TUCSON -- The ASU men’s basketball team knew it needed a near-perfect game to hang with No. 8 UA in Tucson. It wasn't close to perfect Sunday night at the McKale Center, as ASU picked up the 73-49 loss. The Wildcats only lose at home on rare occasions, with its last home defeat occurring in the 2012-13 season.
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ASU junior D.J. Foster announced Tuesday he will forgo the NFL draft and stay for his senior season in addition to becoming primarily a slot receiver in 2015.
When redshirt senior Taylor Kelly first took over as ASU’s quarterback, we weren’t sure what to expect from him. Heck, even after the Sun Bowl, we still don’t.
EL PASO -- After decades of futility, Duke football has turned the corner, but there is still one accomplishment yet to be achieved in the program's turnaround – a bowl victory.
EL PASO —
When ASU plays Duke in the Sun Bowl on Saturday, both teams have a chance to “salvage” their seasons by winning double-digit games.
With the Sun Bowl inching closer to kickoff on Saturday, coordinators for both ASU and Duke met with the media on Thursday in El Paso to discuss the game. The transcript is below (courtesy of Sun Bowl media relations). Keith Patterson (ASU defensive coordinator):Opening Statement“The hospitality here has been second-to-none and it’s been really good to see Coach (Mike) Price the other night. We had many battles over the years early in our careers and as he is being inducted into the Legends of the Sun Bowl. Great honor, great football coach.On the challenges their offense presents“Someone asked me to describe Duke and I said, “If you take Kansas State and Stanford and you combine them you probably have Duke. We have the upmost respect for Coach (David) Cutcliffe and his staff. Just the way that they are coached, they are very fundamentally sound upfront. Obviously, you better stop the run. They do a great job with their scheme, running the football and if you allow them to run, set up the play action, they are very aggressive at taking shots down the field. If you allow them to run the football, you’ve got to make them one dimensional. If you allow them to run the football and set up play action shots vertically you’re going to be in for a long day. That’s where it starts.”On Duke quarterback Anthony Boone“Well number one, you can just tell he’s a leader, he doesn’t get flustered. He plays with great experience and great control. He does a nice job, very accurate at throwing the football. He throws the deep ball very well. If you’ve seen us play on defense, we can’t let him sit there in the pocket, we’ve got to get him moving his feet and force him to make some of those throws on the run. Very similar to what you saw in the Notre Dame game, once you do flush him out of the pocket, you got to have discipline in the pass rush, playing with integrity. Can’t allow him to get out in the perimeter and throw the ball down the field.”On the Duke offensive line"The first thing when you watch them you’ll see is they’re very well coached. There’s no false steps, their footwork, their fundamentals are very impressive. You can tell that the offensive line tries to impose their will on you. They try to set a tempo that we are going to be able to run the football and play very aggressive upfront. You can’t allow them to do that. We got to be able to tee off. We have to be the aggressor.”On trying to stop the run first“You better be able to do that no matter who you are playing because there are two types of styles of offense. You have people who throw the football, who set up the run and people who run the ball who set up the pass. So nothing has really changed in that aspect. If you can make a team one dimensional from a defensive perspective, obviously you’re going to have a better chance to win. So that’s the one thing that hasn’t changed about football. In my opinion you better stop the run. I don’t care who you are playing or what style of offense you’re playing, you better stop the run. But from an old school standpoint they are trying to be physical, trying to run the football right at you and challenge you.On most improved defensive player“Our entire defense. When we started off, we were a little bit shaky early in the season, we replaced nine starters. So it was just tightening up some of the things that we were doing after the UCLA game. I thought we made some really good adjustments from a personnel standpoint. We tweaked our scheme a little bit, we continued to do what we do and pressure. We had to tweak a few things and we did that and I saw our entire team get better. Obviously it begins up front, we started playing more people up front, keeping guys fresher. We went with a bigger line up against Stanford. At linebacker, as well as our defensive line, made a huge difference, tighten things up against the run and seemed to solidify things as the season went on.”On his comment of the Kansas State and Stanford mix“When you see them you see a disciplined team, you see the work ethic is there you can tell that they’re not going to do anything that’s going to beat themselves. You know when you look at them, they try to establish the run which that’s the old school football you’re talking about. They’re trying to establish the run and were