Football to End Regular Season at Arizona Friday

Nov. 20, 2000

TEMPE, Ariz. -

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2000 ARIZONA STATE FOOTBALL

Arizona State Sun Devils at Arizona Wildcats

Friday, November 24, 2000 * 3 p.m. MST

Arizona Stadium * Tucson, Ariz.

Fox Sports Net/Westwood One Sports/Sun Devil Sports Network

After taking a week off, the Arizona State Sun Devils head to Tucson for the 74th intrastate showdown with the Arizona Wildcats. Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. MST on Friday, Nov. 24 at Arizona Stadium. On the line is not only bragging rights for another year in the state, but the winner also earns a bowl berth, marking the second consecutive season that the ASU-UofA game will determine the postseason future of the two teams. The Sun Devils (5-5, 2-5 Pac-10) are looking to snap a three-game losing streak and become bowl eligible for the fourth time in five seasons, while the Wildcats have lost four straight games and are 5-5 overall and 3-4 in the Pac-10. Both teams are coming off a bye week with ASU falling at Stanford in its last action and Arizona falling to Oregon State 33-9 Nov. 11 in Tucson.

In the Series

Arizona leads the all-time series 42-29-1 with wins in 13 of the last 18 meetings. Arizona State earned a commanding 42-27 victory in last season's game Nov. 27 in Sun Devil Stadium. The rivalry began 101 years ago in 1899 with ASU (then called Tempe Normal) earning an 11-2 victory. The Sun Devils and the Wildcats have met every year since 1946. Arizona won 20 of the first 22 meetings and Arizona State responded with 24 wins in 33 meetings from 1949-1981. Arizona holds a 27-14 advantage in games played in Tucson and a 20-13 edge in Arizona Stadium. ASU's last victory in Tucson came in the form of a 56-14 victory by the Rose Bowl-bound Sun Devils on Nov. 23, 1996.

ASU head coach Bruce Snyder is 7-4-1 against the Wildcats including a 3-5 record while at Arizona State, while Arizona head coach Dick Tomey is 9-4-1 all time vs. the Sun Devils (8-4-1 while at the UofA).

Exposure

Fox Sports Net will televise Friday's game to a national cable audience with Steve Physioc, Tom Ramsey and Lewis Johnson (sidelines) calling the action. ASU is 4-3 when playing on live television this season.

Westwood One Sports in association with Host Communications will broadcast the game to a national radio audience with Dave Sims and Shea Walker describing the play, while 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, Mark Asher (sidelines), Vince Marotta and Doug Plank (pregame and postgame) will call the action. The game can be heard live on ASU's official web site at www.TheSunDevils.com.

Senior Farewell

The Arizona State squad features 18 seniors including quarterbacks Griffin Goodman and Ryan Kealy, wide receivers Mike Aguirre, Roderick Denetso, Brian Forth and Richard Williams, defensive backs Nijrell Eason, Craig Koontz, Christon Rance and Kenny Williams, fullback Stephen Trejo, linebackers Adam Archuleta and Adam Tanke, offensive linemen Victor Leyva and Kenneth Williamson, tight end Jason Moore and defensive linemen Ch� Britton and Quincy Yancy.

Looking to Get Back on Track

Arizona State will be looking to get back on track after losing three straight games, including back-to-back double-overtime losses to then No. 7 Oregon and USC. ASU's three consecutive losses are the first since the team dropped the last three games of the 1994 season, while the Sun Devils will be looking to avoid their first four-game losing streak since the 1990 team lost five straight contests.

Offensive Overload

If the last two games in the series are any indication, the scoreboard operators and statisticians at Arizona Stadium should expect to be busy Friday afternoon. In the last two meetings, Arizona and Arizona have averaged 80.5 points, 47 first downs and 1097.5 yards of total offense between the two teams. Last season, the teams combined for 69 points, 46 first downs and 1,026 yards of total offense in ASU's 42-27 win in Tempe, including a season-high 558 yards of total offense (226 rushing, 332 passing) for the victorious Sun Devils. The year before, the numbers were just as gaudy with 92 points, 48 first downs and 1,169 yards of total offense between the two teams in Arizona's 50-42 win in Tucson.

