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#18/19 Football continues road swing with trip to Washington State

October 01, 2007
Date: Saturday, October 6, 2007
Kickoff: 1:00 p.m. PT
Site: Martin Stadium (35,117) - Pullman, Wash.
Television: FSN
Play-by-Play: Barry Tompkins 
Color: Petros Papadakis
Sideline: Michael Eaves
Sun Devil Radio: KTAR 620 AM & KMVP/KTAR 92.3 FM
Play-by-Play: Tim Healey
Color: Former ASU QB and 1987 Rose Bowl MVP Jeff Van Raaphorst

• ASU allowed -2 rushing yards against Stanford, the sixth-lowest total in school history
• Arizona State is 5-0 for the first time since 2004 and the fourth time since it joined the Pac-10 conference
• ASU has allowed 65 points so far in 2007, with 39 of those coming in the first quarter
• The Sun Devils have intercepted at least one pass in seven straight games, dating back to last season
• ASU held Stanford scoreless in the second half, the third time this year it has shut out an opponent in the second half
Troy Nolan has four picks on the season, the most in a season since 2004
• ASU has been in the red zone 20 times in 2007 and has scored on 19 of those chances (13 TDs, 6 FGs)
• Arizona State was ranked 18th in the AP poll this week and 19th by the USA Today/Coaches Poll
• Senior WR Rudy Burgess is the only active player in the Pac-10 Conference to have surpassed 1,000 yards rushing and receiving during his career. He is 39 yards short of 1,000 career return yards as well
• ASU has not suffered back-to-back losing seasons in 59 years, the fourth longest active streak in the nation.

TEMPE, Ariz. - The Sun Devils continue their two-game road trip as they head to Pullman, Wash. for a meeting with Pac-10 rival Washington State on Oct. 6. Arizona State is 5-0 and 2-0 in conference play after its 41-3 win at Stanford last Saturday. The Cougars are 2-3 and 0-2 in the Pac-10, falling 48-20 to Arizona in Tucson last week. WSU is 1-0 so far this season at Martin Stadium, winning 45-28 over Idaho on Sept. 15.

The Sun Devil Sports Network will carry all 12 of ASU's football games live on its 10-station radio network, including flagship station Sports 620 KTAR AM. Tim Healey (play-by-play) and former Sun Devil quarterback Jeff Van Raaphorst (color analyst) will call the action. This weekend's game will air on 92.3 FM.

FSN will televise the Sun Devils meeting with Washington State. Barry Tompkins will handle play-by-play while Petros Papadakis will provide the color analysis. Michael Eaves will patrol the sidelines.

Saturday will be the 34th meeting between the Sun Devils and the Cougars. Arizona State leads the all-time series 19-12-2. The series is tied at seven wins apiece in Pullman. ASU won last year's meeting 47-14 in Tempe and was victorious in its last trip to Martin Stadium, winning 27-24 in 2005.

The Sun Devils jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first half and never looked back, scoring a 41-3 decision over Stanford in Palo Alto. The ASU defense was the story of the game, as it sacked Stanford's T.C. Ostrander seven times and held the Cardinal to -2 yards rushing. Ryan Torain gained 103 yards on the ground, while corner Omar Bolden, making his first career start, returned an Ostrander interception for a touchdown. Rudy Burgess posted his first career 100-yard receiving game, totaling 137 yards on seven catches and a touchdown.

Omar Bolden made his first career start
Saia Falahola saw the first game action of his career
Shawn Lauvao made his first career start
• ASU shut out an opponent in the first quarter for the first time this season
• ASU has intercepted at least one pass in all five games this season
• The seven quarterback sacks are the most by the Sun Devils this season, eclipsing the three they had in the season opening win against San Jose State
• With the win, ASU begins the season 5-0 for the first time since 2004
• ASU allowed a season low -2 rushing yards, the sixth-lowest total in school history.

For the second time this season, Dennis Erickson will once again face off against a school at which he was the head coach. Coach Erickson spent two seasons at Washington State, compiling a 12-10-1 record and earning the 1988 Pac-10 Coach of the Year Award. He led the Cougars to an upset win over #1 UCLA at the Rose Bowl that season, and also led WSU to an Aloha Bowl victory over Houston. It was Washington State's first bowl win since 1931. Craig Bray and Gregg Smith were both on Coach Erickson's staff at Washington State.

