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Pac-12 notes: Cottonwood’s Ise Sofele big part of Cal’s offense

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The USC Trojans can’t play in the inaugural Pac-12 Conference championship or any postseason bowl games because of the sanctions handed down after their recruiting scandal.

Which is why former offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian — now the head coach at Washington — thinks they’re more dangerous than many seem to expect.

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"They’re still loaded," Sarkisian said. "They have great players on that team. … Sometimes they’re getting overlooked because they can’t be in the championship game, but man, they’re a tough football team and it’s going to be hard week in, week out for whoever’s playing them."

Airing it out

Coach Mike Stoops has been attracting attention lately by saying that his Arizona Wildcats will throw 50 times a game if that’s what it takes to win.

You have to think he’s not kidding.

Quarterback Nick Foles helped the Wildcats lead the league in passing last season at 307.7 yards per game, and he returns with a strong complement of receivers — including all-conference receiver Juron Criner and Texas transfer Dan Buckner.

Thing is, the Cats ranked only eighth in the league in rushing last season and need more out of returning starter Keola Antolin and an offensive line that was rebuilt after losing the last five games of the season.

"Everybody’s talking about them, everybody’s watching them, and I think they take a lot of pride in that and feel like they have something to prove," Stoops said.

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