Sun Devils travel to Los Angeles for meeting with Trojans
Date: Saturday, October 11, 2008
Kickoff: 12:30 p.m. PT
Site: Memorial Coliseum (92,000), Los Angeles, Calif.
Play-by-Play: Terry Gannon
Color: David Norrie
Sideline: Todd Harris
Sun Devil Radio: 620 KTAR AM
Play-by-Play: Tim Healey
Color: Former ASU QB and 1987 Rose Bowl MVP Jeff Van Raaphorst
Touchdown Radio: national broadcast
Play-by-Play: Roxy Bernstein
Color: Gino Torretta and Jon Bloom
WHAT TO WATCH FOR THIS WEEK
• Senior QB Rudy Carpenter is putting his name in the Sun Devil record books, climbing the charts in several significant passing categories
• Four Sun Devils made their first career starts in the Cal game
• Arizona State has now now played 10 true freshmen this season, the most in school history
• 26 members of ASU's football team played their first collegiate road game last week
• Seven members of the team have already earned their undergraduate degrees
• The Sun Devils were picked to finish second in the Pac-10 in the annual West Coast Media Poll. USC was picked to win the conference the seventh year in a row.
After a 24-14 setback against Cal in Berkeley, Arizona State continues its road swing by traveling to Los Angeles, California for a battle with the #8/9 USC Trojans on Saturday, October 11. USC enters the contest 3-1, 1-1 in the Pac-10. USC beat Oregon 44-10 last week in LA. The Sun Devils enter the contest 2-3, 1-1 in the Pac-10 following the loss to the Golden Bears.
MAROON AND GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY
ASU is celebrating 50 years at Sun Devil Stadium, home stadium of the Arizona State University football team. The Sun Devils have a 244-86-3 record at Sun Devil Stadium, including a 7-1 mark in 2007. In 1996, the playing field was named Frank Kush Field, after the legendary Sun Devil coach. Sun Devil Stadium has played host to 35 Fiesta Bowls, two Insight Bowls and Super Bowl XXX. Over 16 million fans have seen the Sun Devils play at Sun Devil Stadium.
ON THE AIR
The 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 USC game can be heard on 620 KTAR AM. Touchdown Radio will be broadcasting the game nationally, with Roxy Bernstein, Gino Torretta and Jon Bloom on the call.
LIGHTS, CAMERAS, ACTION
ABC will televise the Sun Devils match-up with the Trojans. Terry Gannon and David Norrie will call the action from the booth. Todd Harris will man the sidelines.
SUN DEVILS VS. TROJANS
This will be the 25th meeting between Arizona State and USC, with the Trojans holding a 15-9 lead, including a 7-4 mark at home. The Sun Devils have not beaten USC since 1999, when they won 26-16 at the Coliseum.
SPREADING THE WEALTH
Five games into the 2008 season, 14 different Sun Devils have caught a pass. That's tied for sixth in the nation for the most different receivers with at least one pass reception. Troy is the national leader with 17.
ASU VS. CAL RECAP
Three turnovers doomed the Sun Devils, as Cal jumped out to a 17-0 lead and never looked back in a 24-14 win. Nate Longshore threw three touchdowns for the Golden Bears, while Rudy Carpenter was intercepted twice and Dimitri Nance lost a fumble, leading to 14 points for California. Lawrence Guy had 2.5 tackles for loss to lead the Sun Devil defense.
START ME UP
Now in his fourth season under center, senior QB Rudy Carpenter is second in the nation, behind Purdue's Curtis Painter, for the most consecutive games starting at quarterback in college football. Carpenter has started 36 straight contests and has seen action in 40 career games. In the Pac-10 last year, only two other quarterbacks did not miss a game. But here is the most impressive nugget...when Jake "the Snake" Plummer started the final 40 games of his career that ended in 1996, ASU began a stretch in 1997 that ended in 2004 (nine seasons) in which eight quarterbacks made at least one start. Rudy took over in the eighth game in 2005 and has started every game since. He has started every game the past two seasons, as only Andrew Walter in 2003 did the same in the past 11 seasons.
