Friday, August 22, 2008

Some News & Notes

Notes on the Sun Devils:

According to the East Valley Tribune here is a list of freshmen who likely will play: wide receiver Gerell Robinson, running back Ryan Bass, guard Zach Schlink, defensive end Lawrence Guy, linebackers Shelly Lyons and Brandon Magee, cornerback Josh Jordan, safety Clint Floyd.

Arizona State is ranked 16th in the Football Writers Association of America poll. USC is in first in the preseason poll, Georgia is three points behind the Trojans in second. Both the Trojans and the Bulldogs have five first place votes each.

The Pac-10 has released its first official release. They had this to say about ASU: Dennis Erickson begins his 20th year as a college head coach. His 158 career victories places him 10th among currently active head coaches. . . . Sun Devils were Pac-10 co-champs with USC last year at 7-2 in league, 10-3 overall. . . . QB Rudy Carpenter has started 31 consecutive games, posting a 21-10 record in those starts. . . . PK Thomas Weber won the Lou Groza Award by connecting on 24 of 25 field goal attempts last year. Pretty good for a freshman. . . . ASU allowed only 12 fourth-quarter points in 12 regular season games last year and returns seven starters on defense.

Some notes from the around the Pac-10:

-- California has named sophomore Kevin Riley as their starting quarterback over senior Nate Longshore. Riley is more the fan favorite, as Longshore has disappointed over the years, yet it is a somewhat surprising move to bench the senior and experienced quarterback. You can expect to see them both in action during the Bears opener versus Michigan State.

-- Oregon QB Nate Costa is the latest Pac-10 quarterback to get bit by the injury bug. Costa was the frontrunner for the starting job when he injured his knee. Reports say it was a non-contact injury to his already-surgically repaired left knee. The backup, Justin Roper, has been coming on strong lately so don't be surprised to see Roper start their season opener versus Washington. More will be known about Costa's knee injury on Monday when the team's orthopedic surgeon returns to town.

-- USC quarterback Mark Sanchez has returned from his earlier injury and appears to be ready to go for the Trojans opener against Virginia. Aaron Corp and Mitch Mustain will be competing for the back-up job. Running back CJ Gable is nursing ankle and hip injuries he suffered on Tuesday. The injuries may knock him out for a couple of weeks, or he may be ready to go next weekend. No one knows with USC and their "crying wolf" injury reports.

-- Washington QB Jake Locker returned to practice this week and will be good to go when the Huskies take on Oregon in both team's season opener.
All signs point to Tavita Pritchard starting for Stanford against Oregon State next Thursday night.

-- UCLA named Kevin Craft as their starting quarterback. The Bruins open against Tennessee in game one of their brutal schedule. Chris Forcier will fill the back-up role.

And finally on a very exciting note, the Sun Devils are expecting to eclipse 50,000 season ticket sales, the most in at least two decades. That number of season ticket holders would almost fill up Arizona's Stadium (55,000).

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