Zona Wins the Pac-12 South; Readies for Duck Hunting v2.0

Published on 29-Nov-2014 by Alan Adamsson

Football - NCAA    NCAA Football Daily Update

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Zona Wins the Pac-12 South; Readies for Duck Hunting v2.0

Not even bringing Sparky out of mothballs would help the Arizona State Sun Devils.

Rich Rodriguez's coaching redemption trumped the nostalgia, and in the process, the only Pac-12 school never to earn a Rose Bowl berth still has a shot at it this season.

In a shootout worthy of anything Tombstone or the OK Corral could entertain, the Wildcats prevailed, 42-35, to not only win the Territorial Cup but clinch the wacky Pac-12 South title to boot. And who knows? Maybe more.

The Sun Devils tacked on a token TD, but their fate was sealed. So was the Jekyll & Hyde that is UCLA football this season. All the Bruins needed to do was dump Stanford on home turf, and the re-match with Oregon would be theirs instead. However, the Cardinal hex held for a seventh straight year:

Just what UCLA needed to see: the Stanford squad the rest of college football thought they'd see all season.

When Arizona ventured up to Eugene and handed the Ducks their only loss of the season to date, much was made of Oregon's decimated offensive line. And, of course, there was that penalty.

As to the line, OT Jake Fisher's return to health coincided with an upturn in Oregon's offensive resuscitation, but now C Hroniss Grasu is still extremely questionable. Centers, of course, are the o-line's shot callers, and with Arizona's 3-3-5 defense, Grasu's experience in reading formations and reacting with the blocking scheme assignments could be a key omission in the Pac-12 title game on Sat 6 Dec.

And never underestimate the importance of making the right call.