Last Time Out

An injury-ravaged Arizona State team managed just 174 yards of total offense in a 29-7 loss at Stanford Stadium Nov. 11 in Palo Alto, the team's third straight loss. Stanford snapped a three-game losing streak of its own with the victory. The Cardinal put together a balanced scoring attack with a rushing touchdown by Kerry Carter who also threw a halfback pass for a touchdown as well as a punt return for a score by Luke Powell. The Sun Devils lost starting quarterback Jeff Krohn midway through the first half to a mild concussion. The redshirt freshman signal-caller was responsible for ASU's only score of the day with a 37-yard scoring strike to senior Richard Williams in the first quarter. Senior Griffin Goodman, in relief of Krohn, completed just 7-of-19 pass attempts for 72 yards and an interception before being replaced by sophomore Matt Cooper who went 5-of-13 for 42 yards and a pick.

Murphy One of 10 Finalists for the Ray Guy Award

Junior punter Nick Murphy has been named one of 10 finalists for the inaugural Ray Guy award which recognizes the nation's top punter. Forty players were on the preseason watch lists for the award, and the 10 finalists were chosen based on their overall statistics and contribution to the team. Presented by the Greater Augusta (Georgia) Sports Council, three finalists will be announced on Nov. 30, while the Ray Guy Award will be presented to Dec. 7 as part of the Home Depot College Football Award Show live on ESPN from Orlando, Fla. The Sports Awards Gala evening will follow on Dec. 12 in Augusta. The award is named after Ray Guy who attended the University of Southern Mississippi and was drafted in the first round by the Oakland Raiders. Ray Guy was an integral part of the Raider's successful years between 1973-1986.

The 10 semifinalists (in alphabetical order) for the 2000 Ray Guy Award are:

Keith Cottrell, Florida State

Kurtis Doerr, Oregon

Hayden Epstein, Michigan

Jeff Ferguson, Oklahoma

Preston Gruening, Minnesota

Nick Harris, California

Joey Hildbold, Notre Dame

David Leaverton, Tennessee

Nick Murphy, Arizona State

Kevin Stemke, Wisconsin

Eason Named Semifinalist for Jim Thorpe Award

Senior cornerback Nijrell Eason has been named one of 12 semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award, awarded annually since 1986 to the top defensive back in the nation. The Jim Thorpe Association will narrow the list down to three finalists on November 21. The finalists will be invited to the ESPN College Football Awards show on December 7 where the winner of the Jim Thorpe Award will be announced. Formal presentation of the award will be at the Jim Thorpe award ceremonies in Oklahoma City, Okla., Feb. 19.

Thorpe winners are considered for their performance on the field, their athletic ability and character. Voted the 20th century's greatest athlete, Jim Thorpe was a two-time All-America running back and defensive back. He won gold medals in the decathlon and the pentathlon at the 1912 Olympics, played professional football and baseball and was the first president of what became the National Football League.

The 12 semifinalists (in alphabetical order) for the 2000 Jim Thorpe Award are:

Will Allen, Syracuse

Leo Barnes, Southern Miss

James Boyd, Penn State

Gary Baxter, Baylor

Robert Carswell, Clemson

Nate Clements, Ohio State

Nijrell Eason, Arizona State

Jamar Fletcher, Wisconsin

Andre Lott, Tennessee

Dwight Smith, Akron

Fred Smoot, Mississippi State

J.T. Thatcher, Oklahoma

And Last, But Not Least

Junior Todd Heap is among the eight semifinalists for the inaugural John Mackey Award which will go the top tight end in college football. The Nassau County Sports Commission in Manhasset, N.Y., will narrow the list down to three finalists on Wednesday, Nov. 21, while the winner will be announced in a press reception in New York City on Dec. 4 and honored in a formal presentation in the spring. A Syracuse graduate, John Mackey was a five-time Pro Bowl selection. Called the best tight end in NFL history, he is one of two true tight ends to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The 8 semifinalists (in alphabetical order) for the 2000 John Mackey Award are:

Alge Crumpler, Sr., North Carolina

Todd Heap, Jr., Arizona State

Brian Natkin, Soph., UTEP

Derek Smith, Soph., Kentucky

Jerramy Stevens, Sr., Washington

Tony Stewart, Sr., Penn State

Tim Stratton, Jr., Purdue

Tracey Wistrom, Jr., Nebraska

Through the Air

On the season, ASU's four quarterbacks have already thrown for 2,746 yards which is already the fourth-best single-season passing effort in school history with one regular-season game left to play, passing the mark of 2,710 yards in 1984 with ASU's 157 passing yards at Stanford Nov. 4. This year's Sun Devil squad is just 138 yards short of the second-best performance in school history, while the school single-season mark is 3,077 yards by the 1978 squad. If ASU continues its current pace of 274.6 passing yards per game, the team would also shatter the school record of 259.0 ypg set in 1998 (2,849 yards in 11 games).

