Roundup: ASU's 'no-name' defense fueling playoff hopes

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Arizona State

The Sun Devils are up to No. 6 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings, and Dan Wolken of USA Today writes about Arizona State’s “no-name” defense that is fueling the team’s playoff hopes. Despite having to replace nine starters on that side of the ball from 2013, the ASU defense has forced 20 sacks, 46 TFLs and 10 turnovers in the last five games.


However, the biggest takeaway from the newest College Football Playoff top 25 from a Pac-12 perspective was that Oregon leapfrogged Florida State for the No. 2 spot despite the defending-champion Seminoles remaining undefeated after beating Virginia.


With a seven-team jump up to No. 11, Jack Wang of the LA Daily News ponders the possibility of UCLA jumping into the top 4 by the end of the season. Only seven teams stand in its way…


Utah coach Kyle Whittingham plans to visit Pharaoh Brown in the hospital. Brown, a tight end for the Ducks, severely injured his leg in the Oregon-Utah game Saturday night. That link was before the visit occurred, but now it has happened:


Colorado has decided that quarterback Jordan Gehrke will play in the last two games, but Kyle Ringo reports that the coaching staff hasn’t decided if he will start or not. Starter Sefo Liufau has been impressive, but also turnover-prone, throwing 26 touchdowns passes (single-season school record) and 14 interceptions.


Antonio Gonzalez of the Associated Press tells us that Stanford football is focused more on winning than achieving bowl eligibility, as the former takes care of the latter. That said, Stanford can become bowl eligible with a win at home against Utah on Saturday.


The Golden Bears have been solid on the road this year with wins at Northwestern, Washington State and Oregon State (and a near-win at Arizona), but Mike Vernon of the SF Chronicle writes that Cal will get a big road test at USC Thursday night. Cal hasn’t won in the Coliseum since 2000.


Cal’s porous pass defense could lead to a big game for Cody Kessler and the USC offense Thursday night, writes Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times. The Golden Bears are last in the nation in pass defense.

Oregon State

Kevin Hampton of the Corvallis Gazette-Times notes that Oregon State defensive tackle Jalen Grimble is on the depth chart for the Arizona State game, returning to the lineup after recovering from knee surgery that has kept him out since September.


Cool story from ESPN’s Myron Medcalf on Arizona basketball’s Stanley Johnson and how his mother brought him up to be the player he is today.


Good feature on Washington basketball forward Jernard Jarreau, who returns to the Huskies’ lineup after missing last year with a torn ACL. Christian Caple with the story.

Washington State

CougCenter examines Washington State basketball’s season-opening road trip to UTEP and TCU.            

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