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Arizona State DT Jaxon Hood doubtful to play against USC


Arizona State came into the season thinking big, bypassing the usual Pac-12 South and Rose Bowl rhetoric and aiming squarely for the BCS championship game. That's out the window after their three-quarters thrashing at Stanford, and the conference would be a non-starter with a loss this Saturday to USC, a game in which the Sun Devils will be without several contributors on defense.

Defensive tackle Jaxon Hood is the biggest loss. The talented sophomore suffered a leg injury against the Cardinal and is unlikely to play this week. Hood started the first three games and had 1.5 tackles for loss and two pass breakups.

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Hood would be a valuable asset against the Trojans, who have relied on the power running of Tre Madden to sustain its meager offense. Head coach coach Todd Graham was hopeful Hood could be available for the Oct. 5 game against Notre Dame at AT&T Stadium.

Three other players -- linebackers Chans Cox, Junior Onyeali and Alani Latu -- were ruled out for the season by Graham on Tuesday.

Cox, a highly-regarded true freshman, is sidelined with a shoulder injury. Cox had been listed as the backup to Carl Bradford, but had yet to make his college debut.

Onyeali (shoulder) had been working at linebacker as a pass-rush specialist after playing defensive end in his first three seasons at ASU, appearing in three games without recording a tackle. Onyeali was named Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of the Year in 2010 after posting 10.5 sacks, but had not recaptured that form the last two years (11.5 tackles for loss with seven sacks in 21 games).

Latu, a true freshman, recorded one tackle on special teams against Wisconsin, but is out with an ankle injury.

Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.

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