Football Wraps Up Non-Conference Slate with Louisiana-Lafayette Saturday Night at Sun Devil Stadium
Oct. 1, 2001
TEMPE, Ariz. -
Following a 53-15 win over San Jose State last weekend, the Sun Devils wrap up their non-conference slate by playing host to Louisiana-Lafayette Saturday, Oct. 6 at Sun Devil Stadium. Saturday's night is slated to kick off at 7 p.m. With last week's win over San Jose State, the Sun Devils improved to 2-1 on the year and will be looking to win their first back-to-back games since opening last season with a 3-0 record. Louisiana-Lafayette brings a 1-3 record into this weekend's game following a 26-9 home loss to Middle Tennessee State last Saturday. Following its matchup with the Ragin' Cajuns, Arizona State hits the road for a Pac-10 contest at USC (Oct. 13), while the Sun Devils do not host a Pac-10 home game until Oct. 20 when the Oregon State Beavers come to Tempe for ASU's Family Weekend.
In the SeriesThis is the first meeting between Arizona State and Louisiana-Lafayette. ASU holds a 16-2 all-time record with teams now competing in the Sun Belt Conference (Idaho 5-0, New Mexico State 7-1 and North Texas 4-1).
ExposureThe 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. There will be no television for the Louisiana-Lafayette game. The USC game, October 13, has been picked up by Fox Sports and can be seen live on channel 61 (6 on cable) in the Phoenix area at 3:30 p.m.
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.
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 wide receiver Ryan Dennard is Koetter's selection for the Louisiana-Lafayette game.
Last Time OutSophomore quarterback Jeff Krohn threw for 229 yards and four touchdowns and Ryan Dennard scored four touchdowns as Arizona State beat San Jose State 53-15 last weekend at Sun Devil Stadium. Krohn and Dennard connected for three touchdowns, and senior tailback Delvon Flowers added 159 yards rushing and a touchdown for ASU. Krohn hooked up with Dennard for a six-yard touchdown pass with 5:12 left in the first quarter, capping an eight-play, 59-yard drive that featured Krohn's 40-yard pass to senior Donnie O'Neal. ASU extended its lead to 14-0 two plays into the second quarter when Krohn and Dennard connected again, this time for seven yards.
SJSU's Edell Shepherd caught a seven-yard pass from Arroyo for San Jose's first score at 10:11 of the second quarter, but the two-point try failed. The teams then traded field goals, with San Jose State hitting from 44 yards, and ASU junior Mike Barth from 31 yards. Seven plays into the second half, Krohn again found Dennard for a score, this time from 21 yards to put Arizona State up 24-9. San Jose State answered, driving 80 yards in eight plays with Jamar Julien rushing for the final 25. The Spartans missed the 2-point try. Two plays later, Arizona State extended its lead to 31-15 as Krohn completed a 50-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Shaun McDonald. Dennard's fourth score came after Alex Wallace fumbled after intercepting Krohn's pass. Dennard returned the fumble 38 yards for the score. Krohn made it 46-15 when he scrambled for a 5-yard touchdown run with 46 seconds left in the third quarter. It was the first rushing touchdown of the season for the Sun Devils. Flowers added a 4-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter, carrying the ball all 10 times for 81 yards in the drive.
Following a LossSaturday's victory over San Jose State marked the continuation of a trend in ASU head coach Dirk Koetter's career. Koetter now holds an 8-1 record following a loss, including a 1-0 record in Tempe.
Scoring MachineSenior wide receiver Ryan Dennard scored 24 points in Saturday night's win over San Jose State, catching three touchdown passes and returning a fumble for another score. His four TDs were just one short of the school record for touchdowns scored in a game (5, held by three Sun Devils), while it is the 16th time in school history that a Sun Devil has scored at least four touchdowns in a game. Dennard's three TD receptions were also just one short of the school record, held by John Allen who hauled in four vs. San Jose State in a 35-20 win in 1953. The last Sun Devil to catch three passes for touchdown was Keith Poole who did it vs. North Texas during ASU's 1996 Rose Bowl campaign. The son of the son of former NFL star Preston Dennard, Dennard had come into the game with just one career TD, catching one in the 2000 Aloha Bowl.
