nagging foot injury has left Grayling Love doubtful for Arizona State’s game against Arizona next week, likely ending a college career in which he performed with distinction at every spot on the offensive line.
Love, a graduate student, has missed three games with a ligament ailment in his left foot that is similar — though not as severe — to what sidelined cornerback R.J. Oliver for all of 2004. Coach Dirk Koetter said on Sunday that surgery might be necessary.
"I think (the doctors) are starting to feel that if it’s not better now, it’s not going to get better on its own," Koetter said. "If he goes ahead and has the surgery now, he can rehabilitate and have a chance to work out before the (NFL) draft (in April).
"Nothing is official, but I don’t think he will be in the Arizona game."
The 6-foot-3, 301-pound Love, a two-time All-Pac-10 selection, has played all five spots on the line and requested to start at center this year. He has been projected as a later-round selection whose versatility could help him stick in the NFL.
In other injury news, Koetter said that he expects the idle week to enable such players as defensive lineman Kyle Caldwell (hamstring) and receivers Moey Mutz (shoulder) and Matt Miller (hamstring) to return to health.
In the first quarter of Saturday’s 45-35 loss at UCLA, the Sun Devils deftly switched up their offensive personnel, and the result was a score.
On a play at the 8-yard line, quarterback Rudy Carpenter came out of the huddle and split left in a receiver’s spot. Chad Christensen — a versatile player who was tabbed as backup quarterback after Sam Keller’s thumb injury — ran a draw play into the end zone.
"It’s always been in our playbook," Koetter said. "We saw an opportunity to do it in this game, but we didn’t want to use it and have Rudy take a hit early in the game. So, with Chad in there at receiver, we figured we would slip it in there and have Rudy and Chad switch."
Speaking about UCLA’s offensive explosion to start the game, Koetter said that poor communication on defense, which resulted in some missed assignments and tackles, was a culprit. So was a Bruins "bunch" — a group of three receivers lined at the edge of the formation — that they had not shown much of on film.
"We gave up some big plays and got a little undisciplined," Koetter said. "Guys probably tried to do too many things. When you have holes in the dam and you try to plug them, guys try to do too many things, and that creates more problems."
Koetter has altered the idle-week schedule to give the players days off at the start of the week, not later.
ASU will not practice today and Tuesday, and the coaches are recruiting. In the past, Friday and Saturday were the usual off days.
"The coaches decided that the players needed time to heal up now," Koetter said.
ASU still gets Saturday off but practices on Friday and Sunday.