Sun Devils Need One More
Oct. 29, 2000
Coming off a wild 56-55 double-overtime loss to then No. 7/10 Oregon, the team's second overtime outing in as many games, the Arizona State Sun Devils conclude their home slate vs. the USC Trojans Saturday at Sun Devil Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. Needing just one more victory to become bowl eligible for the fourth time in five seasons, the Sun Devils enter Saturday's game with a 5-3 overall record and a 2-3 league mark which puts the team into a tie for fifth place in the Pac-10. USC (3-5, 0-5 Pac-10) is still looking for its first Pac-10 win of the season after losing five straight conference games including a 28-16 setback to California in Los Angeles last weekend.
In the SeriesArizona State is the only team in the Pac-10 Conference to have a winning series record vs. USC with a 9-7 advantage dating back to 1978. The Sun Devils have won three of the last four meetings including a 26-16 victory in Los Angeles last season, the first victory at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum in head coach Bruce Snyder's tenure at ASU. The Sun Devils are 5-4 at home vs. USC with victories in the last two meetings at Sun Devil Stadium. USC's last win in Tempe came in 1992. Snyder, who served as offensive coordinator and running backs coach at USC from 1974-75, is 4-6-1 vs. the Trojans, including a 3-3 record while at ASU. USC head coach Paul Hackett is 1-1 vs. the Sun Devils.
ExposureThere will be no live television for the game. The Sun Devil Sports Network will carry the game live on its 12-station network on XTRA 910 AM and KFYI 550 AM. Tim Healey, Jeff Van Raaphorst (whose brother, Mike, is a senior and backup quarterback at USC), Mark Asher (sidelines), Vince Marotta and Doug Plank (pregame and postgame) will bring the action to Sun Devil fans. The game can be heard live on ASU's official web site at www.TheSunDevils.com, while ASU's student radio station KASC 1260 AM will also broadcast the game from Sun Devil Stadium.
Back-to-Back in the Pac-10Heading into this week's game, Arizona State will be trying to continue a trend that has seen the team lose back-to-back conference games just once in the last four seasons. Earlier this season, the Sun Devils rebounded from a loss at UCLA in the team's Pac-10 opener with a 30-10 win over Cal and then came back from a 21-15 loss to Washington with a 23-20 overtime victory at Washington State. Since 1995, the Sun Devils' only back-to-back Pac-10 losses came at Oregon and at Arizona to end the 1998 season.
What Time Is It Anyway?The state of Arizona never changes its clocks, remaining on Mountain Standard Time all year. With the time change on October 29, Arizona is now on Mountain Standard Time, meaning that Saturday's game will start at 7 p.m. Mountain and 6 p.m. Pacific Time.
PollingASU received four votes in the Oct. 29 Associated Press (40th) and six votes in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches polls (36th), while USC is unranked. The Trojans started off the season ranked 15th and 16th in the preseason and climbed as high as seventh in the nation after opening the season with a 3-0 record. USC dropped out of the national polls on Oct. 8 after falling in its first two conference outings.ASU to Retire Mike Haynes' NumberMike Haynes, a two-time All-American cornerback at Arizona State from 1972-75 and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, will have his Sun Devil No. 40 retired in a halftime ceremony Saturday in ASU's game vs. USC. Haynes' number will become the fourth retired at ASU. Like the trio of retirees before him, Haynes' name and number will adorn the face of the press box at Sun Devil Stadium. Senior linebacker Adam Archuleta, who currently wears No. 40, will be allowed to retain the number through the 2000 season. We are honored to have had Mike represent Arizona State and Sun Devil athletics,ï¿½ ASU Athletics Director Gene Smith said. ï¿½Retiring his number is a symbol of our thanks for all that he has done in the name of this university.ï¿½ I am truly honored by this gesture,ï¿½ Haynes said.ï¿½ï¿½I enjoyed a wonderful career at Arizona State University and I am blessed to be a part of the Sun Devil family.ï¿½ In his ASU career, Haynes was a three-time All-Western Athletic Conference selection. As a junior in 1974, he led the nation with 11 interceptions, second-best all-time at ASU.ï¿½During his senior campaign, the Sun Devils were a perfect 12-0 and finished second in the wire service polls. The New England Patriots selected Haynes with the fifth overall pick in the 1976 NFL Draft. He went on to play in nine Pro Bowls, the second-most by any ASU player, and earn two Super Bowl rings with the Oakland Raiders. Upon his graduation in 1951, Wilford ï¿½Whizzerï¿½ White's No. 33 became the first number retired at ASU. Bobby Mulgado joined him in 1958 when his No. 27 was honored. In 1997, White's son, Danny, became the third when his No. 11 was retired.