With the 314-yard performance vs. the USC Trojans on Nov. 4, the Sun Devils have five 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. WSU, 242 vs. Arizona, 474 vs. Houston).

ASU All-Time Single-Season Passing Performances

Yards Year

1. 3,077 1973

2. 2,884 1996

3. 2,849 1998

4. 2,746 2000

5. 2,710 1984

6. 2,648 1983

Spreading the Wealth

This season's squad features three players who have 500 yards or more receiving yards, marking the first time in 46 years that three Sun Devils have accomplished that feat. The 1964 squad was the last to have three 500-plus-yard receivers in Ben Hawkins (42 catches, 719 yards), Jerry Smith (42c, 618y) and Larry Todd (35c, 633y). This season, junior Todd Heap leads the receiving corps with 42 catches, 570 yards and three TDs, while junior Donnie O'Neal is second with 34 catches for 614 yards and seven TDs followed by senior Richard Williams who has 34 catches for 605 yards and seven TDs.

Fourteen players have caught passes this year for the Sun Devils including six wide receivers, three tight ends, three tailbacks and two fullbacks, while quarterback Jeff Krohn completed passes to nine different players vs. Oregon. Three wide receivers have topped the century mark in receiving yards four times this season, most recently Williams who caught four passes for 124 yards and two touchdowns vs. Oregon.

Noting Jeff Krohn

Redshirt freshman Jeff Krohn turned in the best performance of his young career and the best performance in school history by a freshman 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. His 432-yard performance demolished ASU's single-game record for a freshman which was previously held by Ryan Kealy (292 yards, twice in 1997) and is the second-best all-time passing performance by a freshman in the Pac-10 Conference, trailing only Oregon State's Jonathan Smith's 469 yards vs. Washington in 1998. 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 4-3 record as ASU's starting quarterback. In ASU's 44-20 win over Utah State, he completed six of 10 attempts for 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, while vs. USC, he completed 17-of-33 attempts for 150 yards before leaving in the third quarter with a deeply cut thumb on his throwing hand.

More on Krohn

Already the holder of ASU's freshman single-game passing record, Jeff Krohn is 219 yards short of the second-best single-season passing mark for a freshman. Ryan Kealy holds the school record for a Sun Devil in his freshman season with 2,137 passing yards in 1997, while Grady Benton is second with 1,707 yards in 1992. Krohn, whose father Jim quarterbacked the Arizona Wildcats from 1976-79, leads the Pac-10's top-ranked passing offense, completing 104-of-209 pass attempts for 1,488 yards and 12 touchdowns.

In Overtime

With an NCAA-record three consecutive overtime games this season, Arizona State now holds a 3-2 record in overtime since the rule was instituted in 1996. Before this season, the Sun Devils had not played more than one overtime game in a given year. This season, seven Pac-10 games have gone into overtime, surpassing the high of six for the league in 1996. Washington State has also played in three overtime contests this season, while at least one league game has gone into overtime in each of the last five weeks. Here's a look at Pac-10 overtime records since 1996:

Passing Into the End Zone

Sun Devil quarterbacks have thrown 21 touchdown passes in 10 games this season including 12 by redshirt freshman Jeff Krohn. Junior Donnie O'Neal and senior Richard Williams have each caught seven touchdown passes and need just two more to tie for fourth place on ASU's lists for single-season touchdown receptions. Morris Owens is fourth all time at ASU with nine TD grabs in 1973, while Doug Allen holds the school mark with 14 TD receptions in 1984. 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 21 touchdown passes are the most for the team since Jake Plummer threw 21 in the team's first 10 games and 24 on the season in 1996, while the school single-season record is 29 by the 1981 squad.

Turnover Tale

In its last 41 games, if ASU wins or breaks even in the turnover battle, the Sun Devils are 21-4. In that same span, ASU is 1-15 when losing the turnover battle. During that span, the unexpected only happened against UCLA in 2000 (loss), Washington in 2000 (loss), USC in 2000 (loss), Washington State in 1999 (win) and Oregon in 1999 (loss). ASU is third in the Pac-10 and tied for 20th in the nation in turnover margin this season (+8).

