Football hosts NAU for Salute to Our Troops
Following a 54-9 victory over Portland State in the season opener, Arizona State closes out the non-conference portion of their 2010 home schedule by hosting the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks on Saturday, September 11 at Frank Kush Field/Sun Devil Stadium. The Sun Devils attacked the Vikings from all angles, scoring five times on the ground and twice through the air in the victory. NAU enters this week 1-0 after a 48-0 victory over Western New Mexico.
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 NAU game will air on 92.3 FM. The game can also be heard on Sirius/XM Radio, XM Channel 194.
Lights, Camera, Action
FSN Arizona will televise the Sun Devils match-up with the Lumberjacks. Tom Leander and Juan Roque will call the action from the booth while Jody Jackson handles the sideline duties.
Sun Devils vs. Lumberjacks
Arizona State holds a 19-14-4 all-time mark against Northern Arizona in a series that dates all the way back to 1915. Although the two schools have faced each other 37 times, only three of those have come since 1950. ASU and NAU did not play from 1951 to 2002, but have met three times since 2003. The Sun Devils have won seven in a row in the series and are unbeaten against the Lumberjacks in the last 12 meetings (tie in 1946). ASU beat NAU 30-13 in 2008, their last match-up.
Coach Erickson vs. NAU
Head Coach Dennis Erickson is 6-0 all-time against Northern Arizona in his coaching career, including a 1-0 mark with ASU. He beat them four times with the Idaho Vandals (1982-1985) and once with Oregon State (2001).
Salute to the Troops
Sun Devil Athletics will hold Salute to our Troops Night on Saturday. ASU and its media partners will donate a ticket to the Veteran Tickets Foundation for every ticket purchased.
Arizona State will hit the road for the first time in 2010, traveling to Madison, Wisconsin for a match-up with the Big-10's Wisconsin Badgers. ASU and Wisconsin will face off from Camp Randall Stadium in Madison on Saturday, September 18.
Portland State Recap
The Sun Devils debuted their new offense against the Portland State Vikings in the season opener and it didn't disappoint, lighting up the scoreboard in a 54-9 win. Cameron Marshall ran for 104 yards and three scores, while Deantre Lewis totaled 100 yards receiving and scored three times to lead the offense. Starting quarterback Steven Threet was accurate and efficient in his first start for ASU, while the Sun Devil defense was stout, holding Portland State to only 47 yards on the ground.
Century Mark on the Ground
Sophomore running back Cameron Marshall put on a show in the season opener against Portland State, gaining 104 yards on only four carries in the ASU win. Three of those carries resulted in touchdowns, including a 50-yarder that put the Devils on the board in the first quarter. It was Marshall's first career 100-yard game. In fact, Marshall eclipsed his previous career high of 76 on his third carry of the game, a 38-yard touchdown scamper. ASU is now 252-52-5 all-time when a Sun Devil runs for over 100 yards. Dimitri Nance had three 100-yard games a year ago.
Century Mark through the Air
Freshman running back Deantre Lewis had an impressive Sun Devil debut, as he topped the 100-yard mark in receiving. Lewis made three catches for 100 yards, two for touchdowns, including a 62-yard catch and run. He also carried five times for 24 yards and a score.
Twenty four student-athletes saw their first action at Arizona State against Portland State: 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 and R.J. Robinson.
Nine Sun Devil started for the first time in maroon and gold against the Vikings: 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.
First Time Since
The Sun Devils blocked a punt and recorded a safety against Portland State in the season opener. The last blocked punt by ASU? Last season's opener against Idaho State, when Mike Nixon blocked one in the second quarter. Derrall Anderson blocked the Portland State punt in the fourth quarter. The last safety by the ASU defense? November 8, 2008 at Husky Stadium in Seattle. Washington QB Ronnie Fouch was flagged for intention grounding in the end zone while in the grasp of Dexter Davis. Against PSU, Viking QB Taylor Kavanaugh was flagged for intentional grounding in the end zone while in the grasp of safety Eddie Elder.
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 PSU into five in week one.
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 continued that trend in the 2010 season opener, causing 13 negative plays out of the 66 Portland State ran for a loss of 35 yards. OFFENSIVE FIREWORKS: New offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone showed off his fast-paced offense in the opener to rave reviews. Running a no huddle, the Devils compiled 553 yards of total offense, the most since totaling 562 against Washington State on November 11, 2006. The Sun Devils picked up 311 yards through the air and 242 on the ground and featured a 100-yard rusher and a 100-yard receiver. The 54 points is the most scored since ASU beat Temple 63-16 on September 1, 2005. 11 different Sun Devils caught a pass, while seven different ones gained positive yards on the ground. Cameron Marshall ran for three scores, Deantre Lewis caught two touchdowns and ran for one and Jamal Miles ran for a score as well.
The game with Portland State was filled with many first for the Sun Devils. Jamal Miles scored his first career touchdown, Eddie Elder, Max Tabach and Osahon Irabor each recorded their first career interceptions, while Elder also made his first career sack. Shelly Lyons also added his first career sack. Deantre Lewis scored his first career rushing and receiving touchdown, and Steven Threet threw his first touchdown pass as a Sun Devil (he had nine with Michigan).
Run, Sparky, Run
Last season, the Sun Devil rushing game totaled 24 runs of 10 yards or more, including two of 50 or more. In the season opener against Portland State, the Devils had five runs of 10 yards or more, including Cameron Marshall's 50-yard touchdown run. Marshall owned the longest run from scrimmage in 2009, going 75-yards against Washington.
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.
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 catches. 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.
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 52-63 (83%) 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 257 points in his ASU career, good for fourth 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. He will enter 2010 as a junior with two seasons left to play.
Home Sweet Home
Arizona State has won 247 games at Sun Devil Stadium, three shy of 250. The Sun Devils hold an all-time mark of 247-87-3 at Sun Devil Stadium since it opened in 1958.
Since 1950, Arizona State football has the 14th-highest winning percentage among FBS schools. Over the past 59 years, ASU has a 438-224-8 record for a winning percentage of .660. Ohio State is the national leader with a .759 winning percentage.
Fourth-year head coach Dennis Erickson has a career record of 168-83-1, including two National Championships, for a winning percentage of .669 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 .802 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. PAC-10 PREDICTIONS: Arizona State has been picked to finish ninth in the Pac-10 in the annual Media Poll. Oregon, who visits Sun Devil Stadium on September 25, was picked to win the conference crown.
Seeing (No) Red
The Sun Devil defense did not allow Portland State to run a play from inside the red zone in the season opener. California was the only other Pac-10 school who did not allow their opponent to get inside the 20.