Football heads to Oregon State
Following a 42-31 loss to the Oregon Ducks in Tempe, Arizona State will head to Corvallis, Oregon to open the road portion of the Pac-10 schedule in a meeting with the Oregon State Beavers. The Devils and Beavers will face off on Saturday, October 2 at Reser Stadium in Corvallis. The Sun Devils racked up 597 yards of total offense against the Ducks, but seven turnovers proved to be their undoing. Oregon State enters the contest 1-2 after a 37-24 loss on the road at Boise State.
On the Air:
The ISP-Sun Devil Sports Network will carry all 12 of ASU’s football games live on their 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. The Oregon State game will be air on both 620 AM and 92.3 FM. The game can also be heard on Sirius/XM radio.
Lights, Camera, Action:
Fox Sports AZ will televise the Sun Devils match-up with the Beavers. Rich Burk and Steve Preece will call the action from the booth.
Sun Devils vs. Beavers:
The Devils and Beavers have met 36 times, with Arizona State leading the series 24-11-1. Oregon State won last season’s meeting 28-17 in Tempe. ASU is 6-7-1 all-time in Corvallis.
The Long and Winding Road:
Beginning this week, the Sun Devils will not play another game at Sun Devil Stadium until October 30, a span of 34 days between home games. The last time Arizona State played three consecutive road games was in 1990, when they finished the season with games at Washington State and Arizona and a neutral site game against Houston in Japan. The last time they played three straight games at an opponent’s stadium was in 1988 when they traveled to Stanford, Washington State and Oregon.
Arizona State’s coaching staff has many ties to Oregon State. Dennis Erickson was the head coach of the Beavers from 1999 to 2002, while Craig Bray and Noel Mazzone both coached there. Trent Bray was a star linebacker for the Beavers from 2002 to 2005.
Arizona State heads to Seattle, Washington for a match-up with the Washington Huskies at Husky Stadium.
The Sun Devil offense racked up 597 total yards, but seven turnovers proved too much to overcome in a 42-31 loss to the Ducks. Deantre Lewis collected 127 rushing yards and touchdown, while Mike Willie added two TD grabs in the loss.
Moving On Up:
The Sun Devil offense put up some gaudy numbers against the Oregon Ducks. ASU totaled 597 yards, the most in a Pac-10 game since October 28, 2000, when it amassed 667 against Oregon.
Colecting 100-yard Days:
Freshman Deantre Lewis turned in his second straight stellar ground game, gaining 127 yards against the Ducks, his second straight 100-yard game. He also had a 53 yard touchdown run, the longest of his career. Against Portland State in the season opener, Lewis had 100-yards receiving on three catches. He is the first Sun Devils since George Montgomery in 1993 to collect a 100-yard receiving and rushing game in the same season. ASU is now 252-54-5 all-time when a Sun Devil runs for over 100 yards. Cameron Marshall had a 100-yard game against the Vikings in the season opener.
Kerry the Load:
Senior Kerry Taylor is off to great start in 2010. Through four games, Taylor has made 17 receptions, tying his single game career high with six against both NAU and Wisconsin. Taylor also had six receptions at Oregon State on November 1, 2008. Taylor’s career high for single season receptions is 27, set in 2008.
Bit Willie Style:
Junior Mike Willie has quickly established himself as one of the top Sun Devil targets through four games. Willie has caught 18 passes for 229 yards and a team-leading three touchdowns, including two against Oregon.
Here's to You, Mr. Robinson:
Junior Gerell Robinson had a breakout day against the Ducks, hauling in a team-leading seven catches for 94 yards, his first catches of the season. He established new career highs in both categories, topping his previous highs of six receptions and 68 yards.
Spreading the Wealth:
The 2010 Arizona State offense has many weapons, and so far through the first four games they are showing all of them off. ASU has completed 105 passes so far, with 15 different receivers making catches. Aaron Pflugrad and Mike Willie are tied for the team lead with 18 catches each, while Kerry Taylor leads with his 246 yards. Even center Garth Gerhart has gotten in on the action, making his first career reception against NAU off a deflection. 15 different people caught passes for ASU all of last season.
