--Coach Dennis Erickson was reprimanded last week for his public comments about a facemask penalty against LB Vontaze Burfict in the fourth quarter vs. Stanford on Nov. 13. Burfict then received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after using profanity with an official. The Pac-10 agreed that the facemask penalty was in error, but commissioner Larry Scott also said, "Regardless of the circumstances, the Pac-10 has clear and specific rules that prohibit our coaches from making public comments about officiating." The combination of those two penalties aided Stanford's game-winning drive.
--Legendary Arizona State coach Frank Kush and eight former Sun Devils football players will be recognized in a halftime ceremony during Friday's home game. They will be the initial inductees into Arizona State's new Football Ring of Honor. In addition to Kush, the inductees are RB Wilford "Whizzer" White, RB Bobby Mulgado, LB Ron Pritchard, QB Danny White, DB Mike Haynes, WR John Jefferson, OL Randall McDaniel and DB Pat Tillman.
UCLA leads Arizona State 16-9-1 (last meeting, 2009, 23-13 UCLA).
SCOUTING THE OFFENSE
Arizona State is averaging 30.2 points per game, a significant upgrade over last season, when the Sun Devils averaged 22.3 points. QB Steven Threet has had problems with interceptions -- he's up to 16 -- but he's had good moments and has shown potential in the spread offense. Arizona State seems set at running back for awhile with sophomore Cameron Marshall and true freshman Deantre Lewis. There might not be a star among the wide receivers, but it is a group that has size and depth, led by Kerry Taylor, who has 42 receptions for 519 yards.
SCOUTING THE DEFENSE
Holding Stanford to 17 points was an excellent effort -- the Cardinal has scored at least 31 points in every other game this season. Statistically, though, this unit hasn't been as fearsome as last season. Arizona State is allowing 23.7 points and 354.6 yards per game, with both marks being slightly above average nationally. Undersized true freshman end Junior Onyeali has provided a spark with big plays, but LB Vontaze Burfict can be one of the nation's best when he plays under control.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"One thing about having a young team is that they'll continue to improve and get better. That's the good thing about having a lot of sophomores." -- Arizona State coach Dennis Erickson.
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