ONE OF THE PAC-10'S FINEST
Rudy Carpenter continues to be one of the top QBs in the Pac-10 Conference. Carpenter is the active Pac-10 leader in passing attempts, completed passes, passing yards, touchdown passes and 300 yard games. Carpenter now has 73 career touchdown passes and has thrown for 9,346 yards in his ASU career. He currently ranks 12th all-time in Pac-10 history for passing yards, trailing Stanford's John Elway (1979-82) by three yards.
Rudy Carpenter now has 73 touchdown passes in his career. He is only the fourth Sun Devil all-time to throw at least 60 touchdowns, joining Andrew Walter (85), Jake Plummer (65) and Danny White (64). The 73 career TD passes is good for 7th most in Pac-10 history, two behind Stanford's Steve Stenstrom (1991-94).
Rudy is also climbing the Pac-10's All-Time Total Offense chart. Carpenter currently ranks 10th all-time in total offense, accumulating 9,158 total yards. He is 51 yards shy of Oregon State's Jonathan Smith (1998-2001) for 9th all-time in conference history.
With his 733 passing yards in the first two weeks of the 2008 season, Rudy Carpenter has established a new standard for passing yards through the first two games in ASU history. The previous record was held by Sam Keller in 2005, when he threw for 669 yards against Temple and LSU.
Rudy Carpenter has 23 wins as the starting quarterback for Arizona State, the fourth most wins as a starter in school history. Danny White holds the all-time record for wins by a starting quarterback, going 30-3 from 1971 to 1973. Dennis Sproul is second with 26 wins from 1974-77. Carpenter passed Jeff Van Raaphorst, who went 21-9-1 from 1983 to 1986, with the win over NAU on August 30. He is one win shy of Jake Plummer for third place. Plummer went 24-16 from 1993 to 1996. Van Raaphorst, Plummer and Carpenter are the only three QBs in ASU history who have led the Sun Devils to a Pac-10 title.
Against NAU on August 30, Carpenter tied a 56-year old school by completing 13 consecutive passes. The only other Sun Devil to complete that many in a row was Dick Mackey, who accomplished the feat against San Diego Navy in 1952. The NCAA record is 24, held by Tennessee's Tee Martin in 1998 and Cal's Aaron Rodgers in 2004. Carpenter also had a string of 10 straight completions against the Cardinal.
RECORD BOOK RUDY
Carpenter continues to etch his name into the ASU annals of passing history. He is now second in career completions with 691, touchdowns with 73 and yards with 9,346 and third in attempts with 1,116. He is 26 attempts shy of Jake Plummer for second place.
BUILDING HIS LEGACY
Over his three seasons at Arizona State, Rudy Carpenter has found success achieved by few who wore maroon and gold. Carpenter has started three bowl games (2005 Insight, 2006 Hawai'i and 2007 Holiday), only the second quarterback in school history to accomplish that feat. Danny White is the only other, starting the Fiesta Bowl in 1971, 1972 and 1973. Rudy also joins Jeff Van Raaphorst (1986) and Jake Plummer (1996) as ASU quarterbacks to lead the Sun Devils to a Pac-10 title.
Carpenter isn't just highly ranked in the Pac-10, but in the nation as well. The senior signal caller ranks in the top five among active FBS quarterbacks in both passing yards and passing touchdowns. He is fifth in yards, 337 yards behind New Mexico State's Chase Holbrook for fourth. He is third in touchdown passes, trailing Texas Tech's Graham Harrell and Missouri's Chase Daniel.
