First look: Arizona State Sun Devils

No. 12 UCLA Bruins (3-0) vs. Arizona State Sun Devils (3-0)
Kickoff: 7 p.m. PT, Sun Devil Stadium (Tempe, Ariz.)
TV: FOX Sports 1

Coach: Remember when Todd Graham looked like the biggest turncoat in college football?

A little more than a year ago, ESPN’s anonymous poll of 92 college football players found that 14 percent said Graham was the last coach they’d want to play for — beating out Lane Kiffin by three percent.

But Graham only needed two seasons to win a Pac-12 South title, endearing himself to the Arizona State fan base and pushing his messy departure from Pitt deeper into the newspaper archives. ASU has compensated him handsomely for that success — paying him around $800,000 in performance bonuses for the 2013 season.

Key players:

QB Mike Bercovici, Jr., 6-1, 200 — 9/17, 79 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, 7 carries, 12 rushing yards
– Once considered Brock Osweiler’s heir apparent until Taylor Kelly won out, Bercovici finally gets his chance to start in the wake of Kelly’s foot injury. He’s not the same type of running threat as Kelly (ASU’s second-leading rusher at 19 carries for 168 yards) but Bercovici has a strong arm and has been in the program for years.

RB D.J. Foster, Jr., 5-11, 205 — 54 carries, 510 rushing yards, 5 TD, 11 catches, 139 receiving yards, 1 TD
– Looks like a workhorse back capable of racking up yards after contact. Averages 216.3 all-purpose yards per game, good for second in the country and one spot ahead of Georgia’s Heisman candidate Todd Gurley. Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

At a glance: No. 14 UCLA vs. No. 17 Arizona State

No. 14 UCLA (8-2, 5-2) vs. No. 17 Arizona State (8-2, 6-1)
Location:
Rose Bowl, Nov. 23, 4 p.m.
TV: FOX (Gus Johnson, Charles Davis, Kristina Pink)
Radio: 570 AM (Chris Roberts, Matt Stevens, Wayne Cook)

Last meeting: UCLA eked out a 45-43 win in Tempe, with then-freshman Ka’imi Fairbairn hitting a 33-yard field goal as time expired. Tailback Johnathan Franklin rushed for two touchdowns, while Damien Thigpen had two scoring catches.

Key storylines: Arizona State would clinch its first-ever Pac-12 South title with a win over UCLA, earning a chance to validate coach Todd Graham’s Rose Bowl poster. Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email