The Century MarkSenior tailback Delvon Flowers turned in his third career 100-yard rushing game last week, tallying 159 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries. The 159-yard effort was just two shy of his career high of 161 yards in a loss at Oregon in 1999. Eighty-one of Flowers' yards on Saturday came on one drive in the fourth quarter, when he carried the ball in all 10 plays and finished it with a four-yard run for a score. Flowers leads the team in rushing this year, averaging 75.7 yards per game and 5.5 yards per carry.
The 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 233-42-5 (.841) all-time record when a player gains 100 yards or more.
Lighting Up the ScoreboardThe Sun Devils are averaging 39.7 points per game which ranks second in the Pac-10 to Washington State (44.0) and tied for 10th in the nation. The 119 points over ASU's first three games are the most points in a three-game stretch since ASU tallied 137 in 1998 wins over Stanford (44-38 OT), Washington State (38-28) and California (55-22). The 53-point effort vs. the Spartans marked the seventh time that a Dirk Koetter-led team has topped 50 points and is tied for the most points by Pac-10 team this season with Washington's 53-3 win over Idaho on Sept. 22.
Three Sun Devils rank in the top 10 in the Pac-10 in scoring: senior Ryan Dennard is sixth at 8.7 points per game, junior Mike Barth is eighth with 8.3 ppg and sophomore Shaun McDonald is 10th at 6.7 ppg.
Touchdown ScoringThe Sun Devils scored their first two rushing touchdowns of the season last week in the third and fourth quarters against San Jose State. Sophomore Jeff Krohn had thrown passes for the first 11 scores of the year and was responsible for the first 12 TDs of the year for the Sun Devils when he carried the ball five yards into the endzone with 46 seconds left in the third quarter vs. the Spartans.
Krohn's 11 touchdown passes tie the school record for the most TD strikes in the first three games of the year with the 1970 Peach Bowl team. Krohn and the Sun Devils will need just two more in this week's game vs. Louisiana-Lafayette to keep pace with the 1970 team for the school record of 13 TD passes through the first four games of the year. The 1981 team holds the school single-season mark with 29 touchdown passes, however, that year, the Sun Devils had scored just eight times through the air through the first four games and only 11 times before turning in a school-record seven TD passes vs. Stanford in their seventh game of the year. Krohn only threw 12 touchdown passes all of the last season.
Keeping Up With KrohnRedshirt sophomore Jeff Krohn turned in his third solid performance of the season with 229 passing yards and four TD passes last week vs. San Jose State. He completed 15-of-22 attempts, including his first six attempts of the game before being intercepted in the second quarter. The former walk-on has thrown for 866 yards over the first three games and is second in the Pac-10 with an average of 288.7 yards per game this season. Krohn has also been successful on 62.8 percent of his pass attempts (59-of-94).
His four TD passes against San Jose State marked the fifth multiple-TD game of his career and his third in as many games this year. Here's a look at the multiple touchdown games of Krohn's short Sun Devil career:
Multiple TD Games of Krohn's CareerOpponent (Year) A-C-I Yds TDsUtah State (2001) 10-6-0 248 4Oregon (2000) 34-21-1 432 5San Diego State (2001) 35-27-0 271 4Stanford (2001) 37-17-1 366 3San Jose State (2001) 22-15-2 229 4
More Notes on KrohnKrohn ranks second in the Pac-10 and seventh in the nation in total offense with an average of 301.0 yards per game ... he is just 0.5 yards behind Washington State's Jason Gesser for the league lead (Gesser is at 301.5 ypg) ... Krohn had 301 yards of total offense vs. San Diego State (271 passing yards and 30 rushing yards), 387 yards at Stanford (366 passing and 21 rushing) and 215 vs. San Jose State (229 passing, 14 rushing) ... he leads the Pac-10 and is fourth in the nation in passing efficiency at 172.4 ... with 637 passing yards in the first two games of the season (271 vs. San Diego State and 366 at Stanford), Krohn set the school record for most passing yards in the first two games of the year ...after starting nine games last season as a redshirt freshman and the first three of this season, Krohn holds a 7-5 record as ASU's starting quarterback ... against SDSU, Krohn strung together a season-long streak of 11 consecutive completions between the first and second quarters ... prior to Stanford's interception of Krohn in the third quarter two weeks ago, he had thrown 63 consecutive passes this year without a pick ... over his last seven games (dating back to the USC game last year), Krohn has had four interceptions in his last 178 pass attempts ... his 366 yards vs. Stanford (17-of-37) marked the second-best passing effort of his career ... his career high in passing yards is 432 yards vs. Oregon last 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.