Last Time OutIn a game as wild as college football gets, redshirt freshman Jeff Krohn threw for 432 yards and five touchdown passes, but the Sun Devils ultimately fell short 56-55 in double overtime to then No. 7/11 Oregon at Sun Devil Stadium last week. Oregon quarterback Joey Harrington threw for 434 yards and tied a school record with six touchdown passes for the Ducks who never led in regulation. Harrington threw a pair of touchdown passes in the final 3:21 of the fourth quarter, the last with 27 seconds left in the game to send the game into overtime. Oregon's Allan Amundson ran one yard for the Ducks' touchdown on their second overtime possession. Arizona State followed with a 21-yard touchdown pass from Jeff Krohn to Richard Williams. The Sun Devils set up for a conversion kick that would have tied it again but tried a fake instead. Krohn rolled right and threw to junior tight end Todd Heap, but he couldn't make the catch.
Racking Up the YardageArizona State rolled up 667 yards against an Oregon defense that entered the game leading the Pac-10 and ranked 10th nationally. According to records dating to 1976, it was the most yards given up by the Ducks. For the Sun Devils, it is just the sixth 600-plus-yard performance in the past 16 years with the previous 600-yard showing coming with 623 vs. Oregon in 1997. The school record for total offense in a game is 734 yards vs. Stanford in 1981 (232 rushing, 511 passing).
Lighting Up the ScoreboardThe Sun Devils' 55 points were the most for the team since scoring 55 in a 55-22 victory over California Nov. 7, 1998, while the Ducks' 56 points were the most given up since a 77-28 loss to Nebraska Sept. 16, 1995. Oregon had not allowed an opponent to score that many points since a 58-49 loss to Stanford on Sept. 27, 1997. Both figures marked the most points scored for either team in the 34-year history of the series with the previous high being 52 points by the Sun Devils in a 52-31 victory in 1997.
Setting the PaceWith 158 yards and a touchdown on 33 carries vs. Oregon, junior Tom Pace has now topped the century mark in rushing in each of the last two game. The walk-on, who also scored a touchdown on a 69-yard pass play vs. the Ducks, turned in 103 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries at Washington State, including crucial yardage in ASU's overtime drive. Pace made his Sun Devil debut against Utah State with 65 yards on 16 carries and followed that up with 19 yards on eight carries at UCLA. He then fell just short of topping the century mark with 93 yards and a touchdown in 17 carries vs. Cal. A 5-10, 195-pounder out of Mesa (Ariz.) High School, Pace played running back (under ASU offensive line coach George Yarno who was the offensive coordinator in Moscow from 1995-98) and returned kicks for the University of Idaho in 1996 before going on a two-year mission to Brazil. In 1996, he finished second on the Vandal team in rushing with 212 yards and two touchdowns in 41 carries (a team-leading average of 5.2 yards per carries). Even more impressive were his return numbers as he led the team and ranked among the best in the nation with 839 yards on 32 kickoff returns (26.2 ypr). After returning from his mission, Pace played one season at Ricks Junior College in Rexburg, Idaho, before the 22-year-old joined the Sun Devil squad the week before the Colorado State game.
The Century MarkIncluding back-to-back 100-yard rushing games by junior Tom Pace, the Sun Devils have had three rushing performances top the century mark this season. ASU is 232-41-5 (.844) all time when a player gains 100 yards or more, while the Sun Devils are 33-9 (.786) since Bruce Snyder's arrival in Tempe. Earlier this season, true freshman Mike Williams turned in a 143-yard showing against Colorado State to become the first true freshman to top the century mark since Mario Bates rushed for 161 yards against Arizona at home on Nov. 23, 1991.