Carpenter's 345 yards against Stanford was his 11th career 300-yard game and second straight, tops among active Pac-10 quarterbacks. The Sun Devils are 8-3 when Rudy throws for over 300 yards, including a 6-0 mark at home. He has thrown for over 300 yards against nine different teams, including Northern Arizona on August 30. Washington State and Stanford are the only schools he has done it against twice.
Carpenter went 22-28 against NAU on August 30, a completion percentage of .786. It marked his second-highest career completion percentage in a game he had at least 20 passing attempts. His career best was in 2005 against Washington at Sun Devil Stadium, when he completed 27 of 34 passes for a .794 completion percentage. In that game he threw for 401 yards and three touchdowns in a 44-20 victory. Against Stanford, Carpenter went 27-36, a 75% completion rate.
Carpenter's 388 yards against the Lumberjacks set a new school record for most passing yards in the first game of a season. Joe Spagnola held the previous record of 369 on Sept. 20, 1969 vs. Minnesota.
ON WATCH LISTS
Entering his final season, Carpenter finds himself a candidate for several major awards. He is on the Watch List for the Maxwell Award, presented to the top player in college football, the Davey O'Brien Award, awarded to the best quarterback in the country, the Unitas Golden Arm Award and the Walter Camp Foundation Player of the Year award.
FEELS LIKE THE FIRST TIME
Four Sun Devils made their debuts in the starting lineup against the Golden Bears, including two true freshmen. Junior Tom NjungeClint Floyd started at safety, freshman Lawrence Guy started at defensive tackle and junior Stanley Malamala started at tight end. LB Mike Nixon also recorded his first career interception against the Golden Bears. got the start at right tackle, freshman
LEAVING ON A JET PLANE
Arizona State traveled the NCAA limit 64 players to Cal last week, with 26 of them making their first ever collegiate road trip. That's 41% of the travel roster that had never played on the road in college before.
GOOD AND FRESH(MAN)
When OL Zach Schlink took the field against Georgia on September 20, he set a new school record by becoming the 10th true freshman to play this year. The previous record was held by the 1994 team, which saw nine true freshmen see game action. The 10 who have played this year are: OL Zach Schlink, WR Gerell Robinson, S Clint Floyd, RB Ryan Bass, CB Josh Jordan, LB Shelly Lyons, LB Brandon Magee, DL Lawrence Guy, SN Thomas Ohmart and DE Jamaar Jarrett. Seven redshirt freshmen have also played this year: OL Adam Tello, LB Oliver Aaron, DE James Brooks, TE Dan Knapp, WR T.J. Simpson, LB Colin Parker and OL Garth Gerhart. Florida State is the national leader, with 22 true freshmen having seen action. The 10 for ASU ties the Devils for 14th most in the nation, tied with four other teams.
38 letterwinners return from the 2007 Pac-10 championship squad, including seven starters on both sides of the ball. Rudy CarpenterChris McGaha. The two combined for 107 catches, 1,599 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2007. Keegan Herring returns to lead the running attack, and he will be teamed with Dimitri Nance and Shaun DeWitty in the backfield. Herring enters 2008 as the 10th-leading rusher in school history, gaining 2,234 yards in his career. Dexter Davis will lead a stout defense that finished as the third ranked unit in the Pac-10 last year. Davis has totaled 18.5 sacks in his two plus seasons in maroon and gold. Travis Goethel and Mike Nixon will anchor the group of linebackers, after the two combined for 129 tackles a season ago. Troy Nolan is the leader of the defensive backfield after intercepting six passes in 2007, returning two of them for touchdowns. 2007 Lou Groza Award Winner Thomas Weber returns on special teams, looking to improve on a 2007 campaign that saw him go 24-25 on field goals and handle the punting duties. returns for his fourth season as the signal caller for the Devils. Carpenter will have an experienced and talented receiving corps, led by Mike Jones and
Senior WR Michael Jones has been a two-sport athlete at ASU for three years, spending his springs with the Sun Devil baseball team. But this summer was different for Jones, who was drafted in the 29th round of the 2008 MLB Draft by the New York Yankees. Jones spent his summer in Tampa, Florida as a member of the Gulf Coast Yankees in the Rookie League. He appeared in 15 games, collecting nine hits, including five doubles. Jones showed no rust from his summer of baseball, hauling in a team-leading 26 receptions for 376 yards and a touchdown. He had 162 yards against NAU on Aug. 30, his fourth career 100-yard game.
