Football Return Home to Host San Jose State Saturday Night.
Sept. 24, 2001
TEMPE, Ariz. -
After falling at Stanford 51-28 last weekend to open Pac-10 Conference play, the Sun Devils look to get back on track with a two-game non-conference homestand that begins with San Jose State Saturday, Sept. 29 at Sun Devil Stadium. Saturday's night is slated to kick off at 7 p.m. With the loss to the Cardinal last weekend, which was ASU's earliest start to the Pac-10 slate since 1998, the Sun Devils fall to 1-1 on the year after opening the season with a 38-7 victory over San Diego State. San Jose State was idle last weekend and brings an 0-2 record into the weekend with losses at USC and Colorado. Following the matchup with the Spartans, Arizona State will play host to Louisiana-Lafayette (Oct. 6) before hitting the road for a Pac-10 contest at USC (Oct. 13). The Sun Devils do not host a Pac-10 home game until Oct. 20 when the 19th-ranked Oregon State Beavers come to Tempe for ASU's Family Weekend.
In the SeriesArizona State leads the all-time series with San Jose State 17-11, including a 12-5 mark at home. The Sun Devils have won 11 consecutive games in the series and 14 of the last 15 with their last loss coming in 1965. Saturday night's game is the first between the two teams since Sept. 16, 1989 when the Sun Devils turned in a 28-21 win at Sun Devil Stadium. ASU holds a 60-27-3 all-time record with teams in the Western Athletic Conference.
ExposureFox Sports Arizona will televise Saturday's game live to a local cable audience with Tom Dillon (play-by-play) and Stoney Case (analyst) calling the action. The game will mark the second television broadcast of the year for the Sun Devils.
The Sun Devil Sports Network will carry the game live on its 13-station network including flagship stations XTRA Sports 910 AM and KFYI NewsRadio 550 AM. Tim Healey, Jeff Van Raaphorst, Vince Marotta and Nathan LaDuke (pregame and postgame) will bring the action to Sun Devil fans. The game can also be heard live on ASU's official web site at www.TheSunDevils.com.
Show of SolidarityArizona State has joined the nationwide movement of college football teams who will wear decals of the American flag on their helmets for the remainder of the season to show solidarity for the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., as suggested by the American Football Coaches Association.
UCLA Game Rescheduled for Dec. 1Arizona State and UCLA have rescheduled their football game at the Rose Bowl for Saturday, Dec.1. A kickoff time will be determined at a later date.
The Pacific-10 Conference voted Tuesday, Sept. 11 that conference competition in all sports would not be conducted through the weekend in sympathy to the tragic events in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania that day. Participation in non-conference competition in each sport was left to the discretion of each institution, and a majority of the sporting events throughout the nation were postponed or cancelled. All of the Pac-10 schools are working to reschedule the postponed games.
Pac-10 OpenersArizona State lost its fourth straight conference opener last weekend, falling at Stanford 51-28. ASU holds a 7-15-2 all-time record in Pac-10 Conference openers since joining the league in 1978. This year's game at Stanford marked the fourth time in five years that the Sun Devils have opened conference play on the road.
Team CaptainsASU's season-long captains, as selected in a team vote, are senior safety Willie Daniel, senior center Scott Peters and junior safety Alfred Williams. Head coach Dirk Koetter will also select one game captain per week, and senior tailback Tom Pace is Koetter's selection for the San Jose State game.
In Their First YearWith his team's 38-7 victory over San Diego State on Sept. 8, head coach Dirk Koetter joins a group of eight former Sun Devil mentors who won the first game of their ASU careers. Prior to Koetter, the last head coach to win his first game at ASU was Larry Marmie who led the Sun Devils to a 21-16 win over Illinois on Sept. 10, 1988 in Tempe. ASU Hall of Famer Dan Devine turned in the best record for a first-year head coach at ASU, leading the Sun Devils to an 8-2-1 record in 1955.
