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Football hosts Colorado in Homecoming game Saturday

October 24, 2011

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Following a 41-27 loss at Oregon and a bye week, Arizona State returns to action against Colorado on Saturday, October 29 at Frank Kush Field/Sun Devil Stadium. The Sun Devils will celebrate Homecoming against the Buffaloes. ASU is 5-2, 3-1 in Pac-12 play and ranked #23/20. ASU is also ranked #21 in the BCS rankings. Colorado enters the game 1-7 and 0-3 in Pac-12 play. They fell 45-2 last weekend to the Ducks in Boulder.

ON THE AIR: The IMG-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 Colorado game will air on 620 AM. It will also air on Sirius/XM channels 139 (Sirius) and 193 (XM).

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION: Arizona State's game with Colorado will be broadcast by FOX Sports Arizona. Tom Leander, Adam Archuleta and Jody Jackson will call the action.

SUN DEVILS VS. BUFFALOES: Arizona State leads the all-time series with Colorado 2-0. ASU beat the Buffs in the first game between the two schools in 2006, winning 21-3 at Folsom Field in Boulder. Colorado came to Tempe in 2007 and fell to the Sun Devils 33-14.

COACH ERICKSON VS. COLORADO: Dennis Erickson is 2-1 all-time against Colorado in his career, including a 1-0 mark with Arizona State. He first faced the Buffaloes in 1987 while with Washington State, when the Cougars traveled to Boulder and fell 26-17.

FINDING PAYDIRT: Junior running back Cameron Marshall recorded his 20th career rushing touchdown with his score against the Ducks. Marshall joins an exclusive club in Sun Devil football history, becoming just the 11th player all-time to score at least 20 touchdowns on the ground. Marshall is tied with Keegan Herring (20 from 2005 to 2008) for 10th most rushing touchdowns in school history.

BYE BYE BYE: Since 2000, Arizona State is 5-6 in the week following the season's first bye week. Under Dennis Erickson, the Sun Devils are 2-2 following the first week off of the season.

CAPTAINS: Omar Bolden, Garth Gerhart, Brock Osweiler, Colin Parker and T.J. Simpson have been named the captains of the 2011 Sun Devil football team.

OREGON RECAP: Arizona State started out fast at Oregon, but even with an injury to their starting quarterback, the Ducks high-powered offense was too much for the ASU defense to handle in a 41-27 loss at Autzen Stadium. Cameron Marshall ran for 97 yards and Brock Osweiler threw for 291 and two scores, but the Ducks outscored the Sun Devils 20-10 in the second half to pull away for the victory.

IN THE POLLS: Arizona State checks in at #23 in this week's Associated Press Poll, up from #24 a week ago. The Sun Devils are also ranked #20 in the USA Today Coaches Poll, up from #25 last week. This season marked ASU's first appearance in the AP Poll since a #15 ranking on September 7, 2008. ASU is also ranked #21 in this week's BCS standings.

HOMECOMING GAME: Arizona State is 60-18-3 all-time in Homecoming games, dating back to 1926. ASU's first ever Homecoming game was held that year, a scoreless tie with the Phoenix Indians. The Sun Devils have won six of their last seven Homecoming games, including last year's 42-0 victory over Washington State.

MR. TOUCHDOWN: Junior wide receiver Jamal Miles has become a touchdown machine in 2011. Miles returned a kickoff for a touchdown in the season opener against UC Davis, threw a TD pass against Missouri and has caught four 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.

MORE ON MILES: The 78-yard punt return by Jamal Miles 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.

BALLHAWKING: After forcing only one turnover in the first two games, the Sun Devil defense has dialed up the takeaways. Over the last five contests, Arizona State has forced 19 turnovers. ASU has intercepted 11 passes this season after totaling 10 interceptions all of last year. The Sun Devils have forced 20 total turnovers this year after forcing 17 last season. The +8 turnover ratio leads the Pac-12.

THIRD DOWN SHUT DOWN: Arizona State has been a dominant team on third down defense, leading the nation in third down conversion percentage. Opponents have converted on third down only 25% of the time (23-91), including limiting Oregon to 3-11.

BIG YEAR FOR G-ROB: One week after turning in his first career 100-yard game, senior wide receiver Gerell Robinson did it again against the Ducks. Robinson had six catches for a career-high 120 yards and touchdown at Oregon, his second straight 100-yard game. The week before at Utah, Robinson had seven catches for 101 yards. The touchdown against the Ducks was his fourth of the season. Robinson has now established new career highs in both single season receptions (32) and yards (523). Robinson has 90 catches in his four years in Tempe for 1,197 yards and nine scores.

RUNNING FOR MILES: Jamal Miles returned his second career kickoff for a touchdown against UC Davis, bringing it back 98 yards. It was the second consecutive game in Sun Devil Stadium Miles had returned a kick for a score, as he had a 99-yarder in last season's home finale against UCLA. Miles joins teammate Omar Bolden, Terry Battle and Whizzer White as the only Sun Devils in school history with two career kickoff return touchdowns. It was the sixth kickoff return for touchdown the Sun Devils have had since Dennis Erickson took over as head coach in 2007, the most under one coach in school history.

MARSHALL, MARSHALL, MARSHALL: Junior running back Cameron Marshall, despite playing on a badly sprained ankle suffered at Illinois, has been putting together a terrific season. Marshall has run for 518 yards this season, including a team-leading nine touchdowns. Against Utah, he passed the 1,500-yard mark for his career and has now scored 20 career touchdowns on the ground. He ran for 141-yards against USC, his third career 100-yard game. He had 97 yards against Oregon in ASU's last game. Marshall is also a receiving threat out of the backfield. Against UC Davis he caught four passes for a career-high 86 yards, including a 47-yard reception.