With the 41-3 win at Stanford, Dennis Erickson became the first coach in Arizona State history to emerge victorious in his first Pac-10 road game. Erickson is the eighth coach at ASU in the Pac-10 era, including Bob Owens, who was the interim coach in 1979.

The Arizona State defense held Stanford to -2 rushing yards last week, the sixth-lowest total allowed in school history. It was the fewest yards allowed since 1992, when Louisville was held to -78 rushing yards.

Ryan Torain recorded his second 100-yard game of the season against the Cardinal and the sixth of his career. Torain is the 18th Sun Devil in history to have at least six career 100-yard games, and the first since Monroe Eley in 1971. ASU is now 247-49-5 when it has a 100-yard rusher.

Freshman cornerback Omar Bolden made his first collegiate start against Stanford, and it was one he won't soon forget. In the second quarter, Bolden intercepted a T.C. Ostrander pass and raced 29 yards to the end zone for his first career interception and his first career touchdown.

Thanks to Bolden's interception, ASU has picked off a pass in all five games so far this season and seven straight, dating back to 2006. Arizona State now has 10 interceptions so far this season after totaling 15 all of 2006.

Troy Nolan has four interceptions on the season. The four picks by Nolan is the most by a Sun Devil in a single season since Emmanuel Franklin had four in 2004.

With his seven catch, 137-yard performance against the Cardinal, Rudy Burgess grabbed his first career 100-yard receiving game. However, Burgess is no stranger to the century mark, having topped it three times as a running back. Burgess also added a 62-yard catch and run TD reception against Stanford. Burgess now has 1,325 receiving yards and 1,049 rushing yards in his ASU career. He has scored 17 touchdowns as a Sun Devil, six on the ground and 11 through the air. Burgess also has gained 961 return yards in his career.

Thomas Weber continued to show off his leg against the Cardinal, connecting on all four of his field goal attempts. Weber is now 10-10 on the year, one of five kickers in the country who have made at least 10 consecutive field goals. Seven of his 10 field goals have been from at least 30 yards, including his long of 48. He has scored 51 points on the year.

Robert James continues to keep his name at the top of the tackle ledger. James had a team-leading 11 tackles against Stanford, the fourth time this season he has led the Devils in tackles. He added half a sack and 2.5 tackles for loss against the Cardinal, giving him 50 total tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks to go with his three interceptions this season. He leads the Pac-10 with 33 solo tackles.

The match-up with the Cougars will feature two of the top QBs in the Pac-10 Conference. Rudy Carpenter is the active leader among Pac-10 quarterbacks with eight career 300 yard games, while WSU's Alex Brink is second with seven. Carpenter ranks second to Brink, who is a year of eligibility ahead of Carpenter, in passing attempts, completed passes, passing yards and touchdown passes. Carpenter now has 52 career touchdown passes and has thrown for 6,082 yards.

Rudy Carpenter now has 52 touchdown passes in his career. He is only the fourth Sun Devil all-time to throw at least 50 touchdowns, joining Andrew Walter (85), Jake Plummer (65) and Danny White (64).

Sophomore defensive end Dexter Davis enjoyed one of the most sensational freshman seasons by a Sun Devil defender in school history last season, earning Pac-10 All-Freshman honors and honorable mention freshman All-America recognition by The Sporting News. The Phoenix, Ariz., native recorded a team-best and Pac-10 freshman season-high 6.0 quarterback sacks, the third-most by a Sun Devil rookie in school history. Davis' total trails only those by Terrell Suggs (2000) and Shante Carver (1990), who each posted 10.0 sacks as a freshman and in total, Suggs (44 career sacks) and Carver (41) rank first and second on ASU's all-time career sacks list. Also, Davis totaled 40 tackles on the season, the most by an ASU freshman since TSN freshman All-America safety Jason Shivers' team-high 89 total stops in 2001. Davis has picked up right where he left off, as he has already racked up a team leading 4.5 sacks and 5.5 tackles for loss. He had 2.5 sacks last week against Stanford.