Noting the DefenseASU's defense held San Jose State star running back Deonce Whitaker to -6 yards on just nine carries, the first negative total of his career ... Whitaker gained 1,577 yards and averaged 7.0 yards per carry last year ... ASU forced five fumbles against the Spartans, the most since forcing five in 1999 against Washington ... the defense is allowing just 11.0 points per game at home this year ... sophomore defensive end Terrell Suggs has tallied a sack in each game this year and is tied for first in the Pac-10 with four sacks for a loss of 20 yards ...sophomore cornerback Adrian Thomas and true freshman cornerback Lamar Baker each grabbed their first career interceptions last week vs. San Jose State.
Consistent FootWith his 31-yarder in the second quarter vs. San Jose State, junior Mike Barth has now made nine consecutive field goals, including a perfect 4-of-4 mark this season (a 31-yarder vs. San Jose State, a 47- and 46-yarders at Stanford, a 38-yarder vs. San Diego State). ASU's Lou Groza Award candidate is the only kicker in the Pac-10 to remain perfect through the first four weeks of the season. Barth has been perfect in his last six games dating back to last season, while his last miss was a 43-yarder vs. USC last year. Barth has also connected on 34 straight PAT attempts over the last two seasons (13-of-13 this year).
Protecting the QuarterbackArizona State has allowed just two quarterback sacks so far this season and did not surrendered one in the first two games of the year. Oregon is second in the conference with four sacks allowed, while the eight other league schools have given up five 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 91 games (C Peters-36, LT Levi Jones-27, LG Marquise Muldrow-11, RT Kyle Kosier-16) and a sophomore (RG Regis Crawford) who has started the first three games of the season. Peters, a first-team All-Pac-10 selection last year, has started 36 consecutive games in his career, dating back to the last nine games of the 1998 season.
Starting YoungFour Sun Devil true freshmen have seen action thus far this season including wide receiver Darryl Lightfoot, safety Jason Shivers, linebacker Barton Hammit and cornerback Lamar Baker. Arizona State's roster features a total of 14 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.
Shivers and Baker both started against San Jose State, marking the first time that ASU has two true freshmen in starting lineup since defensive end Terrell Suggs and tailback Mike Williams both started against Colorado State and Utah State last season. Prior to last year, ASU had not had two true freshmen in the starting lineup since 1995. That year, ASU had two freshmen starters in three separate games.
O'Neal in the End ZoneSenior Donnie O'Neal caught the 10th touchdown pass of his short career at ASU since transferring from Coffeyville (Kan.) CC two weeks ago at Stanford. ASU's top returning receiver from one year ago, O'Neal has caught at least one touchdown pass in eight of his 15 career games at ASU, including two in the season opener vs. SDSU.
O'Neal caught six passes for a career-high 142 yards at Stanford, the third 100-yard receiving game of his career and his second in as many games. Against San Diego State, the senior hauled in seven passes for 101 yards and two touchdowns. O'Neal currently ranks third in the Pac-10 in receiving yards per game (94.3) and eighth in the Pac-10 in receptions per game (4.67), while in the nation, he is ranked 15th in receiving yards per 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.
Pac-10 Preseason PollArizona State was selected to finish seventh in the Pac-10 Conference by West Coast media members in 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.
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.