Last Time OutSophomore Jeff Krohn threw for 366 yards and three touchdowns and the ASU offense racked up 504 yards of total offense, but it wasn't enough as the Sun Devils dropped their Pac-10 Conference opener to Stanford 51-28 last weekend in Palo Alto, Calif. Senior Donnie O'Neal caught six passes for 142 yards and a touchdown, his second straight 100-yard receiving game, while junior Justin Taplin and sophomore Shaun McDonald each caught a touchdown pass for the Sun Devils. Taplin's catch was the first TD reception of his career, while McDonald's 68-yard grab matched his career long. Junior Mike Barth provided the only other scoring of the night for ASU with two 40-plus yard field goals in the second quarter, one from 47 yards and the second from 46.
Stanford's Randy Fasani threw for 295 yards and four scores, and seven Stanford players scored touchdowns as the Cardinal offense rolled up 548 yards. Luke Powell caught six passes for 134 yards, while Ryan Wells, Nick Sebes, Brett Pierce and Teyo Johnson caught TD passes from Fasani, while Kerry Carter, Jared Newberry and Brian Allen ran for scores. Allen rushed for 134 yards as Stanford scored all of its points in the first three quarters.
Keeping Up With KrohnKrohn turned in another solid performance last weekend at Stanford with the second-best passing effort of his career in passing yards. He completed 17-of-37 passes for 366 yards and three touchdowns vs. the Cardinal. His career high in passing yards is 432 yards vs. Oregon last year, while the three touchdowns vs. the Cardinal marked the fourth multiple-TD game of Krohn's career and the second of the year after he threw for four scores vs. San Diego State. After two games, Krohn is averaging a Pac-10-best 318.5 passing yards per game and has thrown all seven of the Sun Devils' touchdowns this year.
With his 27-of-35 passing performance (.771) vs. San Diego State on Sept. 8, Krohn set the school record for completion percentage for 31 to 40 pass attempts. No ASU player who threw at least 31 passes in a game had completed better than 77.1 percent of them. Overall this year, he has been successful on 61.1 percent of his pass attempts (44-of-72).
Krohn's CornerWith 637 passing yards in the first two games of the season, sophomore quarterback Jeff Krohn has turned in the best start in school history for any ASU quarterback. No quarterback in school history has turned in more total passing yards in the first two games of the year. Here's a list of the best performances by ASU quarterbacks in the first two games of the season:
Name (Year) Two-Game Totals OpponentsJeff Krohn (2001) 637 yards (271, 366) San Diego State, StanfordJoe Spagnola (1969) 585 (446, 139) Minnesota, Oregon StateRyan Kealy (1998) 543 (302, 241) Washington, BYUTodd Hons (1983) 504 (319, 185) Utah State, UCLAJeff Van Raaphorst (1985) 495 (228, 267) Michigan State, Pacific
More Notes on KrohnKrohn leads the Pac-10 and ranks second in the nation in total offense with an average of 344.0 yards per game ... he had 301 yards of total offense vs. San Diego State (271 passing yards and 30 rushing yards) and followed that up with 387 yards at Stanford (366 passing and 21 rushing) ... he threw for four touchdown passes against San Diego State, marking the second time in his career and the 17th time in school history ... Krohn's career high for TD strikes in a game is five which he did last year against Oregon ...After starting nine games last season as a redshirt freshman and the first two of this season, Krohn holds a 6-5 record as ASU's starting quarterback ... Against SDSU, Krohn strung together streaks of 11 consecutive completions between the first and second quarters and 10 straight completions in the second and third quarters ... prior to Stanford's interception of Krohn in the third quarter last weekend, he had thrown 63 consecutive passes this year without a pick ... over his last six games (dating back to the USC game last year), Krohn has had just two interceptions in his last 156 pass attempts ... he has also done well on the ground this year with 11 rushes for 51 yards for an average of 4.6 yards per carry.
