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Pac-12 Confidential

Bud Withers offers an inside look at the Pac-12 Conference and the national college scene.

September 25, 2012 at 9:29 PM

Odds and ends from Pac-12 coaches . . .

Pac-12 football coaches had their weekly conference call with media Tuesday. A few assorted highlights:

Arizona State – The Sun Devils have put up all sorts of gaudy numbers in their 3-1 start and play at Cal Saturday. QB Taylor Kelly has a 182.2 pass-efficiency rating, tops in the conference, and the ASU defense leads in efficiency against the pass. The defense is also allowing only 12.8 points per game and ASU is tied for the national lead in tackles for loss with 39. Todd Graham isn’t afraid to throw around superlatives, and about his defense, he says, “If there’s a defensive lineman playing better than (Will Sutton), I’d like to see it. He’s been absolutely dominating.” Graham also praised linebackers Brandon Magee and said Auburn product Chris Young is “phenomenal.”

CalJeff Tedford is hoping to have Matt Summers-Gavin, probably Cal’s best offensive lineman, back for the Arizona State game after a knee injury. The Bears are already without guard Dominic Galas indefinitely with a torn pectoral muscle, and tight end Richard Rodgers’ status is still uncertain (he’s been out with a leg problem). “As of right now, we have one guy on our offensive line with any experience before this season,” Tedford said.

Colorado – The comeback in Pullman from a 31-14 fourth-quarter deficit was CU’s biggest ever on the road from a fourth-quarter deficit. “There was a whole lot of resolve on our sideline,” said coach Jon Embree. “They weren’t overly concerned with what was going on with the scoreboard.”

OregonChip Kelly didn’t have much to say on whether playing Washington State in Seattle Saturday night was an advantage over traveling to Pullman. “We get on a plane and play wherever they tell us to play,” he said. Meanwhile, the Ducks have scored 42 points or more in seven straight games dating to 2011.

Oregon StateSean Mannion, who led the OSU upset over UCLA last week, is bothered by a sore shoulder sustained in the game, while the Beavers’ opponent this week, Arizona, has a questionmark of its own in QB Matt Scott, who left the Oregon game last week with a bruised hip and had an injection to keep playing. “He just loves to play football,” said OSU coach Mike Riley of Mannion. “His knowledge is probably the best part.”

UCLA – The Bruins are still another Pac-12 team (including Washington, WSU and Cal) dealing with offensive-line injuries, but Jim Mora says he thinks guard Jeff Baca, out the past two games with a head injury, can return for the Colorado game Saturday.

Utah – RB John White had 1,519 yards last year, No. 2 in the league to LaMichael James, but has been limited to 233 in 2012 by a bad ankle. Kyle Whittingham says he thinks White, ineffective against ASU last week, can get back to near full strength for the USC game next Thursday night. Whittingham also lamented Utah’s pass defense in the 37-7 rout by ASU, saying defenders got disoriented, and “there were way too many wide-open routes.”

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