Saturday, November 26, 2011
Final: California 47, Arizona State 38
By Ted Miller
Arizona State's collapse is complete after losing 47-38 to California in a sparsely populated Sun Devil Stadium, and that feels like the end for coach Dennis Erickson.
The Sun Devils, once 6-2, nationally ranked and firmly in control of the Pac-12 South Division, have now lost four in a row -- and five of six -- and yielded the division to UCLA.
The Bears improved to 7-5 overall and 4-5 in the conference. Beating Sun Devils (6-6, 4-5) likely bolsters their bowl chances -- from, at best, Alamo Bowl to, at worst, Sun Bowl.
Both teams piled up yards, but the Bears made fewer mistakes. The Sun Devils lost the turnover battle 4-1, including two in the fourth quarter. They also had 11 penalties for 121 yards, including two personal-foul penalties on a single third-quarter drive from linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who was thereafter benched.
Cal piled up 484 yards, including 247 yards rushing against the beleaguered Sun Devils defense. Running back Isi Sofele had 145 rushing on 21 carries with a touchdown.
Arizona State will play in a bowl game, but the question is whether Erickson will be around to coach it.