Spreading the WealthFor the second consecutive game this year, a total of 10 Sun Devils caught passes in ASU's loss to Stanford. Last year, the most players to catch a pass in a game was nine vs. Oregon. The SDSU game marked the first time in the past 53 games that 10 Sun Devils caught passes in a single contest. Prior to this year's season-opener, the last time 10 Sun Devils caught passes in one game was Oct. 19, 1996, in a 48-35 double-overtime win over USC during the Pac-10 championship season. ASU accomplished the feat three times that year (against USC, Oregon and North Texas).
Lighting Up the ScoreboardSenior Donnie O'Neal caught another touchdown pass at Stanford, marking the 10th of his short career at ASU since transferring from Coffeyville (Kan.) CC. His two touchdown receptions vs. San Diego State on Sept. 8 were the eighth and ninth of his career. ASU's top returning receiver from one year ago, O'Neal has caught at least one touchdown pass in eight of his 14 career games at ASU.
O'Neal caught six passes for a career-high 142 yards last weekend at Stanford, the third 100-yard receiving game of his career and his second in as many games this year. Against San Diego State, the senior hauled in seven passes for 101 yards and two touchdowns. O'Neal currently ranks second in the Pac-10 in both receptions per game (6.5) and receiving yards per game (121.5), while in the nation, he is tied for 20th in catches per game and is ranked sixth in receiving yards per game.
Consistent FootWith his two field goals at Stanford last weekend, junior Mike Barth has now made seven consecutive field goals, including a perfect 3-of-3 mark on the current season (47- and 46-yarders vs. the Cardinal last weekend and a 38-yarder vs. San Diego State). The Lou Groza Award candidate has been perfect in his last five games dating back to last season, while his last miss was a 43-yarder vs. USC last year. Barth has also connected on 28 straight PAT attempts over the last two seasons, including 7-of-7 this year.
Protecting the QuarterbackArizona State is the only school in the Pac-10 which has yet to surrender a sack this season. Washington is second in the conference with two sacks allowed, while the eight other league schools have given up three or more. Led by Lombardi and Rimington Award candidate Scott Peters, the Sun Devil starting offensive line features four seniors who have started a total of 87 games (C Peters-35, LT Levi Jones-26, LG Marquise Muldrow-11, RT Kyle Kosier-15) and a sophomore (RG Regis Crawford) who has started the first two games of the season. Peters, a first-team All-Pac-10 selection last year, has started 35 consecutive games in his career, dating back to the last nine games of the 1998 season.
Ch-Ch-Changes...After deciding to change the way assisted tackles are credited heading into the season, the NCAA has reversed that decision. In the past, assisted tackles were counted as a full tackle, but this year they were to be counted as a half tackle. Now, statistics will revert back to the previous way, so junior linebacker Mason Unck leads the team in that category with 16 total tackles (four solos, 12 assists).
Third Down DataASU leads the Pac-10 in third-down defense, allowing its first two opponents to convert on just 20.7 percent of their third downs in the first two games. San Diego State was 2-of-15 (13.3 percent) in ASU's opener, while Stanford converted on just 20.6 percent (6-of-29) despite scoring 51 points and tallying 548 yards of total offense.
Starting YoungThree Sun Devil true freshmen have seen action thus far this season including wide receiver Darryl Lightfoot, safety Jason Shivers and cornerback Lamar Baker. Arizona State's roster features a total of 13 players who saw action as true freshmen. Seventeen true freshmen have played over the last four seasons, including six last year (Terrell Suggs, Mike Karney, Mike Williams, Skyler Fulton and Derick Arnold). In 1999, four true freshmen played, including Solomon Bates, Josh Amobi and Mike Barth, while Justin Taplin and Willie Daniel were among the four to see action in 1998.
Who's BackThe Sun Devils return 51 letterwinners including 16 starters and a pair of kickers in senior punter Nicky Murphy and junior kicker Mike Barth. The offensive starters slated to return are LT Levi Jones, LG Marquise Muldrow, C Scott Peters, RG Kyle Kosier, QB Jeff Krohn, TB Tom Pace & Delvon Flowers (Flowers missed last season with an ACL tear) and WR Donnie O'Neal.4 On defense, returning starters include RE Brian Montesanto, DT Kurt Wallin, DT Danny Masaniai & Paul Glass (split starts), DE Terrell Suggs, LB Eric Fields, LB Solomon Bates, S Willie Daniel and S Alfred Williams.