Arizona State boasts one of the top returning wide receiving corps in the Pac-10. Mike Jones, Chris McGaha and Kyle Williams all return for the Sun Devils, giving Rudy Carpenter and ASU a dangerous arsenal. Kerry Taylor has added himself to that arsenal, grabbing 11 balls for 204 yards and two scores so far this year. Taylor had 53 receiving yards all of last season. The four wide receivers have combined for 217 receptions, 3,130 yards and 23 touchdowns dating back to last season. McGaha led the 2007 team with 61 catches for 830 yards, while Jones was the scoring leader, finding the end zone 10 times. He had 46 receptions for 769 yards to go along with the 10 TDs. Williams caught 29 passes for 360 yards and six scores.
TOM THE TOE
Sophomore kicker Thomas Weber returns in 2008, hoping to duplicate one of the greatest seasons by a kicker in Arizona State history. 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. The Downey, Calif., product 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 added First-Team Pac-10 All-Academic honors to his list of accomplishments as a rookie in 2007. In addition to his near-perfect kicking reputation, Weber took on the added challenge of taking over punting duties midway through the season and averaged 39.3 yards on 47 punts for the year. He has not missed a beat so far in 2008, as he is 8-10 thus far on field goal attempts, including a long of 49. He has scored 37 points and has also punted 23 times for an average of 42.6 yards a kick. He is on the Ray Guy Award Watch List for punting, as well as the Lou Groza Award Watch List for placekicking.
SACK MASTER DEX
Junior defensive end Dexter Davis has wasted no time this season establishing himself as one of the best pass rushers in the Pac-10. So far in 2008, Davis has 4.0 QB sacks, six tackles for loss and 13 total tackles. He has started all 31 games in his Sun Devil career and has already totaled 20.5 sacks, 30 tackles for loss and 86 tackles. Davis enjoyed one of the most sensational freshman seasons by a Sun Devil defender in school history in 2006, 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. He was just as impressive during his sophomore campaign, posting a team-leading 10.5 sacks, third most in the Pac-10. He was a Second Team All-Pac-10 selection after recording 33 total tackles, including 13.5 for loss. He also forced three fumbles and recovered another. Davis is on the preseason watch list for the Ted Hendricks Award, the Nagurski Trophy and the Lombardi Award. His 20.5 sacks put him sixth in school history. Terrell Suggs is ASU's all-time sack leader, recording 44 from 2000 to 2002.
HELMETS AND MORTAR BOARDS
Seven members of the 2008 Sun Devil football team have already earned their degrees from Arizona State University. Rudy Carpenter, Mike Jones, Wes Evans, Angelo Fobbs-Valentino, Nate Kimbrough, Troy Nolan and David Smith have all graduated from Arizona State University. The seven graduates is tied for 8th-most in the nation.
IN THE BLOGOSPHERE
Mike Nixon will be writing a weekly diary for The Sporting News about the 2008 season. He is one of 22 FBS student-athletes who will write the weekly column, and one of only two from the Pac-10. It can be read at today.sportingnews.com.
Arizona State has one of the smallest senior classes in the nation. ASU has 15 seniors on their roster, one of five teams with that amount. The others are Colorado, Nevada, Notre Dame and Oklahoma State. Only 12 teams in the country have fewer seniors. Nine of the 15 on the roster began their careers at ASU.