DEBUT DEVILS: 22 student-athletes have seen their first action at Arizona State this season: 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 are all true freshmen.

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 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.

THREE AND OUT: The 2010 ASU defense was one of the top teams in the nation to force opposing offenses into three-and-out possessions. The Sun Devils averaged 4.08 three-and-outs a game, for a total of 49 in their 12 contests. That placed them in the top 20 in the nation. So far in 2011, ASU has forced opponents into 18 three-and-outs.

PUSH `EM BACK: In 2010, the Sun Devil defense routinely made tackles for loss or for no gain. The defense finished 2010 with 143 plays that went for negative or no yards, totaling 307 yards lost for the offense. Against Oregon, the Sun Devil defense totaled 10 plays of negative or no gain for the Ducks for 12 yards lost.

SENIOR CLASS: The 2011 Sun Devils will feature one of the largest senior classes in the nation, as there will be 26 seniors playing in their final season. The senior class includes: Linebacker Oliver Aaron, wide receiver George Bell, offensive lineman Chris DeArmas, safety Eddie Elder, safety Clint Floyd, defensive end Jamaar Jarrett, tight end Trevor Kohl, offensive lineman Nick Emanuele, linebacker Shelly Lyons, linebacker Brandon Magee, wide receiver Angelo Magee, wide receiver Gerell Robinson, offensive lineman Brice Schwab, wide receiver Mike Willie, cornerback Omar Bolden, offensive lineman Garth Gerhart, snapper Cameron Kastl, offensive lineman Dan Knapp, offensive lineman Mike Marcisz, offensive lineman Trent Marsh, defensive lineman Bo Moos, linebacker Colin Parker, wide receiver Aaron Pflugrad, offensive lineman Aderious Simmons, offensive lineman Adam Tello and wide receiver T.J. Simpson.

PAC-12 PREDICTIONS: Arizona State has been picked to finish second in the Pac-12 South in the annual media poll. Oregon has been picked to win the Pac-12 North. The winners of the two divisions will face each other in the first ever Pac-12 Championship Game on December 2.

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.

SELECT COMPANY: Head Coach Dennis Erickson is in select company when it comes to conference Coach of the Year awards. Coach Erickson is one of only two coaches in the nation to have six Coach of the Year trophies to his name. Erickson won Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors in 1988 (Washington State), 2000 (Oregon State) and 2007 (Arizona State) and Big East Coach of the Year honors in 1991, 1992 and 1994 (all with Miami). The only other coach with six Coach of the Year awards is South Carolina's Steve Spurrier.

TRUE FRESHMEN UNDER ERICKSON: Since Dennis Erickson took over in 2007, 27 true freshmen have played for the Sun Devils. This season, three (Mike Bercovici, Ezekiel Bishop, Rashad Wadood) have played. Last year only three played after eight saw the field in 2009. ASU saw a school record 10 play during the 2008 season. Five schools in the Pac-12 this year have played at least 10 true freshmen, led by Colorado who has used 12.

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.

HOME SWEET HOME: With its win over UCLA in the home finale last season, Arizona State won its 250th regular season game at Sun Devil Stadium. Sun Devil Stadium opened in 1958. The Sun Devils also won five Fiesta Bowls at Sun Devil Stadium.

EXPERIENCE: Defensive Coordinator Craig Bray and Offensive Coordinator Noel Mazzone boast a combined 68 years of both college and pro coaching experience, the third most experienced coaching duo in the nation.

SPREADING THE WEALTH: Three Sun Devil quarterbacks have completed 177 passes this season, finding 14 different receivers. Last season, three ASU QBs combined to throw completions to 16 different receivers.

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 all white for the first road game at Illinois. Against USC they wore all maroon and against Oregon State they wore white helmets, maroon jerseys and white pants. At Utah they wore gold helmets, white jerseys and gold pants. Against Oregon the Sun Devils wore maroon helmets, white jerseys and maroon pants.

HEALING UP: Despite suffering severe knee injuries during spring practice, both Omar Bolden and T.J. Simpson have played huge roles for the Sun Devils during the 2011 season. Bolden has been mentoring the cornerbacks, imparting wisdom gained from his stellar career at ASU. On the other side of the ball, Simpson has been helping the wide receivers by sharing his knowledge from his time on the field. Both Bolden and Simpson continue to rehab their injuries

ONE DOOR CLOSES, ANOTHER OPENS: After suffering a concussion during the UCLA game last season, quarterback Steven Threet was forced to end his playing days. However, Threet did not end his association with the Sun Devil football program. Threet is spending this season as a student coach as he works towards finishing his degree.

GIVING BACK: Several members of the Sun Devil football team spent their bye week giving back to the community. A group of football student-athletes, led by Brock Osweiler, visited Phoenix Children's Hospital to spend some time with the kids. The players colored, signed autographs and posed for pictures with the children and their families.

ESPN GAMEDAY AND ARIZONA STATE: The game at Oregon marked the third time Arizona State has played in the featured game on ESPN GameDay. ASU's first appearance came in 2005 when they hosted GameDay for the USC game. The Sun Devils were also on GameDay in Eugene for their 2007 match-up with the Ducks.

DID YOU KNOW: Sun Devil defensive coordinator Craig Bray spent two seasons in Boulder as a member of Gary Barnett's staff at Colorado. Bray, who coached the defensive backs, helped lead the Buffs to back-to-back Big 12 Title Game appearances. Bray has coached at five different Pac-12 schools (ASU, Arizona, Washington State, Oregon State, Colorado).

UP NEXT: The Sun Devils will take to the road again, traveling to Pasadena, California for a meeting with the UCLA Bruins.