trying to make them one dimensional and if they can establish the run you can see the success they’ve had. Throwing the ball vertically you can’t allow them to do that so that’s what I see it’s just all the characteristics the intangibles they just win.”On the challenge of preparing for four running backs“The thing that’s pretty common these days when you have multiple running backs, because the kids are bigger and stronger, it’s hard for just one running back like in the old days and they carry the ball 20-30 times. It’s hard for them to stay healthy now just that the season’s longer. Obviously playing 12 games, you know they don’t change their offense but what you do have to prepare for, you’ve got to study things like in pass protections, this guy might be a cut blocker and this guy might just stay up. So you look at more as to what their skill set is. You talk to them about different running styles, but it doesn’t change what they do offensively. They’re still going to run the same plays, they’re still going to do what they do and do it well. We’ll point out the differences in the styles of running back, not necessarily do anything different.On playing in El Paso being similar to Arizona“It’s awesome, it’s very familiar surroundings. You have the mountains in the background, kind of looks like the Valley. That’s good, but being close, very short flight we expect to have a great turn out and the more fans you’ve got, the more comfortable your players are going to be in that setting. It’s going to be a great matchup and were looking forward to it.”On LB Viliami Moeakiola“You can tell by once he left the game at halftime we’d been giving up 18 yards rushing and were playing fairly well. He doesn’t play in the second half and we end up giving up 169-170 yards rushing in the game. It’s very important, and really, I’ve never seen someone who talks as little as he talks and has such a big impact. He’s a very quiet young man but one of the smartest football players I’ve had the opportunity to coach. He’s going to be ready, he’s had a great week of preparation, and he’s one of the guys that make our defense work.”Mike Norvell (ASU offensive coordinator):Opening statement“Being here in El Paso this week, especially here on Christmas Day, everyone with Hyundai and everyone with the Sun Bowl has just been so very hospitable to us at Arizona State and our kids are having a great time and are obviously excited to be a part of such a special bowl game that has a great tradition.”On facing the 4-2-5 defense“In the Pac-12, we have seen quite a few multiple fronts, so we have seen a couple of 4-2-5 teams like Utah, so there are some similarities. I have a great deal of respect for Coach David Cutcliffe and the entire staff at Duke and the job that they do. They have done a tremendous job of attacking. They are very fundamentally sound and they play with a great deal of passion, flying around to the football. They don’t give up a whole lot of points and it’s going to be a great game.”On what stands out about Duke“They play very fundamentally sound at each position. They are coached extremely well and, obviously, they have guys that have great talent, but play very fundamentally sound and are very multiple in what they do. They do a great job in mixing their coverages and their fronts, their pressure packages are very well-timed so they like to get after the quarterback and give the quarterback a variety of different looks so we have to be on point with our assessment of how they are planning to attack and know that they are going to be in the right spot most of the game.Jim Knowles (Duke defensive coordinator):Opening Statement“What a great bowl and great people. We talk a lot at Duke about relationships and people. I know if you’d ask our head coach that’s what he would say has changed the culture at Duke and has really changed the expectations at Duke. When you come to a bowl game and we are around such great people it’s a pleasure to be spending our holidays.“Our biggest challenge is lining up and preventing them from snapping the ball because after that all bets are off. They’re a high-powered offense statistically, multiply by formations and personnel. Everything we do will be about stealing possessions and getting the ball back for our offense. That comes through third- and fourth-down stops, takeaways and most of all, the biggest stat that we track, points. There aren’t many little kids wanting to grow up to be defensive coordinators because it’s tough to play great defense in the atmosphere of college football. Wide open spread teams, multiple sets, hurry-up hundred plays a game and what’s important for us, and the reason we’ve had great success, being great in the red zone, holding teams to field goals, third- and fourth-down percentages, ultimately the points. It’s not about yards for us, it’s more about one possession at a time and stopping them in that possession. Stealing that possession from a third- or fourth-down stop or a takeaway, or a missed field goal. Whatever it takes. We are used to that battle. Our offense is spread and high-powered also, and multiple and fast, so we train that way. We do practice with the speed of the game and I know our guys are up for the challenge. It’s going to be tough. Arizona State is