Something about 62

It's a chance for some revenge, or maybe just to get rid of the taste of last year's 62 points the Sun Devils put up on USC in Tempe in what turned out to be a season-turning-around moment. But will Saturday's game see the USC defense up to speed?

Everybody hereabouts knows the '49ers. And if you're from the Bay Area, it's not a bad nickname.

But for USC's Trojans and Arizona State's Sun Devils, Saturday will give us a game between a couple of teams trying not to be numerically identified right now. Who wants to be the 62ers?

Or reminded of the fact that in the last game between these teams in Tempe, the Trojans gave up a school-record 62 points. Or to return the favor for the Sun Devils, coming off a UCLA game where they gave up 62 points of their own not quite a week ago.

"We're not going to let that happen again," Su'a Cravens said after practice Wednesday morning. "That should never happen. And it's not going to happen."

Leonard Williams said when he watched the film of last year's game, "I didn't watch the scoreboard, just to check on their personnel they had back . . . but the coaches have been talking to us about it."

"It's not exactly a conversation," Adoree Jackson said of a game he wasn't around for. "But they do show us a picture with the number 62 on it and the question: 'What are you going to do about it?' "

It's not something Jackson, who will start this week at corner, has ever had to think about, he said. "I never lost that bad and I don't want to think about it."

Hayes Pullard said he wasn't thinking about it. "Not at all, the senior defensive captain said. "It's a different team."

But Steve Sarkisian wasn't walking away from last year even if he wasn't here. "Hopefully it factors in," he said, for both his players and his staff. And does so as a "pride" factor so "that it doesn't happen again."

But for a team holding opponents to 17.5 points a game, good for No. 22 nationally, that won't be easy against the Sun Devils, even if quarterback Taylor Kelly isn't back. His fill-in, Mike Bercovici, stepped in and threw for 488 yards in his first college start, Sark noted.

"They have everything," defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox said. "They're a no-huddle option run team with a vertical passing attack and they throw back shoulder and do it at tempo . . . that's the challenege -- and we have to be ready for 111 plays [that ASU ran against UCLA]."

Cut this, chop that

Sark said he "totally disagrees" with Oregon State defensive coordinator Mark Banker's charge that USC chop blocks injured two OSU defensive linemen Saturday. "If anything, it was incidental contact," Sark said. "It's unfortunate he feels that way. I'll call Mark and clear the air."


Ajene Harris suffered a left hamstring pull, not sure how severe, and the slot receiver's spot saw a healthier and rehabbed Steven Mitchell stepping in for the bulk of the work. "We're hopeful we get him back," Sark said, "if we don't, we've been talking about Steven Mitchell for a couple of weeks now -- or we could move Nelson [Agholor]. Of Mitchell, Sark said, "He's a really good slot receiver . . . when he's a dynamic athlete . . . He's going to have to get that back quickly.". . . Tailback Tre Madden missed practice after working on individual drills Tuesday. Looks like the tailback rotation for ASU will be Buck Allen, Justin Davis and James Toland, who got the work Wednesday . . . Victor Blackwell again not in attendance and not in limbo. Like Sark said, not sure where he is after not being seen for 2 1/2 weeks now.

For a wrapup of Wednesday morning's practice, check out WEDNESDAY ASU WEEK GHOST NOTES.

You can follow me on Twitter at @dweber3440 or email me at

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