Found October 29, 2012 on Fox Sports Arizona:
TEMPE, Ariz. -- It was bad enough for Arizona State to be without star defensive tackle Will Sutton for essentially two games due to a bone bruise, but now other injuries are depleting an already razor-thin unit. ASU lost defensive end Junior Onyeali for most of Saturday's 45-43 loss to UCLA with a shoulder injury originally suffered a week earlier against Oregon, and linebacker Steffon Martin missed the second half with an apparent arm injury. "We're hoping (Martin) is going to be OK," ASU coach Todd Graham said. "Everything was clear up until today, so we've still got he MRI, this morning I think it was. We're waiting to hear back on that." The extent of Martin's injury should be clearer Tuesday, but any significant absence would be a big blow. Martin had two tackles for loss against UCLA before leaving, giving him 4.5 on the season. Graham also could not offer specific updates on the status of Sutton or Onyeali, but he seemed hopeful about all three players' status for Saturday's road game with Oregon State. On the other side of the ball, ASU was without starting right guard Andrew Sampson as he continues to nurse a right ankle injury. Graham said Monday he expects to have Sampson back against Oregon State. MORA ON THE RISE Junior walk-on Jon Mora took over field-goal duties from sophomore Alex Garoutte for the UCLA game and went 3 for 3, making tries from 22, 31 and 36 yards. That was just the kind of effort Graham was looking for given the upheaval at kicker all season. "I could see after he made the first field goal he was pretty relieved," Graham said. "I could sense that. He's really a talented kicker. He's just got to settle in a little bit, and I think making those three field goals is really going to give him a lot of confidence, and we hope to create some consistency there." Shortly after his press conference, Graham said in a radio interview that Mora had suffered a groin strain in August, when he was challenging Garoutte for the starting job in fall camp. Graham seemed to imply Mora might have been kicking field goals from the start. While Garoutte will likely remain on kickoff and extra-point duty, Mora will again kick field goals against Oregon State. PENNEL RETURNS Junior defensive tackle Mike Pennel was back on the field against UCLA, apparently reinstated after a three-week suspension for failing to meet team standards. Pennel returned to practice last Sunday with the scout team and ended up playing around 20 snaps off the bench against UCLA. Graham said Monday he was pleased with how Pennel played. "I thought he did a good job," Graham said. "He was out of his gap one time, but he had a great attitude, he was encouraging his teammates. He's really done a great job since he's been back." Graham said when Pennel returned to practice that he was on a plan of improvement after not being around the team for three weeks. Graham did not go into details of the plan Monday but said Pennel is now doing what he needs to do to meet the team's standards. "There are things academically, there are things on the field and off the field," Graham said. "He's met all those, and he did a good job for us (Saturday)." NOTEWORTHY -- Sutton was named a semifinalist Monday for the Chuck Bednarik Award, which is given annually to the top defensive player in college football. Finalists will be announced Nov. 19. -- Punter Josh Hubner had a strong showing in ASU's loss, punting five times for an average of 52.6 yards. One of those punts, a 65-yarder, was too much for UCLA returner Steven Manfro, who muffed the punt, leading to an ASU recovery and touchdown two plays later. And thanks to a good roll, Hubner's second punt of the day went 73 yards, a career best. With an average punt of 47.47 yards, Hubner now ranks fifth nationally. -- The Sun Devils committed only four penalties for 36 yards Saturday, but that total included two of their costliest mistakes this season. UCLA could not convert a third-and-5 in the first quarter but got it anyway when Onyeali was called for roughing the passer, and the Bruins went on to score on the drive. Then, in the second quarter, ASU had a touchdown taken off the board due to a holding call on lineman Brice Schwab and had to settle for a field goal, a four-point swing in an eventual two-point loss. ASU ranks fifth nationally in fewest penalty yards per game with 29.25. -- Perhaps lost in the loss to UCLA was sophomore quarterback Taylor Kelly's big day. He went 25 of 35 passing for 315 yards and four touchdowns. He did throw a costly interception just before halftime, but with the overall effort, he still ranks first in the Pac-12 and fifth in the nation in passing efficiency. -- Against UCLA, redshirt freshman Michael Eubank did not take a single snap, marking the first time this season he didn't get into a game.
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