great on offense and their personnel is fantastic also.” On who Arizona State might remind him of“They’re really able to take the best of the spread teams, North Carolina – obviously a game we’d all like to have a shot to do over in terms of being the spread running game that Arizona State is great at. Throwing the ball they’re as good as anybody we’ve faced. Their personnel is fantastic with their quarterback and their receiver who is unbelievably talented. What they do with (RB D.J.) Foster as you look at that is very challenging to any defense because he’s their leading rusher but their second leading receiver also. When he’s in the game you still have no clue whether it’s a pass or a run because he has the skills and talent to be effective in both ends of the game. I know that (WR) Jaelen Strong declared for the draft. I’m hoping maybe that he’ll leave a little bit early and move that up because he’s tremendous. We need to know where he is at all times. The things that we track on defense that I think are important are points, takeaways and explosive plays. You can play good to great defense in this day and age if you keep the ball in sight of you, you don’t make critical mistakes, you don’t give up those explosive plays, and you make a team go the long haul. I believe we know our defense well enough and we have enough weapons in terms of our blitz packages to win and be successful on some third and fourth downs. We have to find a way to make them go the long way.”On tracking down the defensive numbers“We shoot to be considered in the top-25 teams in the country when it comes to third and fourth downs. With points, we start with a 25-points or less philosophy, which I know my defensive coordinator when I played would not be very happy with that. When we grew up, 25 points seemed like a lot of points, but what that does nowadays is that puts you in the upper part of division one. Now we are at 20 and we may be No. 20 in the country. If you can have less than 25 -which has held up for us over the course of what we’ve done at Duke winning championships and (ACC) Coastal Division Championships, making bowl games - when we can stay under that, we believe we have a great chance to win. Those numbers hold up and our offense is always going to put up points if we do our job on defense by keeping that number down. On lining up correctly as the key to playing up to tempo “It’s hard to watch for all of us as defensive coordinators, even when we watch each other’s stuff, because you see that the mistakes are made on plays you know are basic offensive plays. We want to give our guys a chance for success. We want to be multiple, have different blitzes and things to do. A lot of times when people give things up, it’s because you’re not lined up in the right place, it’s going fast and all of a sudden, ‘who’s got the quarterback’, everything’s an option, who’s got the dive and everything is a combo play. There may be three options on every play and our job is to make the offense execute bad and to be in the right places.”Scottie Montgomery (Duke offensive coordinator):Opening Statement“First off, we are very, very gracious for the way the people of El Paso have treated our families and when we say families, we definitely mean our players but also our immediate families and our extended families. The people of El Paso have just been unbelievable and the way that this bowl has been run has been phenomenal. Our kids are really happy and excited with how everything went and we’re really excited to get going and play at the end of this week. This has been the easiest and the smoothest transitions. As far as our practice facility, where we’re staying, the way people are treating us and the wonderful staff of that the Sun Bowl has put together for us. We are really happy to be here and we look forward to a great game this weekend.” On who the ASU defense might remind them of“I don’t know if we can say it reminds us of anyone, but you can definitely say that we’ve seen teams that pressure the way that they pressure. From an athletic standpoint and coaching ability combined, I don’t know if we’ve seen very many teams across the times that we’ve played at Duke or anywhere else that have had the ability to execute pressure situations, play base defense and play as well as they play. Therefore, from a reminding standpoint, I don’t know if I can say they remind us of anyone. We know looking at the tape that they are extremely well coached and they also have a tremendous amount of talent.”On everything starting with the running game“We’re going to try to make sure that we do things. We kind of have been one of the more balanced teams in the entire year, that’s kind of what we lay our hat on. That’s the type of kids that we have. We feel like we have great kids that execute well and do what we ask them to do. They do a really good job of applying pressure on the running game. A lot of people think about pressure and automatically what happens in the pass game but these kids do a really good job of understanding a run from a pressure standpoint.”On WR Jamison Crowder“I am sure you all have been around the really good football players and superstars at any position, but I will say that rarely have you been around the player on the field who is also