Football returns home for Pac-10 showdown with Washington
After an impressive defensive effort in a 27-14 win at Washington State, returns home for a Pac-10 battle with Washington on Saturday, October 17 at Frank Kush Field/Sun Devil Stadium. The ASU defense recorded 12 quarterback sacks against the Cougars, holding them to -54 rushing yards in the victory. Washington enters the game 3-3, 2-1 in the Pac-10 after a 36-33 come-from-behind win over Arizona last week in Seattle.
ON THE AIR: The Sun Devil-ISP Sports Network will carry all 12 of ASU's football games live on their 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, while Doug Franz patrols the sidelines. The Washington game will air on 620 AM. The game can also be heard on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION: Fox Sports Net will televise the Sun Devils match-up with the Huskies. Barry Tompkins and Petros Papadakis will call the action while Michael Eaves handles sideline duties.
SUN DEVILS VS. HUSKIES: This will be the 29th meeting between Arizona State and Washington. Washington leads the series 15-13, but the Sun Devils have won the last five meetings. Last year, ASU beat the Huskies 39-19 at Husky Stadium. All-time in Tempe, Arizona State is 9-7 against Washington.
WHERE ARE YOU RUNNING?: The Sun Devil defense held Washington State to -54 rushing yards last week, the third lowest total ever allowed by ASU. The record is -107 set in 1968 against San Jose State. The -54 rushing yards allowed against WSU marks the second time this year ASU has held an opponent to negative rushing yards, joining the Idaho State game when the Bengals ran for -5 yards.
CLOSING IN: Chris McGaha now has 1,841 career receiving yards, 159 yards shy of 2,000 for his career...McGaha also needs 10 more receptions to give him 150 in his career. Only five Sun Devils have ever caught 150+ passes in their careers: Derek Hagan (258), John Jefferson (188), Eric Guliford (164), Shaun McDonald (156), John Mistler (156).
NEXT UP: Arizona State heads to Palo Alto, California for a Pac-10 match-up with the Stanford Cardinal. Kickoff is set for 7:15 on October 24 with FSN televising the game from Stanford Stadium.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
• 22 different Sun Devils have made their debut in 2009.
• 13 different Sun Devils have made their first career starts this season.
• Senior Dexter Davis is third all-time in ASU history with 29 career sacks.
• ASU has 24 seniors on its roster, tied for 8th most in the nation.
• Mike Nixon has been named a semifinalist for the Campbell Trophy.
Washington State Recap: The Sun Devil defense flexed their muscles on a chilly day in Pullman, sacking Cougar quarterbacks a school-record 12 times en route to a 27-14 victory over Washington State. James Brooks and Lawrence Guy each had 2.5 sacks, while the defense also forced four WSU turnovers. The ASU defense held WSU to -54 rushing yards, the third lowest total in school history. Kyle Williams set a new career high with his 13 catches, including a touchdown, while Dimitri Nance topped the 100-yard rushing mark for the first time in his career in the win.
Washington State Notes:
• Ryan McFoy intercepted a pass for the first time since October 21, 2006.
• Dexter Davis intercepted his first career pass.
• Trevor Kohl made his Arizona State debut.
Sack Attack: The 12 sacks recorded by the Arizona State defense against Washington State established a new school record, eclipsing the old mark of 10 set September 19, 1992 in a 19-0 win over Louisville. Nine different Sun Devils recorded sacks, led by Lawrence Guy and James Brooks who each had 2.5. The 12 sacks went for -82 yards, 18 yards shy of the school record set in the Louisville game in 1992. The NCAA record for sacks in a game is 15, set by TCU against Nevada in 2000.
Century Man: After coming close a number of times to topping the 100-yard mark in his career, Dimitri Nance finally did it, rushing for a career high 113 yards against the Cougars. With his 113 yards, Nance also topped the 1,500 yard mark for his career. He now has 1,505 yards and has ran for 18 touchdowns. He leads the team this season with 366 yards and is third on the team with 14 catches for 126 yards. ASU is now 251-50-5 all-time when a Sun Devil runs for over 100 yards.
Mr. Williams Neighborhood: One week after Chris McGaha set a new career high in receptions, Kyle Williams matched the feat, hauling in 13 passes against Washington State to set a new career mark. His previous high was set earlier this season against ULM, when he caught eight passes for 129 yards. The 129 yards against the Warhawks is the most ever for Williams, who gained 126 yards against the Cougars.
Disruptive Dexter: Playing in his senior season, Dexter Davis is putting the finishing touches on an outstanding career in maroon and gold. The Phoenix native put up great numbers for the third consecutive year in 2008, recording a team-high 11.0 sacks, third most in the Pac-10 and tied for the sixth highest single-season total in school history. Davis also owns the eighth highest total, 10.5 in 2007. The 11 sacks in 2008 established a new career high for Davis, who has eight career multi-sack games. Thanks to his 1.5 sacks against Washington State, Davis has moved into third place on ASU's all-time list with 29 sacks in his Sun Devil career. Terrell Suggs (2000-02) is the leader with 44. Davis earned honorable mention All-Pac-10 last season and was a Second Team All-Pac-10 choice in 2007. He earned Pac-10 All-Freshman honors and honorable mention freshman All-American status from The Sporting News in 2006.
