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2011 Sun Devil football season in review

January 04, 2012

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Arizona State finished the 2011 season 6-7, 4-5 in Pac-12 play. They appeared in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas, where they fell 56-24 to the No. 7 Boise State Broncos.

SUN DEVILS IN POSTSEASON PLAY: Arizona State made its 25th bowl appearance in school history in 2011. ASU holds an all-time mark of 12-12-1 in bowl games, dating back to its first bowl appearance in 1940, a scoreless tie with Catholic University in the Sun Bowl.

PAC-12 HONORS: Senior center Garth Gerhart, senior safety Clint Floyd and junior kick returner Jamal Miles all earned Second Team All-Pac-12 honors. Senior defensive end Jamaar Jarrett, senior offensive lineman Dan Knapp, junior running back Cameron Marshall, senior defensive lineman Bo Moos, senior linebacker Colin Parker and senior wide receiver Gerell Robinson all earned Honorable Mentions.

ACADEMIC ALL-PAC-12 HONORS: Senior linebacker Colin Parker and senior wide receiver Aaron Pflugrad both earned Second Team Academic All-Pac-12 honors. Senior snapper Cameron Kastl, redshirt freshman kicker Alex Garoutte, senior offensive lineman Mike Marcisz, sophomore wide receiver Kyle Middlebrooks and sophomore tight end Max Smith all earned Honorable Mentions. Pflugrad also earned CoSIDA First Team Academic All-District VIII honors.

CAPTAINS: Omar Bolden, Garth Gerhart, Brock Osweiler, Colin Parker and T.J. Simpson were named the captains of the 2011 Sun Devil football team. Bolden and Simpson missed the entire season with injuries.

RECORD-SETTING BOWL GAME: Gerell Robinson made his only career bowl game one to remember, setting a MAACO Bowl Las Vegas record with his 241 yards on 13 catches. Both of those numbers also set new single-game career highs for Robinson, and the 241 yards was the second most ever by a Sun Devil wide receiver. Only Ron Fair had more, gaining 277 yards against Washington State in 1989. Robinson's receptions and yardage totals did set Arizona State bowl records. The 241 yards shatters the old record of 186 set by Greg Hudson in the 1973 Fiesta Bowl against Pitt. The 13 catches breaks the mark held by Shaun McDonald, who caught 11 passes against Kansas State in the 2002 Holiday Bowl. Rashad Ross also returned the first kickoff for a touchdown in Arizona State postseason history, a 98-yarder to open the second half. The 56 points Boise State scored were the most points ever allowed by ASU in a bowl game, besting the 52 Texas scored in the 2007 Holiday Bowl. The 32-point loss was also the worst loss in school postseason history, eclipsing the 18-point loss to the Longhorns in the 2007 Holiday Bowl (52-34).

MEMORABLE FINALE: In addition to Gerell Robinson, Colin Parker had a memorable final game in an ASU uniform. The senior linebacker intercepted his first career pass and returned it 40 yards in addition to the eight tackles he collected. Parker finished the season with a team-leading 75 tackles, including six for loss. Senior Clint Floyd also picked off a Kellen Moore pass, his team-high fourth of the season. It gave Floyd six in his career. He also added two tackles for loss in the bowl game.

FIRST BOWL GAME: The MAACO Bowl Las Vegas was the first bowl game for everyone on the active Sun Devil roster, with the exception of Aaron Pflugrad, who played in the 2007 Sun Bowl and 2008 Holiday Bowl as a member of the Oregon Ducks. Omar Bolden played in the 2007 Holiday Bowl, but missed the entire 2011 season due to injury.

MR. 4,000: Junior quarterback Brock Osweiler emphatically put his name in the Sun Devil record books during his first season as the starter. On the strength of his 395 yards in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas, Osweiler became the first quarterback in the history of Arizona State football to throw for over 4,000 yards in a single season. He finished the year with 4,036 yards, including six 300-yard passing games and one 400-yard passing game. Osweiler eclipsed the record held by Andrew Walter, who threw for 3,877 yards in 2002. Osweiler is only the third quarterback in school history to throw for over 3,000 yards in a season, joining Walter, who did it three times (2002, 2003 and 2004) and Rudy Carpenter, who did it in 2007. In the game against Arizona, Osweiler set a new career-high with 487 yards through the air. He was 36-63 passing, establishing new highs in both completions and attempts. His 63 attempts against Arizona tied Paul Justin's 21 year-old school record (vs. Houston in 1990) for most ever by a Sun Devil in a single game, while his 36 completions against the Wildcats was the third-highest total in school history. The 487 yards was the fifth-highest total in school history. Osweiler finished the year 326-516 for a completion percentage of 63.2. The 63.2% sets a new record, besting the mark of 61.8% set by Rudy Carpenter in 2007. Osweiler established new single-season school records in attempts and completions and his 26 touchdowns were the fourth highest total in school history.