Arizona State is ranked nationally in many major categories on both offense and defense. The Sun Devils are ranked 6th nationally in pass efficiency defense (89.46) and 16th in total defense (278.20 ypg). The defense is also ranked 6th in the country in scoring defense (13 ppg/allowed) and 12th in the nation in rushing defense (80.6 ypg). They are also tied for 20th in the country with 15 sacks. The Sun Devils are 6th in the country in Time of Possession at 33:27. Troy Nolan is tied for 4th in the nation with four interceptions, while Robert James is tied for 19th with three. James is also tied for 20th in the nation in tackles for loss (7.5) and Dexter Davis is tied for 18th with 4.5 sacks. Rudy Carpenter is 13th nationally in pass efficiency (164.98), while Ryan Torain is tied for 17th in scoring (10.5 ppg). Thomas Weber is tied for 2nd with 10 field goals and is also tied for 19th in scoring (10.2 ppg).

No team in the Pac-10 showcased as many talented defensive freshmen as ASU did in 2006, headlined by defensive end Dexter Davis and linebacker Travis Goethel, both of whom earned Pac-10 All-Freshman and honorable mention Freshman All-America honors by The Sporting News. Both Davis and Goethel anchor the Sun Devil defense in 2007.

The Sun Devils showcase one of the most experienced and honored offensive lines in the Pac-10, as ASU boasts the only unit of linemen in the conference which returns all five starters from the conclusion of the 2006 season. Also, ASU returns three offensive linemen that received All-Pac-10 honors in 2006, trailing only Oregon State for most in the conference and five Sun Devil linemen, including four starters, have already earned their undergraduate degree. The Sun Devil front five is led by second-team All-Pac-10 center, graduate Mike Pollak and honorable mention All-Pac-10 recipients junior guard Paul Fanaika and graduate tackle Brandon Rodd. Graduate guard Robert Gustavis and graduate tackle Julius Orieuwku also provide starting experience for 2007. Last season, Gustavis and Pollak started all 13 games at right guard and center, respectively, while Rodd started all 11 games in which he played at left tackle. After injuries suffered by 2006 seniors Andrew Carnahan and Stephen Berg, Faniaka started the season's final 10 games, while Orieukwu was a starter in the final seven contests. Sophomore tackle Richard Tuitu'u adds depth in 2007 after filling in as a starter for Rodd last season. Graduate Zach Krula will be welcomed back to the line in 2007, having earned a sixth-year of eligibility from the NCAA after missing the majority of the past two seasons due to injury. A starter in nine of 17 career games at guard, Krula was moved to right tackle this season. In 2006, the Sun Devil blockers helped enable ASU to gain its greatest rushing total since 1999 and showcase the team's first 1,000-yard runner since 2001. So far this season, the line has done their job again. ASU is averaging 173 yards per game on the ground and Ryan Torain has twice reached the 100 yard mark on the ground. Keegan Herring also has a 100-yard game under his belts. Also, ASU has rushed for nine touchdowns so far this year.

After establishing itself in recent years as a national offensive powerhouse predominately predicated on its passing attack, ASU proved it could attack opposing defenses with a punishing ground game last season. The Sun Devils boast the most potent running backs combination in the Pac-10, as senior Ryan Torain and junior Keegan Herring combined for 1,778 rushing yards in 2006, more than any pair of returning Pac-10 teammates. Torain and Herring have combined for 753 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns so far this year. In total, ASU showcases three of eight active Pac-10 ballcarriers to have surpassed 1,000 career rushing yards, including Herring and Torain as well as senior wide receiver Rudy Burgess, who is a dangerous all-purpose threat and was ASU's starting tailback during the 2004 and 2005 seasons.

Senior running back Ryan Torain enjoyed one of the most incredible rushing seasons in school history in 2006, totaling 1,229 rushing yards on 223 carries. Torain became the first Sun Devil to surpass 1,000 rushing yards since Delvon Flowers in 2001 and produced the greatest single-season rushing output since Sun Devil great Freddie Williams' total of 1,427 for head coach Frank Kush's legendary 1975 squad. The 1,229 yards was the most ever by a Sun Devil running back since ASU joined the Pac-10 in 1978. The 6-1, 213-pounder earned second-team All-Pac-10 honors while rushing for over 100 yards in four games and more than 80 yards in eight contests. Torain has his sights set on an even better 2007, totaling 408 yards and five rushing touchdowns so far this year. He has also added two TD receptions in 2007

Ryan Torain is only the seventh returning 1,000 yard rusher in school history, and the first since Darryl Harris in 1987. Only Woody Green, who rushed for over 1,000 yards in three straight years, and Freddie Williams have ever put together back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons for the Sun Devils.