Mr. Dependable: Dexter Davis is the only returning player in the nation who has recorded double-digit sacks in each of the past two seasons (10.5 in 2007 and 11 in 2008). He also has started 43 of a possible 43 games in his Sun Devil career. Davis is tied wuth Victor Leyva andd Rudy Carpenter for second most starts at ASU since 1984. Scott Peters started 44 games from 1998 to 2001, the most since 1984.
Making An Impact: Highly touted true freshman linebacker Vontaze Burfict has been proving that he is worth all the hype through his first five collegiate games. Burfict had a coming out party against Georgia at Sanford Stadium, leading the Sun Devils with 11 tackles, including 1.5 for loss. Burfict made several highlight reel plays, headed by his flying leap over the Georgia offensive line and subsequent tackle for loss on a fourth and one play, giving ASU the ball back. Through the first five games of 2009, Burfict is second on the team with his 26 tackles. He's recorded five tackles for loss, two quarterback sacks, three pass break-ups and a fumble recovery.
Debuts: 22 different ASU players have made their Sun Devil debuts so far this season. Those that have debuted are: Matt Hustad, Trevor Kohl, Andrew Sampson, Derrall Anderson, Keelan Johnson, Toa Tuitea, William Sutton, Corey Adams, Dean DeLeone, Vontaze Burfict, Deveron Carr, Jonathan Carr, Jonathan Clark, Cameron Marshall, Brian Matsumoto, Brock Osweiler, Patrick Jamison, A.J. Pickens, Greg Smith, James Morrison, LeQuan Lewis, Bobby Wenzig and Steven Figueroa. Of those 22, seven (Sutton, Adams, Burfict, Marshall, Osweiler, Smith and Wenzig) are true freshmen. ASU played a school-record 10 true freshmen last season.
Start Me Up: 13 Sun Devils have made their first career starts so far in 2009, including five against Oregon State. Vontaze Burfict, a true freshman, made his first career start at linebacker against OSU, while Brent Good, a senior, made his first start on the offensive line. James Brooks at defensive end,Keelan Johnson at safety and T.J. Simpson at wide receiver also all made their first career starts against the Beavers. They join wide receiver Gerell Robinson offensive linemen Andrew Sampson and Matt Hustad, defensive linemen William Sutton and Dean DeLeone, linebacker Brandon Magee, safety Jarrell Holman and quarterback Danny Sullivan as Sun Devils making their first career starts in 2009. Burfict and Sutton are both true freshman, while Holman, Good and Sullivan are seniors
All The Way Omar: When Omar Bolden took the opening kickoff 89-yards for a touchdown against ULM on September 19, he became the first ASU player to ever return the game's opening kickoff for a score. It was the 13th kickoff return touchdown in ASU history and the first since Rudy Burgess took one back 98-yards against USC in 2007.
Player of the Week Against Idaho State: Senior linebacker Mike Nixon did everything but lead the marching band at halftime of the opener against Idaho State. The 26-year old team captain intercepted three passes, returned one for a touchdown, blocked a punt and recorded four tackles, including one for loss. Now in his fourth season in maroon and gold, Nixon went the first 30 games of his career without an interception, but since picking off his first career pass at Cal last season, he has intercepted eight passes in his last 10 games. He tied for the Pac-10 lead with five last year, including returning one for a score. Nixon became the first Sun Devil with three interceptions since Nathan LaDuke against Houston (Sept. 23) in 1989. Nixon's blocked punt was the first by a Sun Devil since 2006, when Brandon Smith blocked a Colorado punt in Boulder. For his efforts, Nixon was named both the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week and the Lott Trophy IMPACT Player of the Week. Nixon has also been named a semifinalist for the Campbell (formerly Draddy) Trophy, the Academic Heisman.
Push 'Em Back, Push 'Em Back: The 2009 Sun Devil defense has established itself as one of the stingiest in the nation, routinely making tackles for loss or for no gain. In the win over Washington State, the ASU defensive unit was a negative play machine, causing 26 Cougar plays to go for no gain or negative yardage, a whopping 39% of WSU's total plays. On the year, ASU's opponents have run 285 plays, with 63 of them having gone for negative yardage or no gain (not counting incomplete passes). Opponents have lost 183 yards on those 63 plays.
