Tag:Arizona State
Posted on: February 23, 2011 8:42 pm
 

Steven Threet's career ended by concussions

Posted by Adam Jacobi

The last time we heard from Arizona State quarterback Steven Threet, he was being removed from last season's UCLA game after a concussion. It was his second in five games, having suffered one earlier against California. While the first concussion evidently wasn't serious -- Threet returned to action the very next week against Washington State and had his best game of the season, going 26-32 for 300 yards and three TDs -- the cumulative effects of the two concussions appear to be much more severe.

The Arizona Republic reported today that Threet is still suffering post-concussion symptoms after that UCLA injury, and summarily has decided to leave the sport of football for good. Threet's symptoms include headaches and trouble sleeping; that the symptoms persist nearly three full months after the concussion means football must be off the table for Threet going forward.

"It's extremely hard," Threet told the Arizona Republic. "Obviously, this is a game I love. I love the guys that I've played with. Throughout my career I've had to make a lot of tough decisions, but this has been the toughest I've made so far."

Brock Osweiler, who stepped in for the injured Threet at the end of last season, is the prohibitive favorite to start for ASU in 2011; the only other QB with significant experience on the team was Samson Szakacsy, and he left the team as well last month (though under healthier circumstances).

But going back to Threet, it's obviously terrible to hear that his brain is still injured and we wish him all the best as he tries to recover. Leaving football, difficult as it may have been, was clearly the right decision. What's more, while we don't doubt that Arizona State doctors acted in good faith when they evaluated Threet after his first concussion, it is a fact that ASU is not beholden to Threet's long term well-being. This isn't the NFL, so Threet's not going to collect a pension to help with lingering medical issues (should they occur, and let's hope they don't) once he's gone from the school, or otherwise be helped out by the school. This isn't to suggest ASU is in any way liable for Threet's injuries, of course -- football is brutal and everybody knows that long before their first two-a-day ever begins -- but just a reminder of who's sacrificing for whom in the player-school relationship.

Posted on: February 18, 2011 3:48 pm
 

Friday Four Links (and a cloud of dust), Feb. 18

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Every Friday we catch up on four stories you might have missed during the week ... and add a few extra links to help take you into the weekend.


FOUR LINKS ...

1. This week saw several under-the-radar position coaching moves made. Arizona State filled their defensive line coaching position with Colorado State's Scott Brown; Wisconsin defensive assistant Greg Jackson has taken a position with the San Francisco 49ers; and TCU has hired former Frog graduate assistant Trey Haverty as their safeties coach.

2. The big story this week in the law enforcement crackdown on rogue agents was the arrest in Alabama of a Virginia-based agent who'd sent a runner to meet with the Tide's Tyrone Prothro five years ago. But that wasn't the only one: in Oregon, the state's attorney general was forced to drop a case against an agent who'd tampered with a Duck football player in 2008, thanks in part  to the player refusing to cooperate with investigators. The Oregon legislature is considering a bill that would broaden the definition of agents and allow law enforcement to pursue such cases against a wider net of perpetrators.

3. Remember Washington State running back Kevin McCall? Unless you're a Cougar diehard, probably not; he ran for fewer than 450 yards his entire career. But the Carson (Ca.) product is putting together quite the post-football career, having being nominated for a Grammy as a songwriter in the "Best Rap/Sung Collaboration" category.

4. New Minnesota coach Jerry Kill sat down for a Q&A this week with Big Ten blog Off-Tackle Empire. Among other topics (including the Twin Cities' "five tremendous hospitals" making Kill's list of what he'll sell to recruits), Kill reveals that he feels "the biggest play on offense is the punt." Clearly, this is a man who was born to coach in the Big Ten.

AND THE CLOUD ...

The athletic director who hired Ron Zook may not stay in the office past July 1 , putting Zook in a potentially awkward position ... Skip Holtz has oversigned at USF, but says he's been up front with some members of the incoming class about possible grayshirts ... The Orange County Register profiles new NCAA vice president of enforcement Julie Roe Lach, who our own Bryan Fischer caught up with in this space not too long ago ... Being the first-ever Arizona State Sun Devil mascot sounds like it's about the least interesting thing Phoenix's Dick Jacobs has done ... a new film will chronicle the 1934 incident in which Michigan's agreeing not to field their lone African-American player against visiting Georgia Tech nearly led Gerald Ford to quit the team ... A study of which of college football's winningest teams have earned the highest percentage of their wins against other winningest teams puts Auburn on top.