Noting Jeff KrohnRedshirt freshman Jeff Krohn turned in the best performance of his young career vs. the Oregon Ducks, completing 21-of-34 passes for 432 yards and five touchdowns. His five touchdown strikes rank third in school history in a single game behind Mike Pagel who threw a school-record seven TDs vs. Stanford in 1981 and Danny White who had six vs. New Mexico in 1971. Krohn also put another notation in the ASU record book with his 90-yard touchdown pass to senior Richard Williams in the fourth quarter. The 90-yard strike was the fifth-longest pass reception in ASU history and the longest since Jeff Van Raaphorst completed a school-record 95-yarder to Aaron Cox vs. USC in 1985. Krohn has notched a 4-1 record as ASU's starting quarterback, turning in the best performance of his young career in ASU's 44-20 win over Utah State. He completed six of 10 attempts for a career-high 248 yards and four passing touchdowns, including 72- and 70-yard TD strikes to senior Richard Williams in his first two completions. At the time, Krohn's four TD passes were the most for a Sun Devil since fellow quarterback Ryan Kealy completed four scoring strikes against Arizona on Nov. 27, 1998. It marked the 18th time an ASU signal caller has thrown four TD passes in a game. While he missed games against UCLA and Cal after being diagnosed with mononucleosis, Krohn returned to action vs. Washington in relief of starter Griffin Goodman, completing 12 of 33 attempts for 170 yards, a TD strike to junior Todd Heap and two interceptions. In his first start back from his illness, Krohn completed 18 of 27 attempts for 214 yards at Washington State despite missing all of the second quarter with a mild concussion.
Through the AirOn the season, ASU's four quarterbacks have already thrown for 2,281 yards which is knocking on the door of the Sun Devil record book with three regular-season games to play. ASU is just 278 yards short of the sixth-best single-season passing effort in school history (2,559 in 1964), while the school single-season mark is 3,077 yards by the 1978 squad. With the 432-yard performance vs. the Oregon Ducks, the Sun Devils have four 300-plus-yard passing games on the season, the most since the 1989 team had three all season. Prior to the Washington game, ASU's four quarterbacks have racked up 1,159 passing yards in three games including 374 yards against Utah State, 365 yards at UCLA and 420 yards vs. Cal. The last time ASU topped 1,000 yards in three games was in 1990 (1,090 - 374 vs. Washington State, 242 vs. Arizona, 474 vs. Houston).
Passing Into the End Zone Sun Devil quarterbacks have thrown 18 touchdown passes in eight games this season including 11 by redshirt freshman Jeff Krohn. Junior Donnie O'Neal and senior Richard Williams have each caught six, while junior Todd Heap has caught three TDs. Last year, the team had just 14 TD passes all season, while Williams was last year's leading receiver catching just five TD passes all season. ASU's 18 touchdown passes are the most for the team since Jake Plummer threw 19 in the team's first six games in 1996.
Spreading the WealthThirteen players have caught passes this year for the Sun Devils including five wide receivers, three tight ends, three tailbacks and two fullbacks, while quarterback Jeff Krohn completed passes to nine different players vs. Oregon. Junior Todd Heap leads the receiving corps with 30 catches, 481 yards and three TDs, while senior Richard Williams has 26 catches for 525 yards and six TDs followed by junior Donnie O'Neal with 26 catches for 516 yards and six touchdowns. Three wide receivers have topped the century mark in single-game receiving yards four times this season, most recently Williams who caught four passes for 124 yards and two touchdowns vs. Oregon.