Twenty five student-athletes have seen their first action at Arizona State in 2010: Brice Schwab, Aaron Pflugrad, Steven Threet, Mike Willie, Junior Onyeali, Kyle Middlebrooks, Eddie Elder, Shane McCullen, Max Smith, Chris Coyle, George Bell, Deantre Lewis, Osahon Irabor, Brandon Johnson, Alden Darby, Lee Adams, Evan Finkenberg, Matt Tucker, Aderious Simmons, J.J. Holliday, Cameron Kastl, Kody Koebensky, Jarrid Bryant, Grandville Taylor and R.J. Robinson.
Wide receivers coach Steve Broussard was named to the Seattle Seahawks’ 35th Anniversary team, making the squad as a kickoff returner. Broussard played for the Seahawks from 1995 to 1998 under Dennis Erickson, amassing 3,900 return yards with a touchdown.
Nine Sun Devil started for the first time in maroon and gold against Portland State: Brice Schwab (RG), Aaron Pflugrad (WR), Steven Threet (QB), Mike Willie (WR), Jamarr Robinson (DE), Mike Marcisz (RT), Jamaar Jarrett (DE), Shelly Lyons (LB) and Eddie Elder (S). In addition, Dan Knapp made his first career start on the offensive line, lining up at left tackle. Knapp started 9 games at tight end over the past two seasons. Both Evan Finkenberg (RG) and Bo Moos (DT) made their first career starts against NAU. Oliver Aaron (LB) made his first career start against Oregon.
Three and Out:
The 2009 ASU Defense was one of the top teams in the nation to force opposing offensives into three-and-out possessions. The Sun Devils averaged 3.75 three-and-outs a game, for a total of 45 in their 12 contests. The D picked that right back up in 2010, forcing opponents into 18 three-and-outs over the first four weeks.
Push 'em Back, Push 'em Back, Push 'em Back,:
In 2009, the Sun Devil defense routinely made tackles for loss or for no gain. The defense finished 2009 with 120 plays that went for negative or no yards, totaling 292 yards lost for the offense. The Sun Devils were a negative play machine against Washington State on October 10, recording 26 Cougar plays to go for a loss or for no gain. The defense has continued that trend in 2010. Against Oregon they forced 12 plays of negative or no gain for 28 yards in losses.
Run, Sparky, Run:
The Sun Devils ran for 242 yards in the season opener against Portland State, the most rushing yards since October 13, 2007 against Washington, when ASU, led by Ryan Torain, ran for 296 yards. ASU collected 210 yards on the ground against Oregon. The last time the Sun Devils rushed for over 200 yards in two games or more in a season was 2007, when they did it three times. They did it once last year (at Washington State), but did not do it in 2008.
Quarterback Steven Threet made his first career start for ASU against Portland State, and what a debut it was. The Michigan transfer, who started eight games for the Wolverines in 2008, was 14-21 for 239 yards and two scores in just under two and a half quarters. The 239 yards was the third highest total for a Sun Devil QB making his first ASU start since 1993. Only Rudy Carpenter (401) and Sam Keller (370) threw for more, and they both played all four quarters. Threet’s QB rating of 184.17 was the second highest, second only to Carpenter’s 207.6. Threet’s 239 yards in his first career action at ASU also set a new ASU record for most passing yards by a Sun Devil QB in his first ever game action at ASU.
Career Night for Threet:
Quarterback Steven Threet had a huge game against Northern Arizona, establishing new career highs in several categories. Threet threw for 391 yards and three touchdowns, both career highs. He also completed 33 passes to set a new career high. Against Oregon, Threet established a new high in attempts (50) and tied his career high with three touchdowns. His previous highs: 18-35 for 250 yards in Michigan’s loss to Illinois on October 4, 2008. His previous career high in touchdown passes was two, which he had done three times, including the season opener against Portland State.
No Small Catch:
Wide receiver Brandon Smith caught a nine yard pass from Brock Osweiler in the fourth quarter against Portland State. While it may seem insignificant at first glance, it was anything but. It was Smith’s first catch since October 25, 2008, a span of 17 games between receptions. During that time, he suffered a major knee injury, was granted a medical redshirt and graduated from Arizona State. After playing in 11 games in 2006, Smith appeared in just one from 2007 to 2009.