Posted on: February 13, 2011 1:29 pm
 

Arizona State RB shot in buttocks

Posted by Tom Fornelli

I imagine that it's never a good thing to be shot, but that if you had to choose an area of your body to take a bullet, I'm guessing your rear end would probably be the best place to do so. There are no vital organs, and there's plenty of fatty tissue to absorb the blow. So, I guess in that sense, Arizona State running back Deantre Lewis is lucky.

Lewis was shot in the buttocks on Saturday.
Arizona State running back Deantre Lewis was injured in a random shooting Saturday in his hometown of Norco, Calif.
According to Facebook posts from teammates, Lewis was shot in the buttocks. His injuries are not considered life threatening, and Lewis is recovering in a local hospital.
Arizona State confirmed the shooting, and while the school wouldn't give any details behind the shooting, they did say that Lewis was home visiting his family when it occurred. Lewis is coming off an impressive freshman season, in which he finished second on the team in rushing with 539 yards and 4 touchdowns. He also caught 23 passes for another 370 yards and 2 touchdowns.

There's no word on whether or not this injury will affect Lewis' availability for spring practice.
Posted on: February 11, 2011 5:06 pm
 

Friday Four Links (and a cloud of dust), Feb. 11

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Every Friday we catch up on four stories you might have missed during the week ... and add a few extra links to help take you into the weekend.

FOUR LINKS ...

1. When last we left new Texas secondary coach Jerry Gray, he was being considered by new Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak for the Titans' defensive coordinator position. As of this afternoon, that consideration has become an interview --unless he's already decided to stay at Austin.

2. The following cartoon was found in a time capsule in Tuscaloosa and is more than 100 years old:



Too bad that after nine months, other than knowing it's some kind of smack talk in the direction of Auburn's football and baseball teams, no one really knows what it means . Elsewhere at Alabama, the snow gives some students the chance to memorialize Nick Saban's championship season ahead of time.

3. It's been a rough couple of weeks for Arizona State; the Sun Devils signed one of the smallest, most uninspiring recruiting classes in the Pac-12 on Signing Day, then saw defensive line coach/recruiting coordinator Grady Stetz leave to become the defensive line coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this past Tuesday.

4. Texas got a late addition to its 2011 recruiting haul when prep All-American linebacker Tevin Jackson of Garland (Tx.) was cleared by the NCAA after a transcript issue prevented him from enrolling in 2010. Jackson will enroll in June and will have the standard five-years-to-play-four.

AND THE CLOUD ...

You know this already, but Mark Richt really is a nice guy ... The SEC is deciding exactly how much the various transgressions of the cowbell rule will cost Mississippi State ... Don't expect an unbiased, evenhanded account from an author who considers Mike Leach "one of the most successful college football coaches in history," but nonetheless a book on Leach's firing is on the way ... Maryland's recruits weren't thrilled over former defensive coordinator Don Brown's departure ... Negotiations on UNLV's on-campus domed stadium (which we mentioned a little while back) have officially been given the green light .

Posted on: January 31, 2011 1:51 pm
 

Arizona St. safety Abreu suspended after arrest

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

After a rocky, bowlless 6-6 season, this can't be how Dennis Erickson wanted Arizona State's offseason to begin :
Redshirt freshman safety Ramon Abreu has been suspended indefinitely from the football program at Arizona State following his arrest for felony sexual conduct with a minor, ASUDevils.com has learned.

The alleged incident(s) took place while Abreu was an 18-year-old high school senior at Marcos de Niza in Tempe and involved a 14-year-old freshman at the school.
Per the linked report, Arizona State had not been made aware of the arrest when Abreu signed with the Sun Devils last January (a situation that, if true, could make recruiting relations strained between the program and Abreu's high school). There is no word on when Abreu's suspension might be lifted, if it will be at all.

But where Abreu is concerned, given that his charges constitute a Class 2 felony "punishable by up to five years in prison," he's got much, much bigger problems than football right now. And as for the Sun Devils, it's just one more headache for a program that doesn't need any more than they've already got.

Posted on: December 30, 2010 1:55 am
 

Bowl Grades: Alamo Bowl

OKLAHOMA STATE

Offense: The Cowboys weren't actually quite as dominant as the scoreboard (or their reputation) would suggest in the first half, punting four times and getting 14 of their 17 points via a 61-yard thunderbolt to Justin Blackmon and a short-field score following a muffed punt. After three quarters, they still hadn't even cracked 260 total yards, and their final total of 313 fell well below their nation-leading 537-yard average.