After breaking ASU's freshman rushing record by totaling 870 yards in 2005, junior Keegan Herring rushed for 549 yards on 94 carries in 2006 as part of the most dynamic rushing combination in the Pac-10 Conference. One of the quickest athletes in the Pac-10, Herring led all Sun Devil runners last season averaging 5.8 yards-per-carry and is one of only four active ballcarriers in the conference to have rushed for over 500 yards in each of the past two seasons. He's already over halfway to that mark again, with 345 yards so far this year. In 29 career games, the Peoria (Ariz.) High School product has totaled 308 carries for 1,764 yards and 15 rushing touchdowns. Last week against Stanford, he broke a 72-yard run that found him in the end zone in the blink of an eye.

With the win over Stanford, Rudy Carpenter is now 16-7 as Arizona State's starting quarterback. That's good for the fifth-most victories by a starting ASU QB since 1983. Jake Plummer is #1 with 24 wins, while Jeff Van Raaphorst is second with 21. Andrew Walter and Ryan Kealy are tied for third with 18 wins apiece.

Dennis Erickson is one of three first-year coaches who has his team unbeaten. Coach Erickson joins Boston College's Jeff Jagodzinski and Cincinnati's Brian Kelly as coaches who are 5-0 in their first season at their respective schools. The 5-0 start for Erickson is the best start for an ASU coach in his first season in school history.

At halftime of the USC game on Thanksgiving, Sun Devil fans will be treated to musical legend Little Richard. He is an inaugural member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and will perform with the Sun Devil Marching Band.

The Arizona State football team has several two-sport athletes on the roster. WR Mike Jones has spent the past two seasons as a centerfielder for the baseball team, including last year's Pac-10 Championship team that advanced to the College World Series. Jones was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 42nd round of the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft, but has opted not to sign a contract and will return to the baseball team in 2008. WR Kyle Williams will also play baseball for ASU in 2008. He took the 2007 baseball season off to concentrate on football, but hopes to compete for an infield spot in 2008. In addition to the baseball players, ASU football also has three student-athletes who participated in the Pac-10 Track &Field Championships last season. WR Rodney Glass, CB Justin Tryon and WR Brandon Smith all ran for the Devils in Palo Alto, Calif.

Eight members of the Arizona State football team have already earned their undergraduate degrees, tied for the fifth most players in the country. Five of the ASU grads are offensive linemen.

Josh Barrett, Michael Marquardt, Mike Pollak and Ryan Torain have been named the team captains for the 2007 season in a vote by the players.

ASU was picked to finish fourth in the Pacific-10 Conference by West Coast media members who regularly cover the league. Defending Pac-10 champion USC was the unanimous choice to win their fifth straight conference crown, garnering all 39 first place votes. ASU and USC will meet at Sun Devil Stadium on Nov. 22 on ESPN. The media poll has correctly selected the Conference Champion in 24 of 46 previous polls, including the last seven years.

Arizona State is one of 15 FBS (Division I-A) teams in the country that is still undefeated. USC and California are other Pac-10 schools who have not suffered a loss.

Several Sun Devils are on watch lists for national awards. Josh Barrett finds himself on four lists for the 2007 season. He is on the watch list for the Lott Trophy, the Nagurski Award, the Bednarik Trophy and the Thorpe Award. Senior running back Ryan Torain is on the Maxwell Award watch list, the award given to the most outstanding college football player. Senior center Mike Pollak is on the watch list for the Outland Trophy and the Rimington Trophy, given to the top center in the nation. Junior quarterback Rudy Carpenter was named to the Manning Award Watch List. Senior offensive linemen Mike Pollak and Brandon Rodd are both on the Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List. Jonathan Johnson is on the Ray Guy Award Watch List, given to the top punter in the nation.

Arizona State returns home to take on Pac-10 foe Washington at Frank Kush Field/Sun Devil Stadium. Kick off will be at 7:15 p.m. with FSN providing television coverage.