In OvertimeWith back-to-back overtime games, Arizona State now holds a 3-1 record in overtime since the rule was instituted in 1996, which is tied for the best mark in the conference. Here's a look at Pac-10 overtime records in that span:
Turning 50Arizona State's last two victories over Washington State have marked milestones for ASU head coach Bruce Snyder. ASU's Oct. 28 overtime victory over the Cougars marked the 54th Pac-10 victory for the Sun Devil mentor moving him into a tie with Washington's Jim Owens for 10th in career conference wins. Last season, ASU's 33-21 win at Sun Devil Stadium was his 50th victory at Arizona State and his 50th career win in Pac-10 conference play. Combining his record in Tempe and during a five-year stint at California, Snyder is 54-49-4 in conference games. He is just the 12th coach in the 84-year history of the league to plate 50 wins. The other 11 are: Terry Donahue, UCLA, 98 wins, Don James, Washington, 97, John McKay, USC, 70, Howard Jones, USC, 65, O.E. Hollingbery, WSU, 64, John Robinson, USC, 63, Larry Smith, Arizona, 63, Dick Tomey, Arizona, 60, Rich Brooks, Oregon, 56, Bruce Snyder, Arizona State, 54, Jim Owens, Washington, 54, James Phelan, Washington, 51.
Heap Becomes ASU's Career-Leading Tight EndCombine junior Todd Heap's blond hair, hands of glue and nose for the football and you'll know why ASU head coach Bruce Snyder has called his tight end the 'Golden Retriever.' Heap has established himself as the best tight end in the Pac-10 and in ASU history, becoming the first Sun Devil tight end to earn first-team All-Pac-10 honors. A 1999 third-team Associated Press All-American last year, Heap is a virtual unanimous selection for the preseason All-Pac-10 tight end and has been named a first-team preseason All-American six of seven preseason publications. With five catches for 53 yards at Washington State, Heap became ASU's career leader in receptions by a tight end and now has 97 career receptions in two-plus seasons, surpassing Ken Dyer's 88 receptions (1965-67). The junior had already captured the career mark in receiving yards vs. Washington on Oct. 14 and now has 1,522 yards in his career. He needs just one touchdown to tie Joe Petty (1970-72) for ASU's career record in that category as well with 10 TD catches in two-plus seasons. Last year, Heap set single-season records for ASU tight ends with 55 catches and 832 yards receiving, while the junior has already moved into seventh this season with 30 catches for 481 yards and three touchdowns. He is just the ninth Sun Devil to catch 50 passes in a season and became the first tight end to lead ASU in receiving since Ryan McReynolds had 28 catches in 1988. Thirty-nine of his 55 receptions resulted in a first down or TD. He had career highs in receptions (8) at Notre Dame and receiving yards (170) against Arizona. He had three 100-yard receiving games in 1999. He had at least three receptions in all but two games in 1999 (he was sidelined by injury/illness in both).
Archie's BunkerA preseason favorite for Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year and one of 11 semifinalists for the Dick Butkus Award, senior Adam Archuleta leads the Pac-10 in tackles with 87, an average of 10.9 tackles per game. Of those tackles, 77 percent are solo stops (67 of 87). Leader of a linebacking corps tabbed the seventh-best in the nation by The Sporting News, he has paced the team in tackles in four of the past six games (and second to fellow linebacker Solomon Bates in the other two). Archuleta turned in a career-best 16 tackles at UCLA, a total which included 15 solos, and followed that up with 15 tackles (10 solos) vs. Oregon. He has had at least one tackle for loss in each of ASU's eight games this year, including three for a loss of 20 yards at UCLA, and ranks tied for sixth in the Pac-10 with 12 total TFL this season. Archuleta has had at least one tackle for loss in 22 of his last 25 games. A first-team All-Pac-10 linebacker and ASU's defensive MVP last year, Archuleta recorded double-digit tackle efforts in six of his 11 games, leading ASU six times. Despite missing the season-opener with a hamstring injury, Archuleta ranked second in the Pac-10 with 10.2 tackles per game, trailing only Arizona's Marcus Bell (10.3). He became the first Sun Devil since Scott Von der Ahe to record more than 100 tackles in a season with 111. His 21 tackles for loss led the league and was the seventh-highest single-season total in ASU history. Since the Pac-10 began keeping track of TFL in 1990, he is only the second Sun Devil to lead the conference (Derrick Rodgers, 1996). In his career, Archuleta ranks fifth in ASU history with 51 tackles for loss.