Peters, Suggs on Lombardi Watch ListA preseason All-Pac-10 selection, senior center Scott Peters is one of 52 players on the preseason watch list for the 32nd Rotary Lombardi Award. The Lombardi Award is annually presented to the top lineman in the country with eligibility limited to down linemen and defenders who line up within five yards of the football. To be eligible for the preseason watch list for the prestigious Lombardi Award, players had to have earned All-American or first-team all-conference honors last year. The Lombardi Award winner will be announced on December 5 in Houston.
Last year, Peters started all 12 games at center and earned first-team All-Pac-10 accolades. A Freshman All-American in 1998 and an honorable-mention all-conference selection in 1999, Peters has started 35 games in his career.
Sophomore defensive end Terrell Suggs has also been added to the watch list for the Lombardi Award. Last year's Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and a preseason mention for all-conference and All-American honors, Suggs became just the second true freshman in school history to start the first game of the year for the Sun Devils last year at San Diego State on Aug. 31. He started 10 games last year and led the team in tackles for loss and sacks.
Peters on Rimington Trophy Preseason ListPeters is also one of 21 players on the preseason watch list for the 2001 Dave Rimington Trophy, which honors the nation's best offensive center.
The award is named for Dave Rimington, the University of Nebraska's two-time consensus All-America center and the only player to earn two John Outland Trophies. Rimington, also a two-time Academic All-American, and Boomer Esiason, a record-setting passer at the University of Maryland, were teammates on the Cincinnati Bengals from 1984-87.
The Rimington Trophy, established in 2000, is sponsored by the Boomer Esiason Foundation. The player honored with the inaugural award was the University of Nebraska's Dominic Raiola, who was drafted by the Detroit Lions earlier this year. The 2001 award will be presented Dec. 15 in Lincoln, Neb.
Barth, Murphy on Preseason Lists for Kicking AwardsJunior placekicker Mike Barth and senior punter Nick Murphy are each on the preseason watch lists for the national awards which are awarded at their positions.
Barth is one of 30 players on the preseason watch list for the 2001 Lou Groza Collegiate Placekicker Award. In its 10th season, the Lou Groza Award, presented by the FedEx Orange Bowl, is annually given to the best placekicker in the nation.
The Palm Beach County Sports Commission will present the award during a banquet on Tuesday, December 4, at the Sheraton at CityPlace in West Palm Beach, Fla. The 20 semifinalists for the Lou Groza Award will be announced in late October, followed several weeks later by the naming of the three finalists. The kickers on the watch list were chosen based on last year's statistics and preseason expectations.
Last season, Barth made 66.7 percent of his field goal attempts for the Sun Devils including five field goals over 40 yards. He knocked in three game-winners including a 41-yarder in overtime at Washington State. He also led the Pac-10 and finished 15th in the nation in field goals last year.
Murphy will be on the preseason watch list for the Ray Guy Award which honors the top punter in the country when it is announced later this fall. A semifinalist for the award last year and an honorable-mention All-Pac-10 selection last year, Murphy averaged 41.3 yards per punt last year. He forced seven touchbacks and 15 fair catches and had 30 punts downed inside the 20-yard line.
Bates on Butkus Preseason Watch ListJunior linebacker Solomon Bates is one of 69 candidates on the preseason watch list for the 2001 Butkus Award. In its 17th year, the Butkus Award is annually presented to the nation's best collegiate linebacker by the Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando.
The watch list will be cut down to 10 semifinalists on Thursday, Oct. 18, while three finalists will be announced on Thursday, Nov. 8. The Butkus Award winner will be announced on Friday, Dec. 7 at the Butkus Award Gala at Hard Rock Live at the Universal Studios City Walk in Orlando.
