While most of the fun from Pac-12 media days came on Wednesday, Day Two of the event still provided its fair share of interesting moments.
Act II of the media days began with a bang, as Pac-12 Network President Lydia Murphy-Stephans announced new deals Cox Network and Time Warner Cable, expanding the network to roughly 20 million more homes in the U.S. from when it began two years ago.
The deal will mostly make the Pac-12 Network more available in the Midwest and East coast. Murphy-Stephans added that the network struck a deal with YouTube to make games and programs available in 27 select countries worldwide, but not in the U.S.
“We know Pac-12 fans from around the world will love watching the hundreds of games we've produced across 27 different sports,” she said, Thursday.
The network will air 35 Pac-12 games this year.
Hundley catches all the attention
Of all the players interviewed Wednesday, most of the attention fell on the shoulders of Heisman hopeful Marcus Mariota. However, day two centered around UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley, who could easily be in that same conversation this year.
“It’s crazy, but it just comes with what you want,” Hundley told Inside UCLA’s Jack Wang, about the media frenzy. “As a kid, you dream of being in this position. Things are as they are. We’re just having fun. You just need to find those certain times get away from everything. You guys will never know where I’m at, you guys will never be able to find me, you guys will never see me.”
Hundley also received a large vote of confidence from UCLA head coach Jim Mora, who said the Bruin is headed for a bright future.
“I can tell you unequivocally Brett Hundley is a first round draft pick,” Mora said. “The guy is a future star in the NFL. He's got every tangible and intangible quality you can look for.”
Mora added he’s not thrilled with the quarterback comparisons Hundley has received. The coach said he believes many of the comparisons of current NFL quarterbacks are based racially.
“I hate that stereotype. I always have,” Mora said. “I coached Mike Vick. I believe we stereotype those guys started with that, and I don't want that to happen with Brett. I'm going to make sure it doesn't. It shouldn't. The guy's a passer, man, but he can run.”
Arizona State underrated?
Arizona State won the Pac-12 South Division last year, but were picked to finish third in the division this year in the preseason media poll released Wednesday. That didn’t sit well with returning quarterback Taylor Kelly, who added the team is still focused on bettering its spot from last year.
“We have a chip on our shoulder. We’re hungry,” Kelly said. “Even though we won the Pac-12 South, we lost the championship game and that was one of our goals, so we’re even more hungry to attack that.”
Most of the reasoning behind placing the Sun Devils third in the division comes from the many losses on defense from last season. However, Kelly’s teammate, offensive lineman Jamil Douglas, said he believes that it won’t make a difference this year.
“It’s going to be the same. Coach (Todd) Graham is not going to let up on attacking,” Douglas said. “To be honest, it’s a scheme that he has in place. Of course you need guys who execute that scheme, but at the same time he’s done a great job recruiting guys who are ready to come in and execute his scheme. I don’t think we’ll be worried when we step out on defense.”
Washington suspends Miles for season opener
Perhaps the biggest on-field news of the day came from new Washington coach Chris Petersen, who announced quarterback Cyler Miles was suspended for the Huskies’ season opener against Hawaii. Miles, who is expected to at least compete for Washington’s starting job was also suspended throughout spring ball after Seattle police alleged Miles and a teammate participated in post-Super Bowl fight back in February.
Petersen said he has been impressed with how Miles has handled the situation he has been in since the fight and that the young quarterback is still in the mix to start after his suspension.
“He's done everything right or he wouldn't be with us,” Petersen said. “He's done everything right. Guys make mistakes. Certainly at that age group, we always say, hey, the age group we're dealing with is the dumbest age group in America, and it happens to be so public. Guys make mistakes, and the important thing is we learn from it and become better people.”
Oregon nabs Georgia Tech QB transfer
Though Oregon’s day in the media days spotlight came Wednesday, the Ducks still made a splash Thursday by landing Georgia Tech backup quarterback Ty Griffin, according to NBC Sports.
Griffin will sit out this season because of the transfer, but will have three years of eligibility after that.