Bermuda TriangleASU's weak-side trio of junior rush tackle Kurt Wallin, senior linebacker Adam Archuleta and freshman rush end Terrell Suggs has wreaked havoc on opponents this season. Between the three of them, they have accounted for 25 percent of ASU's tackles (142 of 568), 45 percent of its tackles for loss (31 of 69) and 50 percent of its sacks (11 of 22). Here's a look at the totals of the trio this year:
Big PlaysASU's offense had been characterized by big plays this season, especially through the air. While the longest play in its first two games was a 21-yard run by junior Davaren Hightower in the season-opener against San Diego State, ASU has had 37 plays from scrimmage longer than that (31 passing, six rushing) in the last six games.
More on Big PlaysAs a team, the Sun Devils are averaging 17.2 yards per catch to lead the Pac-10. Nine Sun Devils are averaging double figures in yards per reception.
Three Starters at QBThe Sun Devils have started three quarterbacks in eight games this year with freshman Jeff Krohn missing action against UCLA and Cal due to mononucleosis and senior Ryan Kealy suffering a knee injury vs. UCLA. That trend isn't as out of the ordinary as it might seem since Arizona State has had three starters at quarterback three previous times in the last 10 years (Paul Justin, Kurt Lasher and Bret Powers in 1990, Troy Rauer, Grady Benton and Garrick McGee in 1992 and Ryan Kealy, Chad Elliott and Steve Campbell in 1998). ASU leads the Pac-10 Conference and is ranked 17th in the nation in passing offense at 285.1 passing yards per game despite the personnel changes:
Third-Down DefenseThe Sun Devils are third in the Pac-10 Conference in third-down defense, allowing their opponents to convert on just 28.0 percent of their third downs. Oregon leads the Pac-10 at 27.1 percent. Two weeks ago, Washington finished the game just 3-for-16 in third-down conversions and went 1-for-10 to start the game, not converting a third down until midway through the third quarter, while Oregon was just 3-of-13 vs. the Sun Devils.
Forcing FumblesIn eight games, the Sun Devils have already forced 22 fumbles, 12 more than the team forced all last season (10), and have recovered 17. Sophomore Solomon Bates leads the team and is tied for second in the Pac-10 with four forced fumbles, while freshman Terrell Suggs, senior Adam Archuleta and junior Kurt Wallin have each forced three which is good for fourth in the Pac-10. Senior Nijrell Eason has forced a pair of fumbles and is tied for ninth. In its last two games in the series with the Washington Huskies, Arizona State has forced 13 fumbles and recovered 11 (7 FF, 6 FR in 1999 and 6 FF, 5 FR in 2000). Heading into their game with the Sun Devils, the Huskies had lost just four fumbles all year before having five balls stripped away by the Sun Devils.
Pick PocketsArizona State has picked off 10 passes this year with seven players getting into the action. Last year, the Sun Devils intercepted a total of 11 passes all season. The Sun Devils snagged three interceptions against Utah State and then again at Washington State, the most since picking off three against USC last year. With two interceptions against UCLA, ASU had at least one interception in its first four games. The 1998 team was the last to pick off at least one pass in four straight games when it had one in each of its last five games that season. Senior Nijrell Eason leads the team and is tied for fourth in the Pac-10 with three interceptions on the season (one at SDSU, one vs. USU and one at UCLA). Last year, Willie Daniel and Courtney Jackson paced the team with two interceptions each all season.
