Sun Devils Gameday: California at ASU - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Sun Devils Gameday: California at ASU

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Posted: Saturday, October 27, 2007 2:34 am | Updated: 6:40 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

SUN DEVILS KEYS TO VICTORY1. No Action Jackson: California receiver DeSean Jackson is capable of changing a game either on offense or on special teams — as he showed last year against ASU, when he scored touchdowns on a catch and punt return.

SUN DEVILS KEYS TO VICTORY

1. No Action Jackson: California receiver DeSean Jackson is capable of changing a game either on offense or on special teams — as he showed last year against ASU, when he scored touchdowns on a catch and punt return. Jackson and fellow receivers Robert Jordan and Lavelle Hawkins will provide the Sun Devils’ secondary with its biggest test to date.

2. Utilize a rushing plan: Coach Dennis Erickson has been loath to define the running-back roles in the wake of Ryan Torain’s absence, but the Sun Devils would be wise to execute this facet of the game early. The Golden Bears are not the kind of team a coach can experiment against.

3. House of loud: A sold-out Sun Devil Stadium crowd will be in attendance. Getting the fans in the game from the first series can only bolster ASU’s confidence.

THE INTRIGUE

Arizona State is 7-0 and ranked fourth in the Bowl Championship Series standings but does not own a validating victory in the eyes of many observers around the country. A win against California, despite its warts from the last two weeks, would change that. The Golden Bears, whose national championship aspirations are sunk and their confidence slightly shaken, desperately need to stop the bleeding. Another loss would knock them out of contention for one of the Pac-10’s better bowl berths.

INJURY REPORT

Arizona State

OUT: DL Saia Falahola (triceps); DL Tranell Morant (knee); QB Samson Szakacsy (elbow); RB Ryan Torain (foot)

QUESTIONABLE: CB Chris Baloney (ankle); TE Brent Miller (knee)

PROBABLE: WR Michael Jones (concussion); LB Gerald Munns (knee); RB Jarrell Woods (ankle); LB Morris Wooten (thumb)

California

OUT: DB Marcus Ezeff (quadriceps)

QUESTIONABLE: DL Rulon Davis (foot); DB Robert Peele (ankle); K Tom Schneider (quadriceps)

PROBABLE: WR Robert Jordan (shoulder); QB Nate Longshore (ankle)

WHEN THE SUN DEVILS HAVE THE BALL

ASU Offense

SE: 1 Michael Jones

LT: 62 Brandon Rodd

LG: 67 Shawn Lauvao

C: 76 Mike Pollak

RG: 63 Paul Fanaika

RT: 79 Julius Orieukwu

TE: 83 Brady Conrad

SLOT: 6 Kyle Williams

FL: 13 Chris McGaha

QB: 12 Rudy Carpenter

RB: 24 Keegan Herring

Cal defense

DE: 93 John Allen

DT: 69 Matt Malele

DT: 98 Mita Kane

DE: 44 Tyson Alualu

SLB: 56 Zack Follett

MLB: 1 Worrell Williams

WLB: 15 Anthony Felder

CB: 5 Syd’Quan Thompson

CB: 3 Brandon Hampton

FS: 4 Thomas DeCoud

ROV: 2 Bernard Hicks

The balance between run and pass continues to be the best ASU has displayed in years, but it will be tested in the Sun Devils’ first game without star running back Ryan Torain, who is out for the season with a foot ligament sprain. Can either Keegan Herring or Dimitri Nance provide the physical running between the tackles that was a Torain trademark? Where does Jarrell Woods, who should play after being out since the preseason with a sore ankle, fit in? California’s defense has been vulnerable to the run, as Kahlil Bell of UCLA compiled 142 yards on the ground last week.

WHEN THE GOLDEN BEARS HAVE THE BALL

Cal offense

WR: 2 Robert Jordan

LT: 53 Mike Gibson

LG: 63 Brian De La Puente

C: 51 Alex Mack

RG: 55 Noris Malele

RT: 79 Mike Tepper

TE: 19 Craig Stevens

WR: 1 DeSean Jackson

QB: 9 Nate Longshore

TB: 20 Justin Forsett

FB: 23 Will Ta’ufo’ou

ASU defense

LE: 97 Luis Vasquez

DT: 77 Michael Marquardt

DT: 90 David Smith

RE: 58 Dexter Davis

SLB: 44 Travis Goethel

MLB: 52 Morris Wooten

WLB: 29 Robert James

CB: 32 Omar Bolden

CB: 4 Justin Tryon

FS: 19 Josh Barrett

SS: 14 Troy Nolan

Coach Jeff Tedford’s multiple pro set, when healthy, remains one of the more unstoppable forces in college football, but not all of the pistons have fired the last two weeks. Quarterback Nate Longshore and receiver Robert Jordan are coming off injuries. Receiver DeSean Jackson was contained against Oregon State, running back Justin Forsett and WR Lavelle Hawkins against UCLA. How ASU’s defense reacts if the Golden Bears move the ball successfully will be critical. Can the Sun Devils stay in the base 4-3 formation, as they have all year? Will they have to take some risks?

California Golden Bears at Arizona State Sun Devils

When: 7 p.m. today

Where: Sun Devil Stadium

TV/Announcers: FSN Arizona/Ted Robinson, Warren Moon and Lindsey Soto

Radio: KTAR (620 AM)

Records: California 5-2, 2-2; ASU 7-0, 4-0

Rankings: California No. 18 Associated Press/No. 20 USA Today (coaches)/No. 18 Harris Interactive/No. 21 Bowl Championship Series standings; ASU No. 7/No. 7/No. 8/No. 4

Series: Tied 13-13, but California has won four straight games

Last meeting: Sept. 23, 2006, at Berkeley, Calif. — California 49, ASU 21

Line: Arizona State by 3

Tickets: The game is sold out.

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