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December 14, 2013

Bowl practices underway; Eubank transferring



Arizona State returned to the practice field for the first time in more than a week after its loss to Stanford in the Pac-12 title game with a different goal in mind, one that is less inspiring perhaps but still important.

The hurt feelings will take time to get over as ASU coach Todd Graham attempts to "re-center" his team on demonstrating the consistent discipline and attention to detail that gave them the opportunity in the first place in their 10-win regular season. But he's okay with that.

"You build something up as much as I built it up and we built it up and it's crushing," Graham said Friday. "I can tell you, I was crushed. But that's life. You get back up and you dust yourself off and you go at it again. And if you didn't have that mentality we wouldn't have come as far as we've come.

"I want to be disappointed. We I talked to them today about that. We didn't play our best game for sure and our special teams was, no way you can win a championship playing like that. But we lost to a really good team, we only lost to one team in the Pac-12 all year long and I think that's really saying something. We lost to a pretty good team. We accomplished a lot of things and still have unfinished business and that's 11 wins and I think that's the best record since 1996."

Graham said bowl practices are also important for younger players jockeying for opportunity on the depth chart next spring and beyond, calling Friday the start of 2014. To that end, younger players stayed not only after the veterans, but after Graham addressed media in order to do physically demanding camp-like drills, 1-on-1s and 7-on-7.

Eubank transferring

Sophomore ASU quarterback Michael Eubank did not participate Friday and will transfer, Graham said.

Eubank, 6-foot-6, 240 pounds, was used sparingly in 2013, primarily on goal line situations. He completed 4 of 5 passes for 70 yards and had 13 rushes for 20 yards and three touchdowns. It was less than he played the previous season.

"We wish him the very best," Graham said. "Great young man. We're going to try to help find him a home."

The decision by Eubank means ASU is down to two scholarship quarterbacks on the roster, junior Taylor Kelly and sophomore Mike Bercovici.

Running back update

Sophomore running back D.J. Foster was dressed and conditioned on the side including some light jogging Friday after suffering a left knee sprain against Stanford a week ago.

The status of senior running back Marion Grice, who hasn't played since suffering a leg injury against UCLA on Nov. 23, is more uncertain.

"He'll be ready to go, he's about 70 percent today," Graham said of Foster. "Marion is sick so he wasn't out here. Marion, it'll still be questionable whether he will make it or not. We think he will but I don't know we'll see."


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