USC hangover still affecting Arizona State

Arizona State once looked like one of the 10 best teams in the nation. No longer. After three consecutive defeats, the Sun Devils are hardly a lock for a bowl game. Following the shocking 45-35 defeat to Stanford -- at one point they trailed 45-7 -- players are pointing fingers at poor practices and a lack of intensity, while coach Dirk Koetter got slammed in the local media for admitting that he was "at a loss" as to what the problem was. A few weeks ago, Koetter was in line for a contract extension and raise. The drumbeat for that has subsided. "We've definitely hit a lull here," Koetter said. "Anytime you get in that situation, you're searching for answers. Momentum and confidence are things that come and go with the wind it seems like."

Koetter admitted that his team may be suffering from a horrible USC hangover. The Sun Devils had the top-ranked Trojans on the ropes before succumbing 38-28. "I think there's something to that theory," he said. "I certainly think there was some heartbreak there that was harder to get over than one would expect … but any excuse right now is a hollow excuse."