Six Pack From Corona: The 2009 Sun Devil football team boasts six players from Centennial High School in Corona, California. Sophomore RB Ryan Bass and sophomore LBs Shelly Lyons and Brandon Magee will welcome former high school classmates Vontaze Burfict, William Sutton and Jarrid Bryant to Tempe this season. This marks the first time in school history that ASU has had six players from an out-of-state high school. Bryant spent three seasons at Centennial High School before spending his senior season at Salisbury Prep in Connecticut. Bryant is expected to redshirt.
Magee Making A Name In Two Sports: Sophomore linebacker Brandon Magee is putting together a terrific football season, having made 22 tackles, third most on the team. He leads the Sun Devils with his six tackles for loss, including two sacks. He has also intercepted a pass. Magee is making the most of his opportunity to be a Sun Devil. Not only is he contributing on the gridiron for ASU, but he is also a member of the Sun Devil Baseball team. Magee was a member of the 2009 Pac-10 Champion Sun Devil nine and traveled with the team to Omaha, Nebraska for the College World Series, where they finished third in the country. Magee appeared in 13 games for the baseball team, all as a pinch hitter, as he juggled baseball with spring football. Magee was a 29th round pick of the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2008 MLB draft.
Hail To The Chief: Sophomore corner Josh Jordan had an interesting offseason at Arizona State. The Las Vegas product ran for and was elected as a Student Senator for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Jordan will serve in that capacity for the 2009-10 school year.
Gaining Experience: 10 true freshmen and nine redshirt freshmen saw action during the 2008 season, including six who started at least one game. 21 different players made their first career start last season, including six on the offensive line. The 10 true freshmen was the highest total to ever play in school history, eclipsing the nine that played in 1994.
Winning Tradition: Since 1950, Arizona State football has the 10th highest winning percentage in the nation among all FBS Schools. Since 1950, ASU is 436-217-8 in their 660 games, a winning percentage of .667. Oklahoma leads the nation with a .757 winning percentage (514-161-12). Dennis Erickson is sixth among active coaches winning percentage among coaches with at least 10 years as a FBS coach.
Ball Hawks: ASU added four more takeaways against WSU, giving the Sun Devils 16 total takeaways on the year, including 11 INTs. Ryan McFoy intercepted his first pass since 2006 and Dexter Davis picked off his first career pass in the win over the Cougars. ASU has a +7 turnover ratio on the year, tops in the Pac-10 and eighth nationally. The ASU defense has also scored two touchdowns on interception returns. Mike Nixon took one back against Idaho State and Jarrell Holman returned one against Georgia.
Record Tying Night Against ISU: Thomas Weber had a memorable first game of the 2009 campaign, booting five field goals and scoring a career-high 20 points (5 FGs, 5 PATs) in the win over Idaho State. The five field goals ties a school record held by who else but Luis Zendejas. Zendejas kicked five field goals against Stanford in 1983. The 20 points by Weber surpasses his previous high of 15 (4 FGs, 3 PATs) set last season against Stanford and was also the most ever by a Sun Devil in school history.
Kicking His Way To The Top: Thomas Weber is 48-56 (86%) on field goal attempts and has scored 224 points in his ASU career. He connected on 43 made field goals during his first two seasons, the most ever by a Sun Devil kicker in his first two years with the program, surpassing Luis Zendejas’ previous record of 40. His 48 career field goals also puts Weber in fourth place on ASU’s all-time made field goal list, one behind Mike Barth (1999-2002). The record is 81, held by Zendejas. Weber's 224 points is the fifth highest total in school history in points by a kicker. He also has kicked the third longest field goal in school history, a 53-yarder at the Rose Bowl against UCLA in 2007. His 24 made field goals in 2007 was the second most in a single season in school history, and his 19 last season was the fifth most. Weber scored 118 points in his debut season in 2007, tied with Mike Barth (2002) for the most points by a kicker in a single season.
Playboy Twice: Kicker Thomas Weber has been named a Preseason First Team All-American by Playboy Magazine, the second straight year he has made the Playboy team. Weber becomes only the second Sun Devil to be named to the Playboy All-America team twice. Cornerback Mike Richardson made the team in 1981 and 1982. Weber becomes the 14th Sun Devil to be named to the Playboy All-America team. It is the 16th time an ASU player has been named to the squad (Weber and Richardson twice). Former Sun Devil head coach Bruce Snyder was named to the team in 1997 as the National Coach-of-the-Year.
All-Decade Team: Former Sun Devil and current Baltimore Raven Terrell Suggs was named to the College Football All-Decade Team by The Sporting News. Suggs recently became the Baltimore Ravens all-time leader in sack yardage.
Pac-10 Predictions: Arizona State has been picked to finish fifth in the Pac-10 in the annual Media Poll. The teams picked to finish first (USC), second (Cal) and fourth (Oregon State) will all visit Sun Devil Stadium this season. The Sun Devils were picked to finish fourth in 1986, second in 1996 and fourth in 2007, all seasons they won a Pac-10 title.