 star talent and succeed as a HC?

        His teams, for how good they are need more discipline too.

  6. Like the internet, the transfer portal is a double-edged sword. It can create a fight-or-flight dilemma for players that think they are not being treated fairly. Example 1 is the Utah QB Brewer who apparently just quit after being pulled out of 1 game. Example 2 is Sam Noyer, who, if he would have just stayed at CU could have been a solid backup and might even be starting at this point given the offensive troubles.

    1. Totally. I reckon things will look a bit different w/ that, and the whole NIL thing as they evolve. Heck, I’ve been using Clemson as a cautionary tale – ok, not quite a cautionary tale, but at least as an example that players matter – lately, and Uiagelelei is a great example on the NIL piece, too. I think he’s a million dollar dude already, who so far, he isn’t playing like one as the full time starter.

      I want my two dollars! Dr. Pepper may be saying.

      Go Buffs

          1. They won. What’s yur point.

            GT #24 defense in the country.

            sounds like a fair fight
            Good recruiting classes

            Coaching matters……………70%


            Note: So, where is your Real Mac essay. You spit a lot out. Got challenged. Said you would answer. No answers.. Fail

          2. What say I just give each of you the other’s email address, and you can wage your side wars somewhere else?
            I’d like to keep the comment section semi-relevant to, I don’t know, Colorado football.

          3. Please do stu! The Berliner is also welcome to call me any time. He has my office #.

            And is the Georgia tech d # 24 after three games? Kinda like the CU defense? Good stuff.

            Go Buffs

          4. Duuuudes! We can be guests on a podcast! The Berliner can maintain his anonymity. I will be me. I am in. Even if he isn’t.

            Go Buffs

          5. Side war?

            These are just discussions with different opinions




            Note: And the Real mac essay is where. Sheesh where is it.

            Note 2: And I have no desire to meet or talk to earache. I couldn’t stand the pain

    2. I think it also speaks to the mentality. Are you bringing in a team guy or are you bringing in a mercenary. When things go bad will he rally or point the finger…..

      1. Like the “pro” QB on the Replacements, when it went bad it was all of the other “losers” fault, but then the TEAM guy came in to lead them…

        Yes, it was fictional, but life does find a way to imitate art, as they say.

  7. “In the past, Bieniemy has not pursued some college opportunities. He spent his adult life playing in the NFL and coaching there, and that is undoubtedly still his dream”

    Uhm? Did the years as OC here not count? Do these people research anything at all?

    1. Its probably a good thing his time here as a coach is ignored and I can completely understand why wouldn’t want to come back. Not real sure why anyone would want to go to some place like USC or Nebraska either where the fans and boosters can be real unreasonable (chev has had more than a chance) You could take a few million less, still make a few million a year at a second tier school with a lot less grief and blood pressure.

      1. USC is the type of job you take if you can get because:

        The opportunity to work with top recruits, and a guy like Bieniemy could do really well there recruiting.

        The right coach could go in there and compete for NC right away.

        Bieniemy could build a resume of more than 10 wins a year and if truly successful with bowl, conference champ, and the playoffs games getting to 50 plus career wins in four years would really make his mark in coaching. 100 wins could be done in eight years. Faster if he’s winning NCs!

        He grew up in the area, so unlike you and your taste (which is fine), Bieniemy would be back home where he grew up in familiar territory and around family, so there’s that.

        AND, then there’s the money and prestige of running a nationally known franchise, and make no doubt, it is, especially with NIL, a franchise just like an NFL team… well almost.

        So, if given the opportunity I think he’d be better off at USC then say a bottom NFL team that’s a full on rebuild, which would be more fun? A chance to win right away or a losing franchise?

        Sure there is great pressure at schools like USC to win, but it’s going to be the same for every pro team too. And, USC should have a top class every year you can’t say the same for all of the NFL teams in coming players.

        1. now that you mention a bottom feede NFL team I will go with your take.. I’m sure most coaches, even successful ones, have had enough crap from fans and boosters already they can handle it. Me? If I wasnt charged with assault I would be making sure they would double down on their efforts to get me fired. Ashamed to admit it but kinda like Pelini

  8. I watched part of the ASU BYU game.
    Aside from the fact there is no justice for them playing this season at least under the current coach, the looked like they werent well coached. Disorganized and undisciplined. Missed assignments on D. Route running similar to the Buffs with Daniels trying to force the ball in anyway.
    Where was I going with this? Trying to say the Buffs have a chance?….sigh

    1. Herm’s coaching staff is undisciplined and disorganized, what with the “allegations” of recruiting violations by some of the assistant coaches and the subsequent alienation of said assistant coaches by the senior staff….

      If the NCAA was not as useless as it is, ASU would be in a huge amount of trouble and Herm would be fired with cause. But hey. It’s apparently ok for Arizona to get caught paying a million dollars for DeAndre Ayton and not get punished

        1. Haha, if the cobbs won, but still only get 4 wins for the season, while that win keeps mel at 5 wins I’d be happy with the cobbs getting a win over mel and keeping him out of a bowl too.

  9. I remember my first CU game as a student, we lost to Oregon 0-35 in 1956 and I wondered why I came to CU. We turned things around and beat Clemson in the Orange Bowl. The team is not the problem, it’s the coach!

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