RUNNING DOWN HIS DREAM
From the moment he set foot on ASU's campus, senior Keegan Herring has had a smile on his face and a hunger for yards. Over his three seasons with the Devils, Herring has been one of the most dependable backs in the Pac-10. He leads all Pac-10 returners with 2,330 career yards, good for 10th most in school history. One of the quickest athletes in the conference and a home run threat on every carry, Herring has scored 19 times and has had at least one carry for over 65 yards in each of his three seasons. Arizona State's leading rusher a season ago, Herring totaled 815 yards on 154 carries, the third straight he has gained over 500 yards.
MOVING ON UP
With his 2,330 career rushing yards, Herring finds himself 10th on Arizona State's all-time rushing list. He is 144 yards short of Ben Malone (1971-73) for 9th on the list. Herring also has six career 100-yard games, including three in 2007. His career high for yards in a game is 197 against Northwestern in 2005.
HOME SWEET HOME
For the second straight season, Arizona State began the year by playing its first four games at Sun Devil Stadium. Last season, ASU went 7-1 at home, winning its first six. ASU was the only team in the Pac-10 to open with four straight at home, and one of only five teams in the nation to play their first four games on their home field. Duke, Louisville, Indiana and Nebraska are the others. Nebraska opened the season with five straight home games.
Several Sun Devils are on preseason watch lists for national awards. Senior Safety Troy Nolan, who led the team with six interceptions a year ago, is on the watch lists for the Bednarik Award, the Nagurski Trophy, the Thorpe Award and the Lott Trophy. He is also a candidate for the senior CLASS Award. Seniors Rudy Carpenter and Keegan Herring are both on the Maxwell Award watch list, while junior Dexter Davis joins Nolan on the Nagurski Trophy watch list. Davis is also on the Lombardi Award list and the Hendricks Award list. Carpenter is also on the Davey O'Brien Watch List, given to the nation's top QB and the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award Watch List. 2007 Lou Groza Award winner Thomas Weber is on the watch list for the 2008 award as well as for the Ray Guy Award. Herring is also on the Doak Walker Award list. LB Anthony Reyes has been named a semifinalist for the Draddy Trophy. Keegan Herring was named to the AFCA Good Works Team.
Kicker Thomas Weber has found his name on a number of preseason All-American teams. Weber is a First Team selection by The Sporting News, Athlon Sports and Playboy, while Phil Steele has him on the Third Team.
Senior quarterback Rudy Carpenter and senior safety Troy Nolan were named team captains after a vote by the team. Head coach Dennis Erickson will designate two additional game captains on a weekly basis. Morris Wooten and Keegan Herring were the game captains at Cal.
FOUR YEAR QBs
Senior quarterback Rudy Carpenter is one of only five four-year starters at the quarterback position in the Bowl Subdivision. Curtis Painter of Purdue, Mike Teel of Rutgers, Willie Tuitama of Arizona, Pat White of West Virginia and Drew Willy of Buffalo are the others.
PASS IT ON
Rudy Carpenter has now completed a pass to 32 different receivers in his four years at Arizona State. All but two of those were completed to a wide receiver, tight end or running back. The other two? OL Brandon Rodd and himself.
The following players have caught a pass from Rudy Carpenter: Gerell, Robinson, Mike Jones, Kerry Taylor, Kyle Williams, Chris McGaha, Jovon Williams, Shaun DeWitty, Dimitri Nance, T.J. Simpson, Dan Knapp, Rudy Burgess, Brent Miller, Tyrice Thompson, Keegan Herring, Ryan Torain, Brady Conrad, Andrew Pettes, Nate Kimbrough, Zach Miller, Jamaal Lewis, Brandon Smith, Terry Richardson, Derek Hagan, Matt Miller, Moey Mutz, Chad Christensen, Jeff Gray, Stephen Bisnett, Cornell Canidate, Preston Jones, Brandon Rodd and Rudy Carpenter.
Arizona State will take a week off before returning to Sun Devil Stadium for a match-up with the Oregon Ducks on October 25.