An honorable-mention All-Pac-10 selection last year, Bates started all 12 games at middle linebacker for the Sun Devils in 2000. He finished second on the team in total and unassisted tackles and turned in 12 tackles for loss. As a true freshman, Bates was named a Freshman All-American by the Sporting News and one of Sports Illustrated's 'Top 10 Freshmen.' The Moreno Valley, Calif., native finished eighth on the team in tackles in 1999 despite suffering a season-ending knee injury after eight games.
Flowers on Doak Walker Preseason Watch ListAnd last, but certainly not least, senior tailback Delvon Flowers is one of 44 players on the preseason watch list for the Doak Walker Award, which is annually presented to the top running back in the country. Flowers was listed among the 35 preseason candidates for the award last year but suffered a season-ending ACL tear in the preseason. In 1999, Flowers finished second on the team in rushing with 512 yards on 80 carries en route to earning honorable-mention All-Pac-10 honors.
Pac-10 Preseason PollArizona State was selected to finish seventh in the Pac-10 Conference by West Coast media members as part of the official preseason conference poll. The Sun Devils were picked to finish fifth in last year's preseason poll and ended up in a tie for fifth.
Walk-OnsSophomore quarterback Jeff Krohn is one of just four starting quarterbacks in the country who began his career as a walk-on. Krohn, who earned a scholarship midway through last season, led the Pac-10's top-ranked passing offense last year and set school marks for passing yards in a season and single-game passing yards for a freshman. The other signal-callers who began their careers as walk-ons are Texas A&M junior Mark Farris, Houston junior Kelly Robertson and Oregon State junior Jonathan Smith.
In the great tradition of walk-ons at Arizona State that includes NFL first-round draft pick Adam Archuleta, there are currently seven players on the Sun Devil depth chart who at least began their careers as walk-ons. Those Sun Devils are senior Levi Jones, Krohn, senior tailback Tom Pace, sophomore cornerback Adrian Thomas, junior safety Patrick Wilson, senior long snapper B.J. Miller and junior snapper Jay Breckenridge.
The Century MarkThe Sun Devils have three tailbacks on the roster who have each rushed for 100 yards or more in a game in their ASU careers. Last season, Tom Pace turned in three 100-yard rushing games (103 yards vs. Washington State, 158 vs. Oregon and 139 vs. Boston College), while Mike Williams turned in a 143-yard showing against Colorado State last season 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. Delvon Flowers, who missed all of last season following an ACL tear in preseason camp, topped the century mark on two occasions in 1999, including a career-high 161 yards at Oregon. Arizona State holds a 232-42-5 (.841) all-time record when a player gains 100 yards or more.
If It Seems Late, It Is...Arizona State does not play a Pac-10 home game until Oct. 20, by far the latest in the Pac-10 this year. The Sun Devils, Washington (Oct. 6 vs. USC) and UCLA (Oct. 13 vs. Washington) are the only schools to not have a Pac-10 home game until October. ASU's Pac-10 home opener vs. Oregon State on Oct. 20 is the fifth game of the season for ASU. Only one time has ASU had its Pac-10 home opener later in the calendar year in its 24 seasons of Pac-10 play, and that was in 1989 when ASU played seven conference games. The Sun Devils had four non-conference home games to start the year in 1989, traveled to UCLA and Oregon State to begin the Pac-10 season and then opened the home Pac-10 slate on Oct. 21 vs. Oregon.
In OvertimeArizona State played in three consecutive overtime games in 2000 to set an NCAA record. The Sun Devils began that stretch with a 23-20 OT victory at Washington State and then suffered a pair of defeats in double overtime at home, falling to Oregon 56-55 and to USC the following week 44-38. 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. Seven Pac-10 games went into overtime in 2000 (including two in double-overtime and two in triple-overtime), surpassing the previous high of six for the league in 1996. Washington State also played in three overtime contests in 2000. Other than 1996, the most OT contests in one season in the Pac-10 has been three.