FINDING PAYDIRT: Junior running back Cameron Marshall has rushed for 29 touchdowns in his three seasons with Arizona State. He is one of only 11 Sun Devils all time to score at least 20 touchdowns on the ground. The 29 puts him in fourth place all-time in ASU history.

MARSHALL OF THE TOUCHDOWN: Cameron Marshall ran for 18 touchdowns in 2011, tying him with Woody Green (1972) and Terry Battle (1996) for the most ever in a single-season by a Sun Devil running back. Marshall led the Pac-12 with his 18 touchdowns on the ground and he scored more rushing touchdowns than seven Pac-12 teams (Arizona 17, Utah 15, Washington 15, Washington State 13, Oregon State 12, USC 12 and Colorado 10). Marshall's previous career high for touchdowns was nine, set last season. Marshall had six games with multiple rushing touchdowns during the 2011 season, including three against USC and Colorado.

MARSHALL, MARSHALL, MARSHALL: Cameron Marshall finished 2011 with 1,050 rushing yards, the first Sun Devil to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark since Ryan Torain ran for 1,229 yards in 2006. Marshall becomes the 16th Sun Devil to run for over 1,000 yards in a season and it marks the 20th time in Sun Devil football history that ASU has had a 1,000 yard rusher. Woody Green did it three times and Freddie Williams did it twice. Marshall ran for over 100-yards four times this season and has done it six times in his career. The six career 100-yard games are tied for 17th most in school history. He has run for 2,131 yards over his three seasons in Tempe, the 17th player in school history to go over the 2,000-yard mark in his career. He has run for the 12th most yards ever by a Sun Devil runner, 343 yards away from joining the Top Ten.

100-YARDS ON THE GROUND: Arizona State is 4-2 when Cameron Marshall runs for at least 100-yards. He did it last year against Portland State and UCLA and this season against USC, Colorado, UCLA and California. ASU is now 255-54-5 all-time when it has a 100-yard rusher.

100 BY LAND AND AIR: Twice this season the Sun Devils have had a 100-yard rusher and 100-yard receiver in the same game. At UCLA Cameron Marshall ran for a career-high 168 yards, while Gerell Robinson hauled in 131 yards receiving. Against Cal, Marshall gained 157 yards on the ground and Rashad Ross gained a career-high 108 yards through the air.

BIG YEAR FOR G-ROB: Senior wide receiver Gerell Robinson made his final season in Tempe a memorable one, setting new career-highs in receptions (77) and yards (1,397). He turned in six 100-yard receiving games this year, including a career-high and MAACO Bowl Las Vegas-record 241 yards on 13 receptions against Boise State. He is the first Sun Devil since Derek Hagan in 2005 to gain 1,000-yards through the air, and his 1,397 yards is the second-highest single-season total in school history. The 77 receptions ties him with Derek Hagan (2005) for third most in a single season by a Sun Devil. Robinson averaged 107.5 yards per game, setting a new school record. Shaun McDonald held the previous record, averaging 104.0 yards per game in 2004.

TRIPLE THREAT: The 2011 Sun Devil offense did something no other ASU offense had ever done before: have a 1,000-yard rusher (Cameron Marshall), 1,000-yard receiver (Gerell Robinson) and a 3,000-yard passer (Brock Osweiler). It is the fourth time in school history, and the first time since 2001, that ASU featured a 1,000-yard runner and a 1,000-yard receiver. ASU had two 1,000-yard rushers (Woody Green and Ben Malone) and a 1,000-yard receiver (Morris Owens) in 1973.

MR. TOUCHDOWN: Junior wide receiver Jamal Miles became a touchdown machine in 2011. Miles returned a kickoff for a touchdown in the season opener against UC Davis and did it again at Washington State, threw a TD pass against Missouri and has caught six touchdown passes this year. Against Oregon State, Miles added another notch to his TD belt, returning a punt 78-yards for a score. Miles is the only player in the nation to have scored a touchdown on a reception, kickoff return and punt return as well as throw a TD pass. Miles TD pass was the first of his career on his second career attempt. He also set a new career-high with his nine receptions for 55 yards and a touchdown against USC.

RUNNING FOR MILES: Jamal Miles returned his third career kickoff for a touchdown and second this season against Washington State, bringing it back 95-yards for the score. The two kickoff return touchdowns this year ties Miles with Terry Battle (1996) for most kickoff return touchdowns by a Sun Devil in a single season. The kickoff return TD against Washington State made Miles ASU's all-time leader in that category, moving him past Omar Bolden, Terry Battle and Whizzer White who all had two in their careers.

MORE ON MILES: The 78-yard punt return by Jamal Miles against Oregon State was the first punt returned for a touchdown by a Sun Devil since 2005. On November 25, 2005, Terry Richardson returned an Arizona punt 71-yards for the score. It took 68 games before Miles did the same thing against the Beavers.