the best person on that field. That’s Jamison Crowder. I am almost saddened that we are losing him as a football player after this game. We won’t get to play him or have him in our locker room before games. The kids that have come in the last three years under him have been tremendously blessed by the type of person that he is. Having that ability to work with him directly, coaching him and seeing him as a young player. He is what we represent and we are all very, very proud of him. He’s accomplished a lot on the field but if you get to know him as a young man and the things that he’s done for our community and the way that they embrace him, then you know that he is special and I can’t say enough about him."On covering DL Marcus Hardison“It is really hard to say that you can account for one person because they are extremely talented across the board and as we continue to look at different people we put together plans to try help certain individuals on our team, you realize that we just have to play outstanding team football.”On what Duke does offensively“I would just say selflessness amongst our players across the board. One thing that we really try to do a good job at and I put emphasis on the word ‘try’ is to protect the football. Throughout the time and football, if you go back and look at the direct correlation between turning the football over, maintain position of the football and sometimes even punting the football your chances of winning drastically increase. But also, I think our guys do a really good job of trying to be the least penalized team that they possibly can be and putting themselves in positions when we have an opportunity to make plays. But the connection in all of that is the complete selflessness by our players. We feel like we have great skills guys, and great offensive lineman.”Reach the sports editor at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @jjanssen11Like State Press Sports on Facebook and follow @statepressport on Twitter
Here’s a crazy thought: the winner of the Territorial Cup may be more likely to land an access bowl by NOT winning the Pac-12 South.
Welcome to the show, ASU hockey.
When Todd Graham was first introduced as ASU’s head coach in December 2011, he had high aspirations.
In the last few weeks, there’s been a lot of attention directed at the SEC’s heralded position atop the rankings and the college football playoff leaderboard. Mississippi State (1), Auburn (3) and Alabama (5) are among the latest contenders.
A quick look at the Pac-12 South standings shows a jumbled mess.
We knew this day was coming.
As you probably know, college football is finally getting a playoff after more than 150 years without one.
The ASU softball team released quite the bombshell when its non-conference schedule came out today.
When ASU was losing to UCLA on Thursday, those who stuck around noticed a peculiar sight. Most of the fans were gone.
You can call them crazy. You can criticize them for wasting time and skipping classes. You can throw out whatever derogatory adjective you can make up.
The Sun Devils gather to celebrate a home run from junior Haley Steele during game two of the NCAA Tempe Regional Championships against the Michigan Wolverines on Sunday, May 18, at Farrington Stadium. ASU lost to Michigan 4-5. (Photo by Becca Smouse) The ASU softball team listed two coaching changes on its website: Boo Gillete is the team’s pitching coach, while former associate head coach Robert Wagner returns to ASU and will be the hitting coach. Gillette’s first season with ASU was in 2013 after being the recruiting coordinator, among other duties, at North Carolina. She takes the reigns from Chuck D'Arcy, who is now at California. D'Arcy was ASU's pitching coach for the last four seasons. Wagner was most recently the head coach at Scottsdale Community College. The coaches will have to figure out how to replace pitchers Dallas Escobedo (No. 1 overall pick in the NPF draft) and Mackenzie Popescue (now the pitching coach at Georgia State). Escobedo (115-26, 2.01 ERA) guided the Sun Devils to a national championship in her freshman season, and has the second most pitching wins and strikeouts in program history. A four-year starter, Escobedo was 21-8 in the postseason. Popescue (59-14, 2.12 ERA) served as a nice counterpart to Escobedo because of their different pitching styles. Escobedo was a strikeout pitcher and threw the rise ball, while Popescue’s signature pitch was the drop ball and was a contact pitcher. On the mound, ASU returns junior Alexis Cooper and redshirt junior Jenna Makis, although neither received much playing time thus far. Cooper has allowed seven earned runs in 24.1 innings pitched, while Makis has given up seven in 8.2 innings. To alleviate some of the experience concern, ASU brought in transfer Kelsey Kessler (32-21, 2.38 ERA at Kansas). Kessler was a two-year starter with the Jayhawks, which made the postseason in 2014, but did not advance. ASU also has three freshman pitchers; Shea Koepnick (Desert Vista), Dale Ryndak (from Illinois) and Breanna Macha (Red Mountain). Macha's school won the last five state championships. Reach the reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @jjanssen11 Like State Press Sports on Facebook and follow them on Twitter@statepresssport