Heap Becomes ASU's Career-Leading Tight End

Combine 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. He has been named a first-team preseason All-American six of seven preseason publications and is one of eight semifinalists for the inaugural John Mackey Award which will be presented to the best tight end in the country at the conclusion of the season.

With five catches for 53 yards at Washington State, Heap became ASU's career leader in receptions by a tight end and now has 109 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 1,611 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 a tie for third this season with 42 catches for 570 yards and three TDs. 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 games and had at least three receptions in all but two games in 1999 (he was sidelined by injury/illness in both).

CAREER TIGHT END RECEPTIONS

Name (Years) No. Yds. TD

1. Todd Heap (1998-present) 109 1611 10

2. Ken Dyer (1965-67) 88 1365 7

3. Joe Petty (1970-72) 81 1352 11

4. Ron Wetzel (1979-82) 67 861 7

5. Ryan McReynolds (1987-90) 65 671 7

6. Kendrick Bates (1996-99) 63 732 4

7. Jeff Gallimore (1983-86) 54 519 5

8. Jerry Smith (1963-64) 51 747 7

9. Herman Harrison (1961-63) 50 753 8

Stein Koss (1983-86) 50 517 1

ASU Tight End Season Records

Name Year Rec. Yds. TD

1. Todd Heap 1999 55 832 3

2. Don Kern 1983 49 502 1

3. Jerry Smith 1964 42 618 5

4. Ken Dyer 1967 39 654 4

5. Todd Heap 2000 42 570 3

6. Joe Petty 1971 36 577 6

7. Joe Petty 1972 31 522 4

8. Ken Dyer 1966 29 496 2

9. Ron Wetzel 1982 28 365 0

Ryan McReynolds 1988 28 271 5

Matt Nelson 1994 28 241 3

Top of the HeapThis year, junior Todd Heap leads the team in receiving despite facing double and triple coverage on virtually every play with 42 catches for 570 yards and three touchdowns. Of his 42 catches this year, 29 have resulted in a first down or a touchdown. In the last six games, 19 of his 28 catches have resulted in first down or touchdown with three others being a nine-yard catch in a drive that resulted in ASU's second touchdown vs. Washington State and a nine-yard catch and a 10-yard catch (on 2nd and 11) vs. the Ducks. Heap has caught a pass in 25 straight games (107 catches in that span).

Archie's Bunker

A 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 113, an average of 11.3 tackles per game. Of those tackles, 72.5 percent are solo stops (82 of 113). Last season, Archuleta became the first Sun Devil since Scott Von der Ahe to record more than 100 tackles in a season with 111 and is now the first since Brett Wallerstedt (109 in 1990, 122 in 1991 and 119 in 1992) to top the century mark in tackles in consecutive seasons.

Leader of a linebacking corps tabbed the seventh-best in the nation by The Sporting News, he has paced the team in tackles in six of the past eight games (and second to fellow linebacker Solomon Bates in the other two) and registered double figures in six of 10 games this year. 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 then matched that career high with 16 tackles vs. USC. He has had at least one tackle for loss in all but one of ASU's 10 games this year (USC only game without a TFL), including three for a loss of 20 yards at UCLA, and ranks tied for eighth in the Pac-10 with 14 total TFL this season. Archuleta has had at least one tackle for loss in 23 of his last 27 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). 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 53 tackles for loss.

ASU CAREER LEADERS--TACKLES FOR LOSS

Name TFL Years

1. Bob Kohrs 58 1976-79

2. Shante Carver 57 1990-93

Al Harris 57 1975-78

4. Vernon Maxwell 56 1979-82

5. Adam Archuleta 53 1997-pres.

6. Scott Stephen 46 1983-86

7. Albrey Battle 32 1995-98

Pat Tillman 32 1994-97

9. Shawn Patterson 28 1984-87

10. Brett Wallerstedt 27 1989-92

In His Career

Adam Archuleta has 316 career tackles and would need 37 more this season to catch Bob Breuning (353, 1972-74) for fifth all-time at ASU, but the senior has already registered 191 solo tackles in his career, just one short of fifth all-time at ASU (192 by Mike Richardson, 1979-82). Archuleta has already etched his spot in the record book for single-season solo tackles and is tied for fourth with Larry Gordon (1975) with 82 solo stops. Brett Wallerstedt is third with 87 in 1991, while the school record for unassisted tackles in a season is 114 by Mark Tingstad (1988).

