Vontaze Burfict benched in Arizona State's 47-38 loss to California

PASADENA, CA - NOVEMBER 05: Linebacker Vontaze Burfict #7 of the Arizona State Sun Devils gestures as he warms up for the game with the UCLA Bruins at the Rose Bowl on November 5, 2011 in Pasadena, California. UCLA won 29-28. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Vontaze Burfict's personal foul penalties finally became too much for the Arizona State coaching staff Saturday night.

On one series in the third quarter, Burfict was charged with two personal fouls after shoving California players after the play. After the series, which resulted in a California touchdown, Burfict never saw the field again.

California went on to beat Arizona State 47-38 and the Sun Devils fell to 6-6 on the season. With that record, Arizona State will be one of the last teams considered for a bowl game.

If they don't make it to a bowl, Burfict may have played his last game in college. The enigmatic junior has been up and down all season, with his play greeted affected by his attitude.

More than any other prospect in the nation, Burfict's play is predicated on his emotion. This season they haven't been in check. At times he's been tentative and not as aggressive as his stellar sophomore season.

At other times, like on Saturday, Burfict can get himself in trouble. It wasn't that he was being too aggressive on the personal fouls, he just wasn't being smart. The first personal foul was questionable as he retaliated to a degree against a Cal lineman. Even though Burfict's actions were questionable on the first foul, he needs to be smart enough to realize referees are keying on him.

Now if he chooses to go pro, Burfict will do so with more than just questions about his attitude. Some NFL evaluators will be questioning his intelligence.

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