But with the Poke defense playing the way it was (and the Arizona offense helping OSU out the way it was), the most important thing for the Cowboy attack was simply to take advantage of its opportunities and not make mistakes, and that they did. Both red zone opportunities were converted into touchdowns, Brandon Weeden (who punctuated a pedestrian-looking stat line with several NFL-quality throws) didn't throw an interception, the Poke ballcarriers never fumbled, and Lou Groza Award finalist Dan Bailey went 3-of-3 with makes from 40, 50, and 44 yards. Combine that with the usual smattering of brilliance from Blackmon -- who finished his sophomore season with 100 yards and at least one touchdown receiving in all 12 games he played, not to mention two more highlight-reel scores in this one -- and it was more than enough to cruise past the bumbling Wildcats. GRADE: A-

Defense:
The book on the Cowboy defense was that it could slow down most running games, but would really struggle against a competent passing game, and between quarterback Nick Foles and All-American receiver Juron Criner that's what Arizona appeared to have.

But that wasn't the way the game played out at all. In the secondary, the much-maligned Poke defensive backs picked off Foles three times, held him to a mediocre 5.6 yards per attempt (that still flatters his performance), and scored as many touchdowns from his passes -- thanks to a Markelle Martin pick-six -- as Arizona did. Criner grabbed nine receptions, but none for longer than 12 yards. Meanwhile, up front, Foles was sacked five times and hurried twice that many times at least. The end result was that a pass defense that appeared to be the most vulnerable part of the Cowboy team was its most vital part in San Antonio.

That's not to say the Cowboys didn't allow their fair share of yards; over a span of six drives in the second and third quarters, Arizona racked up 194 yards and crossed midfield five times. But thanks to the stiffening OSU defense, they scored fewer points on those drives (three) than the Cowboys did (six, thanks to Martin). As defensive performances go, it was just this side of dominating. GRADE: A-

Coaching: The Cowboy staff of head man Mike Gundy, now ex-offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen, and defensive coordinator Bill Young have a collective reputation for aggressiveness, and they more than lived up to it Wednesday night. Holgorsen tested the 'Cat defense deep and with various misdirection plays, Young dialed up a number of successful blitzes, and Gundy's willingness to go for a 4th-and-2 near midfield up big in the fourth quarter paid off with an Arizona penalty and, eventually, the icing touchdown. The Oklahoma State staff showed by far the more aggressive coaching philosophy, and were rewarded with a far, far more aggressive performance from their team. GRADE: A-

ARIZONA

Offense:
Give the Wildcats some credit: with 369 yards and all the aforementioned forays into OSU territory, it's not like they didn't at least give themselves opportunities. But don't give them much -- or any, if you like -- since they squandered virtually all of them via a variety of mistakes. There was Foles, ruining Arizona's first threatening drive with a one-hopper to an open receiver on 4th-and-5 and throwing all three of his interceptions across midfield. There was the timidity in the running game, with the three Wildcat backs averaging just 3.5 yards on their 28 carries. There were the drops from the receivers, with even Criner joining in. There were the seven penalties, the five sacks, the four total turnovers. There was embattled kicker Alex Zendejas missing from 47 and 34 yards.

In short, there were far more shots aimed at the Wildcats' own feet than at their opponents in the Alamo Dome. When one final consolation touchdown with under five minutes to play -- on Foles' best pass of the night, a long arcing bomb to Richard Morrison -- was called back for a hold along the offensive line, you couldn't have asked for a better single-play summation of the Wildcat offense's night. That kind of sloppiness was simply never going to fly opposite a unit as explosive as Oklahoma State's. GRADE: D+

Defense: Frankly, given the quality of the opposition they were facing, you can't hang the outcome on the Arizona defense. With Weeden playing as well as he was and Blackmon being Blackmon (to say nothing of the likes of Kendall Hunter), to hold the Cowboys to 313 yards and three offensive touchdowns -- one of those coming on a turnover-aided short field -- is quite the accomplishment. A forced turnover somewhere would have been nice, but these Wildcats (active cornerback Joseph Perkins in particular) have nothing to hang their heads about. GRADE: B+

