No. 17 Arizona State beats No. 23 Stanford, takes control of Pac-12 South


No. 17 Arizona State wasn’t going to win the Pac-12 Championship under third-year head coach Todd Graham until it beat No. 23 Stanford. The Cardinal had beaten the Sun Devils four straight times, including a 38-14 stomping in last year’s Pac-12 Championship in Sun Devil Stadium.

Arizona State did just that Saturday night, out-Stanfording Stanford to a 26-10 win.

The same defense that surrendered 62 points, an even 10 yards a play and approximately three million broken tackles in its last home game, a 62-27 drubbing to UCLA, held Stanford to 288 yards, 14 first downs and one touchdown in the win. Which should tell you more about the Stanford offense than the Arizona State defense.

Seven Cardinal runners, led by Remound Wright and Barry Sanders, mustered only 76 yards on 3.5 yards per carry, placing Kevin Hogan in a position where he’d have to win the game with his arm. One thing to know about Kevin Hogan: he doesn’t need to be in a place where he has to win a game with his arm. He didn’t turn the ball over, but he didn’t create many plays either, completing 19-of-39 passes for 212 yards and rushing four times for 17 yards.

Bad as the offense was, it wasn’t the worst unit of the night for Stanford. That would be the special teams. Ty Montgomery fumbled a punt, setting Arizona State up directly for a touchdown that pushed the Sun Devil led to 14-0 just before the half, and Christian McCaffrey fumbled a kickoff that directly led to a field goal which pushed the score to 26-10.

D.J. Foster led the way for Arizona State, opening the scoring midway through the second quarter with a one-yard plunge and rushing 24 times for 59 yards while also leading the club with seven grabs for 92 yards. Mike Bercovici garnered his third straight start and hit 23-of-33 throws for 245 yards and a touchdown to Jaelen Strong (eight grabs, 75 yards).

After taking a 14-0 lead into halftime, Arizona State was never seriously threatened in the second half. Stanford pulled within 14-3 early in the third quarter and 20-10 with 11:23 to go, but that was as close as they came. It was the rare Stanford loss where David Shaw’s team went out with a whimper.

Stanford still controls its own destiny in the race for its third straight Pac-12 title with a trip to Oregon waiting Nov. 1. Stanford returns home to meet Oregon State on Saturday.

Arizona State technically sits half a game behind USC in the Pac-12 South, but owns the tiebreaker over the Trojans thanks to last week’s Hail Mary victory. Arizona State visits Washington on Saturday.

Joe Moorhead on Rutgers vacancy: Not something that’s under consideration

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Rutgers is looking for a new head coach and Mississippi State head coach Joe Moorhead is supposedly the so-called frontrunner for the job, according to reports out of New Jersey. But would the Mississippi State head coach leave the SEC to take on the massive undertaking at Rutgers? For now, at least, the Bulldogs head coach is saying all the things you would expect a coach in a current job to say.

“It’s not something that’s under consideration,” Moorhead said to Paul Finebaum of SEC Network when asked about his potential interest in the job on Friday afternoon. “My focus is here at Mississippi State. This is where we want to be and this is what we want to do.”

Moorhead is in his second season as head coach of Mississippi State. Moorhead’s northeastern roots as a New Jersey native seem like a natural fit to take on the Rutgers coaching job. Whether Moorhead is leaving one program stuck in the bottom half of its own division in the SEC for a chance to be stuck in the bottom half of its division in the Big Ten remains to be seen. Moorhead is saying everything a current head coach should be expected to say, whether he genuinely means it or not.

Rutgers fired Chris Ash at the end of September after a 1-3 start capped by a blowout loss at Michigan. Tight ends coach Nunzio Campanile has been serving as the team’s interim coach while the search for a permanent replacement for Ash is found.

Alcohol at Boise State football games (and other schools in Idaho) is one step closer to reality

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As the trend of allowing alcohol at college football games continues to sweep the nation, the state of Idaho has moved one step closer to allowing schools like Boise State to potentially join the trend. According to a report from Idaho Press, the state’s education board has granted preliminary approval to allow universities to decide for themselves if alcohol will be permitted.

The Idaho State Board of Education previously stood in the way of schools within the state from allowing alcohol at collegiate athletic events, such as Boise State football games. Although certain battles have been won in recent years to allow for restricted alcohol availability under certain parameters, the state’s board of education is essentially preparing to step out of the way entirely.

This doesn’t mean Boise State or Idaho Vandal fans will be able to soak in the suds this season though. A revised policy from the board is tentative to be voted on in December for final approval to allow universities to decide for themselves. As it turns out, the decision to pass on the decision-making to university presidents may be more of a way to prevent the board from wasting time on the subject entirely.

“This Board needs to focus on strategic direction for education policy,” board member Andrew Scoggin said, according to the Idaho Press report. “We have very capable and competent chief executive officers at these institutions and there are very clear requirements for safety and security that they will have to meet in order to authorize these permits.”

If the refined policy to pass on the responsibility to individual institutions, that could pave the way for Boise State to have alcohol sales expanded at football games as early as next season if the university is interested in the trend.

Virginia Tech DT Rob Porcher throws name in transfer portal

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Virginia Tech is possibly about to lose a defensive lineman from its roster. Defensive tackle Rob Porcher has entered the transfer portal, a report with confirmation from Virginia Tech confirmed Friday afternoon.

Andy Bitter of The Athletic reported news of the transfer portal development, via Twitter.

Porcher is a redshirt sophomore, so he will have two more years of eligibility at another FBS program. Porcher would have to sit out the 2020 season at another FBS program, per NCAA transfer rules, if he does end up leaving the Hokies. Any player entering the transfer portal is free to have contact with any other college football program as they evaluate their options. A decision to remain in Blacksburg is always possible too, although the report from Bitter suggests that may not be the end-result for Porcher.

Porcher has appeared in five games this season. In that time, Porcher has recorded three tackles with one sack.

Michigan State TE Noah Davis is sixth Spartan to enter transfer portal this season

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The almighty transfer portal has added another college football player’s name to its database. Michigan State tight end Noah Davis has reportedly entered the transfer portal, according to Detroit Free Press reporter Rainer Sabin (via Twitter).

Davis appeared in four games for Michigan State this season, but he has not caught a pass this season. Three other tight ends on the Michigan State roster have contributed on offense this season. Senior Matt Seybert is Michigan State’s third-leading receiver with 15 receptions for 185 yards and three touchdowns. Matt Dotson and Trenton Gillison have also played a part in the passing game at times this season. Davis did not play in 208 due to injury. Davis will have one final year of eligibility in 2020.

By entering the transfer portal, Davis is free to have contact with any other college football program that may be interested in recruiting him to their program. Davis may also choose to stay with the Spartans.

Davis is the sixth Michigan State player to enter the transfer portal since the season got underway. Previous players entering the transfer portal from Michigan State include running backs Connor Heyward (HERE) and La’Darius Jefferson (HERE), wide receivers Weston Bridges (HERE) and Cam Chambers, and linebacker Brandon Bouyet-Randle (HERE).