COLLEGE FOOTBALL : Arizona State Puts Quite a Rush on Cal : Pacific 10: Hopkins gains 187 yards as team totals 345 in 38-29 victory over the Bears.

From Associated Press

Arizona State is closing with a rush.

Chris Hopkins ran for a career-high 187 yards and two touchdowns and Arizona State rolled up a season-high 345 rushing yards in a 38-29 victory over California on Saturday.

The victory was the fourth in a row for the Sun Devils, 6-4 overall and 4-3 in the Pacific 10. They have recovered from a 2-4 start to thrust themselves back into consideration for a bowl.

“We were not used to winning a lot but now we are in the groove,” Hopkins said. “We can’t celebrate too much, though, because we have more games to play.”


Arizona State is off next week before closing the regular season at home Nov. 24 against Arizona.

“Right now we have some hope,” said Arizona State Coach Bruce Snyder, who coached at Cal before taking the Sun Devil job four years ago. “Even if we win the next one, I don’t know if it’s a done deal. But we’re playing with hope and I think that’s why our players are playing so hard. We appreciate any help we can get from anybody else because our wiggle room is zero.”

The Sun Devils came into the game with their running back corps hurting. Hopkins got the start because of injuries to Michael Martin and Terry Battle, who didn’t play.

Hopkins sprained an ankle in the first quarter only to return to action after Martin aggravated his ankle injury. Brian Singleton, who returned a kickoff 85 yards for a score, also took up some of the slack in the Sun Devils’ banged-up running back corps.

Despite Arizona State’s nicked backfield, Cal (3-7, 2-5) couldn’t stop the running attack.

“We were surprised we were able to run the ball against them as well as we did,” said Sun Devil quarterback Jake Plummer, who threw for 148 yards and two touchdowns, both to Keith Poole.

“It was the offensive line that did it. We also had two guys step up in a big way, Hopkins especially.”