Coaching: Already down 23-7 with less than 10 minutes to play in the third quarter, Mike Stoops faced a decision: go for it on a 4th-and-5 from the Oklahoma State 30, knowing that his team would need all the points they could get given the potency of the OSU offense and the deficit his team faced, or try a 47-yard field goal with a kicker whose confidence had to have been badly shaken from the botched extra points that cost the Wildcats their rivalry game with Arizona State. That Stoops chose the "safe" route of kicking the highly-unlikely field goal (whcih badly missed, of course) tells you all you need to know about the halfhearted, play-not-to-lose, roll-over-and-get-crushed attitude Arizona approached this game with. For all his sideline bluster, Stoops didn't show the kind of actual fieriness and conviction his team needed. (And hey, that's not even mentioning leaving two timeouts on the board at the end of the first half while Stoops raged about a pass interference call.) GRADE: D

FINAL GRADE:
Like so many other bowls this season, the game was firmly in one team's grasp by the end of the first half and entirely out of reach by the time the fourth quarter rolled around. Yawn. Again. At least Weeden-to-Blackmon was worth a look. Grade: C-

Posted on: December 3, 2010 5:44 pm
 

No bowl game for the Sun Devils

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Following an exciting double-overtime victory over in-state rival Arizona on Thursday night, Arizona State finished the regular season with a record of 6-6, and hoped that it wouldn't be the last game the team played this season.  While six wins is enough to make a team bowl eligible, two of Arizona State's wins came against FCS schools, which didn't leave the Sun Devils with enough wins against the FBS to qualify.

So they appealed to the NCAA in hopes that they'd get a shot to go bowling this season, and pick up some extra practices.  Well, some one once told me to hope in one hand, and something else I'm not allowed to type here in the other.  Guess which hand the NCAA chose!


I'll admit, I did find this decision to be a little bit of a surprise.  I figured that the NCAA would allow Arizona State to go bowling because I thought that a six-win Arizona State team would be more attractive team for a bowl game than a six-win Troy team.

Apparently not.
Posted on: December 3, 2010 5:17 am
 

Mike Stoops: 'I wanted to go for two'

Posted by Adam Jacobi

So, Arizona continued its tailspin tonight, dropping a 30-29 double-overtime contest to hated(?) rival Arizona State en route to falling to 7-5. Not only did Arizona's loss come on a blocked Alex Zendejas extra point in that second overtime, but the two teams only went to OT in the first place because Zendejas had another PAT blocked with 33 seconds left on the clock and a tie game.

It's sort of fitting that ASU picks up its sixth win this way (though this doesn't necessarily clear the way for bowl eligibility ), seeing as how the Sun Devils lost two games this year on late blocked extra points. Wisconsin swatted a game-tying PAT in the fourth quarter in September's 20-19 Badger win, and USC 's two-point return of a blocked extra point with under seven minutes left paved the way for a game-winning field goal in the Trojans' 34-33 victory four weeks ago. Yes, this still leaves ASU 1-2 on games decided by point-after follies this season, but that's certainly better than the 0-2 the Sun Devils were staring at 24 hours ago.

Funny thing of it is, though, Arizona head coach Mike Stoops must have had some inkling that the second blocked kick was about to happen, because his initial instinct was to not kick the ball in the first place.

"I wanted to go for two," Stoops told the Tucson Citizen. "And I should have stuck with my gut and I didn't. And that's my fault. I just had that feeling to go for two."

Of course, this ex post facto second-guessing isn't exactly a new or unique phenomenon; personally, I can point to at least five specific games in the Expert Picks where I ignored doubts against better judgment and blew the pick (Utah at Notre Dame, for one, was a classic letdown game and I chickened out and took the higher-ranked team instead), but the fact that I didn't make those picks is much more meaningful than any after-the-fact lamentation. We've all made dumb decisions, sports-related or not. The trick is to not make them in the first place.

Further, game-winning two-point conversions aren't exactly sure shots to begin with; just ask Iowa State about that. If Arizona had failed on its two-pointer and lost like that, Stoops is all of a sudden on the hook for the loss, rather than just Zendejas and his low PATs. While it's not like Stoops is on a hot seat anymore, biffing on a shot at the Territorial Cup by taking an arguably unnecessary two-point conversion isn't exactly a great way to inspire confidence from the moneyed interests. Make it, and Arizona wins, and everyone's happy, but who wants to put their career trajectories on the flip of a coin like that? That's tantamount to gambling, and last I checked, gambling's illegal, pal.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com