Junior Tom Pace, a walk-on who was awarded a scholarship by head coach Bruce Snyder in the week before the USC game, leads the Sun Devil team in rushing, gaining 550 yards and four touchdowns on 139 attempts. He has also caught seven passes for 174 yards and a pair of touchdowns on the season.

While he was slowed by ankle and shoulder injuries at Stanford (25 yards on 10 carries), Pace turned in 70 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries as well as a 45-yard TD catch before leaving the USC game with an ankle injury. Pace scampered for 158 yards and a TD on 33 carries vs. Oregon and had a 69-yard TD catch and 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 Mark

Including back-to-back 100-yard rushing games by Tom Pace vs. Washington State and Oregon, 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.

Big Plays

ASU'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 40 longer plays from scrimmage longer (34 pass, six rush) in the last eight.

More on Big Plays

As a team, the Sun Devils are averaging 15.6 yards per catch to lead the Pac-10. Nine Sun Devils are averaging double figures in yards per reception.

Turning 50

Arizona 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 54-51-4 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.

Three Starters at QB

The Sun Devils have started three quarterbacks in 10 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 274.6 passing yards per game despite the personnel changes.

Third-Down Defense

The Sun Devils are third in the Pac-10 Conference in third-down defense, allowing their opponents to convert on just 29.9 percent of their third downs. Oregon leads the Pac-10 at 25.5 percent. Washington (Oct. 14) 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 on Oct. 28.

Forcing Fumbles

In 10 games, the Sun Devils have forced 26 fumbles, 16 more than the team forced all last season (10), and have recovered 21. 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 fifth in the Pac-10.

Pick Pockets

Arizona State has picked off 12 passes this year with eight players getting into the action, most recently sophomore cornerback Josiah Igono vs. USC. 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 third in the Pac-10 with four interceptions this year (one at SDSU, one vs. USU, one at UCLA, one vs. USC). Last year, Willie Daniel and Courtney Jackson paced the team with two interceptions each all season.

Walk-Ons

Junior Tom Pace was awarded a scholarship by head coach Bruce Snyder in the week before the USC game, joining an impressive group of players who at least began their careers at ASU by walking on. Redshirt freshman Jeff Krohn and sophomore safety Patrick Wilson were awarded scholarships for the 2000-01 academic year earlier this season, while 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.

Lightning Strikes Twice

If 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 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. After further examination, ASU's charter company grounded the plane due to damage to rivets in the fuselage.

ASU Retires Mike Haynes' Number

Mike Haynes, a two-time All-American cornerback at Arizona State from 1972-75 and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, had his Sun Devil No. 40 retired in ASU's game vs. USC Nov. 4. Haynes' number becomes 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.

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.During 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 'Whizzer' 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.

'Half-Season' All-Americans

Junior tight end Todd Heap and senior linebacker Adam Archuleta were both honored in the CNNSI.com 'Half-Season' All-America team. Heap earned first-team honors, while Archuleta was a second-team selection on the list which recognizes the top players in the country at the halfway point of the season.

True Freshmen

While 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 (Solomon Bates, Josh Amobi, Mike Barth and Machtier Clay.)

Recruiting Class

The Sun Devils are benefitting 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.

Forth, Aguirre Earn Academic All-District Honors

Senior wide receivers Mike Aguirre and Brian Forth were honored last week for their hard work in the classroom when they were named to the 2000 Verizon Academic All-District VIII Football Team.

Aguirre, a Pac-10 representative on the National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for 2000-01, received first-team honors and is on the national ballot for Academic All-America honors which will be announced Dec. 5. A history major from Mesa, Ariz., Aguirre graduated during the spring with a 3.42 GPA. Forth, a Yorba Linda, Calif. native, earned second-team honors. Forth graduated last spring with a 3.50 GPA. and a major in marketing. He has interned for the Sun Devil Sports Network, and his 'Forth and Goal' articles - providing an insider view of the ASU football season - have been a regular attraction on the Sun Devil website this year.

Both the first and second team honorees were voted on and selected by members of the College of Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) within the District VIII states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawai'i, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington, and the province of British Columbia.

Good Citizen

Senior 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.

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