ASU has just 13 seniors on its roster this year, its fewest since the 1985 squad had just 10, which was the year prior to ASU winning the Pac-10 title and the Rose Bowl. ASU’s 2007 Pac-10 title team had 27 seniors, while its 1996 undefeated regular season and Pac-10 title squad had 22. The 1986 Pac-10 and Rose Bowl champion team had 18. The 2010 and 1985 Sun Devils are the only ASU teams to have a dozen or fewer seniors in the past 35 seasons (1976-2010). How odd is it to only have 13 seniors? Digest this...the St. John’s BASKETBALL team is scheduled to have nine this year. The 13 is the smallest senior class in the Pac-10.
Racking Up Yards:
The Sun Devils ran for 242 yards in the season opener against Portland State, including Cameron Marshall’s 104 yards. The 242 yards was the most since October 13, 2007 against Washington, when ASU, led by Ryan Torain, ran for 296 yards.
Weber Looks to Cement his Legacy:
After an injury-plagued 2009 season that never saw him recover from an early season hip injury, kicker Thomas Weber looks to cement his legacy in the ASU record books during his senior season. The Downey, Calif. product has been stellar throughout his Sun Devil career, connecting on 57-72 (79%) field goal attempts. He made 43 field goals during his first two seasons in Maroon and Gold, the most ever by a Sun Devil kicker over the first two years of his career. He broke the record held by Luis Zendejas, who had 40 field goals in his first two seasons.
The winner of the 2007 Lou Groza Award, presented annually to the nation’s top placekicker, a First-Team All-American by the Associated Press and a First-Team All-Pac-10 honoree, Weber was sensationally consistent during his freshman season, connecting on 24-of-25 field goals (96.0 pct.), with a long of 53 yards. A three-time Pac-10 Conference Special Teams Player of the Week in 2007, Weber set numerous Sun Devil records in only his first college season, including a record streak of 17 made field goal attempts to begin the year (also a nation-leading streak for the season) and a nation-high accuracy rating.
Weber ranked first in the Pac-10, fifth in the nation and tied the Sun Devil single-season record for points by kicking (118) set by Mike Barth as a senior in 2002, while also placing sixth in the country with 1.85 made field goals per game. A sharpshooter off the kicking tee and in the classroom, Weber has earned Academic All-Pac-10 honors three times, earning First Team in 2007, Second Team in 2008 and honorable mention last year.
Weber has scored 282 points in his ASU career, good for third most in school history. He is second place all-time in school history for made field goals, passing Jesse Ainsworth with his 52-yarder against Portland State.
Wide Receiver Brandon Smith was granted an extra year of eligibility for 2010 after missing all of 2009 with a knee injury. The 6-2 senior played in one game over the past three seasons, battling injuries off and on throughout his ASU career. In 2006 he played in 11 games, making six catches for 167 yards and two touchdowns.
Cornerback Omar Bolden was also granted an extra year of eligibility by the NCAA after missing the majority of last season with an injury. Bolden returned the opening kickoff of the game against ULM 89 yards for a touchdown, but suffered an injury on the return and was severely limited over the next two games before shutting it down for the season.
Since 1950, Arizona State football has the 14th-highest winning percentage among FBS schools. Over the past 59 years, ASU has a 439-226-8 record for a winning percentage of .658. Ohio State is the national leader in winning percentage since 1950.
Fourth-year head coach Dennis Erickson has a career record of 169-85-1, including two National Championships, for a winning percentage of .665 over his 21 years as an FBS head coach. That’s sixth among active coaches with at least 10 years experience at a school in FBS. Bob Stoops is the national leader with a .807 winning percentage in 11 years at Oklahoma.
Hall of Fame:
Pat Tillman has been selected to the College Football Hall of Fame as a member of the Hall’s Class of 2010. Tillman now joins former Sun Devil coaches Dan Devine, Frank Kush and John Cooper and student-athletes defensive back Mike Haynes, wide receiver John Jefferson, offensive lineman Randall McDaniel, linebacker Ron Pritchard and quarterback Danny White as representatives of Arizona State University in the College Football Hall of Fame. In all, ASU has nine former football coaches or student-athletes in the College Football Hall of Fame.
Defensive Coordinator Craig Bray and Offensive Coordinator Noel Mazzone boast a combined 67 years of both college and pro coaching experience, the fifth most experienced coaching duo in the nation.