Arizona State (5-2, 3-1 Pac 12) put up 21 points in the first quarter. It was so much for the Sun Devils, they did it again in the second quarter. At halftime on the road, Arizona State leads Washington State (4-4, 2-3 Pac 12) 42-14 and is well on their way to another win to become bowl eligible.
Arizona State quarterback Taylor Kelly is off to a great start, having completed 14 of 18 pass attempts for 193 yards and four touchdowns. He has spread the football around well, completing passes to eight different receivers in the first half. Kelly has also added two rushing touchdowns and 71 rushing yards, while Marion Grice leads the Sun Devils with 83 rushing yards.
The offense for Arizona State has been locked in from t he start. At halftime, Arizona State has converted five out of six third-down conversions and they already have 20 first downs.
This game has quickly turned in to a mismatch, with Washington State having shown signs of improvement this season but clearly not ready to take things to the next level with the team Mike Leach has assembled right now. Arizona State has scored at least 50 points in each of their last two games, and that will likely extend to three games in the second half.
Barring a monumental upset in the second half, Arizona State is on pace to maintain the pole position in the Pac 12 South. Arizona State has Utah on the road next week. The Utes have already upset Stanford on their home field this season, so Arizona State certainly cannot take the game for granted, but the offense the Sun Devils are playing with right now is playing on a completely different level when you look around the Pac 12 South. UCLA may have the next best offense, but they have been weakened in recent weeks as well.
The margin of error for Arizona State is minimal, so picking up a win tonight is critical. They should feel pretty comfortable in the second half.
Greene is turning orange. Well, Jalen Greene is at least.
The former USC wide receiver who announced he would pursue a graduate transfer earlier this month announced on Twitter that he would be heading East to play at Illinois in 2018. He will be immediately eligible to play for the Illini.
Greene was originally recruited by the Trojans as a dual-threat quarterback but eventually made the move to receiver. He caught eight passes for 98 yards at USC last season as a partial starter and added another eight receptions for 116 yards the year prior.
Illinois has already begun spring practice and has been trying several new players at wide receiver in the process to find a good complement to Mike Dudek on the outside. It seems Greene could find himself in the mix to be one of those guys when he arrives in Champaign.
There are a ton of interesting storylines as spring practice begins across the country but one of the most intriguing programs to watch might be in Orlando as UCF looks to simultaneously follow up an undefeated season while also transitioning to a new coaching staff.
ESPN’s Andrea Adelson wrote a good story on the Knights changing some things up under head coach Josh Heupel the past few months like eating with players during meals, new strength and conditioning regiments and the usual offseason stuff you typically wind up season. However there was one interesting nugget about the team’s playbook that the coach relayed:
In other areas, player input has kept a few things unchanged. Take the offensive playbook, for example. Heupel and (Scott) Frost share enough offensive concepts that the new staff has adopted the terminology that players already know on the plays they have in common. So in theory, that should allow the offense to hit spring practice, which started Tuesday, with much more familiarity than another program that has completely changed over its staff.
As they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. In Heupel’s first head coaching gig, it seems he’s taking that to heart.
It didn’t take long nor did David Beaty have to look far for Kansas’ new safeties coach.
The school confirmed on Thursday morning that graduate assistant Cassius Sendish, a former Jayhawks team captain and defensive back, would be taking over as the team’s new safeties coach to complete the staff for 2018.
“I am honored and proud to represent the University of Kansas football program,” said Sendish in a statement. “I hold this place near and dear to my heart and I am truly grateful for the opportunity to work at my alma mater. I can’t thank Coach Beaty and the rest of the football staff enough for allowing me to come aboard and be a part of something special.”
Sendish replaces Todd Bradford on the staff after he made the rather head-turning move to leave coaching and take a new job in the oil industry. Recently hired Bill Miller will continue to coach linebackers while the newest hire will team up with defensive coordinator Clint Bowen to handle the secondary.
There will be plenty of time for everybody to settle into their new on-field roles as the Jayhawks will open up spring practice on March 31st.
Former USC quarterback Sam Darnold held his Pro Day on campus Wednesday and likely solidified himself as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft. Less than 24 hours later though, a former first round pick seemed to draw just as much attention a few hours south of Los Angeles.
That’s because Heisman Trophy winner and ex-Texas A&M star Johnny Manziel was down at FCS powerhouse San Diego’s Pro Day throwing passes and helping out a few of the Toreros’ NFL hopefuls in decidedly un-Southern California type conditions.
Few players had a more buzzed-about Pro Day than Johnny Football did back at Texas A&M and while he’s not throwing passes for a team just yet, at least it was cool to see the former superstar return to a campus with a football in hand Thursday. No word on if this gets Manziel closer to a comeback at the next level but it sounds as though it certainly didn’t hurt one of the most excited college football players in recent memory.