RETURN RECORD: Over his three seasons in Tempe, Jamal Miles has returned 64 kickoffs for 1,517 yards and three touchdowns. The 1,517 yards ties Rudy Burgess for the most career kickoff return yards in school history. Miles has totaled 788 of those yards this season, second highest single-season total in ASU history. Miles' total is second only to the 879 yards that Burgess gained in 2007. Miles has 64 career kick returns, giving him an average of 23.7 yards per return. Burgess had 68 returns, an average of 22.3 yards per return. Miles has three kick return TDs, while Burgess had one.

KICKOFFS FOR TDS: In the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas, Rashad Ross took the second half kickoff back 98-yards for a touchdown, the third kickoff return for a touchdown of the season. It was also the eighth under Dennis Erickson, by far the most kickoff return touchdowns under a head coach in school history. The three touchdowns in 2011 is a school record, the first time in school history a team has ever returned multiple kickoffs for touchdowns.

NOEL HUDDLE OFFENSE: Offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone always says how the Sun Devils can score in a hurry, and they have not let him down this season. Arizona State's first two touchdown drives of the season against UC Davis both took under 1:10. Last season, ASU had 11 scoring drives that took under 1:10. Against Missouri, ASU had an eight second scoring drive and in the Oregon State game the offense scored on a :44 second drive. At Utah, ASU had a 1:03 scoring drive. Against Colorado, ASU had four touchdown drives that took under two minutes, including a 35 second one and a 32 second one. Against UCLA the Sun Devils had one touchdown drive that took under two minutes. But ASU also showed they could do a long drive if necessary, turning in its two longest scoring drives of the season. The Sun Devils had a 97-yard drive and a 93-yard drive against the Bruins, both of which resulted in touchdowns. Against Washington State, ASU turned in a :59 second scoring drive. In the game against the Wildcats, the Sun Devils turned in an 80-yard touchdown drive in just :42 seconds. Against Cal, ASU scored a touchdown in :19 seconds.

BROCK'S TALLER THAN YOU: Quarterback Brock Osweiler checks in at six foot eight inches tall, making him the tallest quarterback in the FBS. Osweiler is one of nine QBs 6-6 or taller in the nation.

SCHOLAR BALLERS: 22 Sun Devil football players have been named Scholar Ballers for their work in the classroom: Oliver Aaron, Sil Ajawara, Derrall Anderson, Mike Bercovici, Gannon Conway, Chris Coyle, Evan Finkenberg, Alex Garoutte, Brandon Johnson, Cameron Kastl, Ronald Kennedy, Jr., Kody Koebensky, Shelly Lyons, Brandon Magee, Mike Marcisz, Trent Marsh, Kyle Middlebrooks, Colin Parker, Aaron Pflugrad, Max Smith, Grandville Taylor and Austin Williams.

HALL OF FAME: Pat Tillman entered the College Football Hall of Fame in July, the ninth Sun Devil enshrined. Tillman 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.

ASU HALL OF FAME: Against Oregon State, former Sun Devil football greats Adam Archuleta and Marvel Smith entered the Arizona State Athletic Hall of Fame. Archuleta played at ASU from 1996 to 2000 before going on to an eight-year NFL career. Smith donned the Maroon and Gold from 1996 to 1999 before playing 10 seasons in the NFL and winning two Super Bowl rings with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

UNI-WATCH: Arizona State wore their traditional uniform combo for the season opener against UC Davis (gold helmet, maroon jersey, gold pants). They wore all black against Missouri and Arizona and all white for the first road game at Illinois. Against USC and Cal they wore all maroon and against Oregon State they wore white helmets, maroon jerseys and white pants. At Utah and at Washington State they wore gold helmets, white jerseys and gold pants. Against Oregon the Sun Devils wore maroon helmets, white jerseys and maroon pants. For the Homecoming game against Colorado ASU wore black helmets, black jerseys and gold pants. At UCLA and in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas, ASU wore black helmets, white jerseys and black pants.

DEBUT DEVILS: 24 student-athletes saw their first action at Arizona State this season: Charles Beatty, Steve Gallon, Rashad Wadood, Alex Garoutte, Anthony Jones, Kipeli Koniseti, Carl Bradford, Tyler Sulka, Kevin Ozier, Ezekiel Bishop, Josh Hubner, Jamil Douglas, Jordan McDonald, Davon Coleman, Rashad Ross, Mike Bercovici, Sil Ajawara, Kevin Ayers, Marcus Washington, Taylor Kelly, Angelo Magee, Chike Mbanefo, Joita Te'i and Gannon Conway. Wadood, Bishop and Bercovici were all true freshmen.

JUST KICKING IT: Redshirt freshman kicker Alex Garoutte turned in a solid season in his first year as the kicker. Garoutte finished the year with 108 points, tops on the team. He finished the season 15-22 on fields goals, including a long of 49-yards. He had a string of six consecutive made field goals between the Utah and Colorado games, and finished the season making six of his final seven. He also went 52-53 in PATs, with his only miss a block. He closed out 2011 making 45 straight extra points. His 108 points were the second most scored by a freshman or redshirt freshman kicker in the country.