Lightning Strikes TwiceIf ASU's overtime victory at Washington State wasn't electrifying enough, the Sun Devils' trip home from Pullman, Wash., certainly was. About 60 miles north of Phoenix, the Sun Devils' team charter carrying players, coaches and support staff was hit by lightning. There was an extremely loud explosion, and bright lights surrounded the plane, startling everyone on board. No one on the flight knew what had happened, and most thought the plane had blown an engine or that there was an explosion of some kind. The interior lights went off for a bit as the flight attendants scrambled up and down the aisles. Several minutes later, there was another boom and flash of orange, yellow and red inside and outside the cabin as the plane was hit again. After several minutes of not knowing what had happened, the senior attendant came through the cabin and informed the team that the plane had been hit by lightning, twice! The pilot then came on the intercom and said that the plane was 40 miles outside of Phoenix and that he would have the team on the ground soon. When the plane finally touched down at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (it seemed like 4,000 miles, not 40), everyone on board cheered and clapped. As the safe, but shaken team deplaned and boarded its buses back to campus, the pilot took a flashlight and examined the outside of the plane. After further examination, Arizona State's charter company grounded the plane due to damage to rivets in the fuselage.
True FreshmenWhile defensive end Terrell Suggs became just the second true freshman in school history to start the first game of the year for the Sun Devils at San Diego State, he and tailback Mike Williams both started against Colorado State and Utah State, marking the first time since 1995 that the Sun Devils have had a pair of freshmen in the starting lineup. That year, ASU had two freshmen starters in three games including wide receivers Kenny Mitchell and Ricky Boyer vs. UCLA (11/4) and at California (11/11) and Boyer and wide receiver Lenzie Jackson vs. Oregon State (9/23). Suggs is in pretty good company as the only other Sun Devil true freshman to start the first game of the season was wide receiver John Jefferson in 1974. A four-time All-Western Athletic Conference selection and a consensus All-American in 1977, Jefferson (who changed his last name from Washington to Jefferson following his freshman campaign) went onto a successful NFL career, being selected as a first-round draft pick of the San Diego Chargers (14th pick overall) and appearing in four Pro Bowls with San Diego and the Green Bay Packers. In Bruce Snyder's tenure at ASU, 12 true freshmen have started games, although none until Suggs made his starting debut in the season opener. Six true freshmen have seen action so far this season (Suggs, fullbacks Mike Waddell and Mike Karney and tailbacks Mike Williams, Skyler Fulton and Derick Arnold). Last year, four true freshmen saw action (linebackers Solomon Bates and Josh Amobi, kicker Mike Barth and cornerback Machtier Clay.)
Walk-OnsWhen head coach Bruce Snyder announced that redshirt freshman Jeff Krohn and sophomore safety Patrick Wilson have been awarded scholarships for the 2000-01 school year, the pair joined an impressive group who at least began their careers at ASU by walking on. Other players on the current squad who earned scholarships after walking on include senior linebacker Adam Archuleta, senior wide receivers Mike Aguirre and Brian Forth, junior offensive tackle Levi Jones and junior linebacker Elza Gennicks.
New FacesArizona State features two new faces on the sidelines this season in the form of running backs coach Vincent White and offensive line coach George Yarno. White comes to Tempe after spending the past three seasons as tailbacks coach at the University of Pittsburgh. Yarno brings a wealth of experience to ASU as a long-time assistant coach in the collegiate ranks (most recently at the University of Houston from 1998-2000) and as a 13-year NFL and USFL veteran. In addition, John Pettas was promoted to offensive coordinator in the offseason in addition to his duties as quarterbacks coach.
Recruiting ClassThe Sun Devils are benefiting from a recruiting class that ranks among the best in ASU history. The 2000 recruiting class has been ranked in the top 13 nationally and among the two or three best in the Pac-10. SuperPrep Magazine listed ASU's recruiting class as the ninth-best in the nation and the best in the Pac-10.
Good CitizenSenior wide receiver Mike Aguirre was recently named to the 2000 American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team. The team is made up of student-athletes who successfully balance academics and athletics and go above and beyond in volunteerism and community service. The AFCA selected 11 players from NCAA Division I-A institutions to its Good Works Team.An honorable-mention Academic All-Pac-10 selection in each of the last two seasons, Aguirre was one of the 17 members of the ASU Athletics Director Search Committee appointed by ASU President Lattie F. Coor this summer. He was the ASU Student-Athlete Advisory Council Chairman in 1999-2000 and will serve as the Pac-10 Conference representative on the National Student-Athlete Advisory Council in 2000-01.