Football Continues Pac-10 Homestand With No. 13/11 Washington Saturday Night
Oct. 22, 2001
TEMPE, Ariz. -
Coming off their first Pac-10 victory of the year, the Sun Devils wrap up a two-game conference homestand, playing host to the No. 13/11 Washington Huskies Saturday night at Sun Devil Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:15 p.m., and the game will be televised by Fox Sports Net. Arizona State (4-2, 1-2 Pac-10) comes into the game following last week's 41-24 victory over Oregon State. The win over the Beavers was ASU's first conference victory since defeating Arizona 30-17 last year to end the regular season, while the Sun Devils will be looking for their first back-to-back Pac-10 victories since downing Washington and Washington State on consecutive weekends in October during the 1999 season. Washington brings a 5-1 overall and 2-1 Pac-10 mark to Tempe following a 31-28 come-from-behind victory over Arizona last weekend in Seattle.
In the SeriesWashington leads the all-time series 14-8 dating back to 1975 and has won eight of the last 11 meetings, including a 21-15 decision last year on Oct. 14 at Sun Devil Stadium. In games played in Tempe, the series is locked up at 6-6. ASU's last victory over Washington came during the 1999 season with a 28-7 win in Seattle on Oct. 16, while the Sun Devils have not turned in a home win over the Huskies since 1996 when ASU opened that Pac-10 championship season with a 45-42 victory at Sun Devil Stadium on Sept. 7 (a streak of two home losses).
ExposureFox Sports Net will broadcast the Washington game to a national cable audience with Steve Physioc, Tom Ramsey and Lewis Johnson (sidelines) calling the action. It will mark the first of two consecutive Fox Sports Net broadcasts for the Sun Devils.
Westwood One Sports, in association with Host Communications, will broadcast the game to a national radio audience with Fran Curci and John Tautges calling the action, while 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.
Washington ConnectionsWashington offensive graduate assistant and wide receivers coach John Pettas spent the previous six years at Arizona State. Pettas spent his last year in Tempe as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach ... two Sun Devil sophomores, wide receiver Skyler Fulton and fullback Mike Karney, call the Evergreen state home. Fulton was an all-state performer in football and baseball at Olympia's Capital High School, while Karney was an honorable-mention All-America selection out of Kentwood High School in Kent, Wash. ... Washington head coach Rick Neuheisel is a graduate of Tempe's McClintock High School.
Following a LossLast week marked the continuation of a trend that has seen head coach Dirk Koetter lead his squad to victory in 10 of 11 games following a loss. In his career, Koetter holds a 10-1 record following a loss, including a 2-0 mark in Tempe. Earlier this year, ASU followed up a loss at Stanford with a home victory over San Jose State.
Pac-10 Home OpenersSince joining the Pac-10 Conference in 1978, the Sun Devils are 14-9-1 in conference home openers including last week's 41-24 victory over Oregon State. The win over the Beavers was ASU's third straight victory in conference home openers and its seventh win in the last eight. The game with Oregon State marked the second latest start to the conference home schedule in ASU school history. Only in 1989 did the Sun Devils have their first home Pac-10 game later in the season than Oct. 20.
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 Delvon Flowers is Koetter's selection for the Washington game.
Last Time OutSenior Delvon Flowers ran for a career-high 226 yards, including scoring strikes of 74 and 28 yards, to lead Arizona State to its first Pac-10 victory of the season, a 41-24 win over Oregon State last week at Sun Devil Stadium. Flowers, who missed last season because of a knee injury, turned in the best game by an Arizona State running back in the last 28 years and the sixth-best ever. His yardage on 23 carries was the most since Ben Malone set the record of 250 against Oregon State in 1973.
ASU jumped out to an early 3-0 on a 39-yard field goal by junior Mike Barth in its first drive, which got started when redshirt freshman R.J. Oliver recovered an Oregon State fumble on the Beavers' opening kickoff drive. The Beavers, however, quickly jumped out to a 14-3 lead with touchdowns on a one-yard run by running back Ken Simonton and a 40-yard scoring strike from quarterback Jonathan Smith to Tim Euhus. ASU narrowed that first quarter gap to 14-13 with sophomore quarterback Jeff Krohn's 63-yard pass to sophomore Shaun McDonald, which McDonald fumbled and then recovered in the end zone, followed by a 24-yard field goal by Barth. OSU led 17-13 at halftime, but ASU took a lead early in the third quarter with Flowers' 74-yard scoring run, which was the longest of his career. Smith put the Beavers back on top with a seven-yard touchdown pass to James Newson with 6:47 left in the third quarter, but the Sun Devils scored 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to earn the victory, including Flowers' second scoring run, which was set up by a 62-yard punt return by Taplin, and an 11-yard run by senior Tom Pace.
On the GroundThe Sun Devils turned in a season-best 314 rushing yards last week in their win over Oregon State, which is the most rushing yards for the team since ASU turned in 405 yards on the ground in a 52-31 victory over Oregon on Nov. 15, 1997, a span of 43 games. For ASU, 314 of their 522 yards of total offense vs. the Beavers came on the ground. Senior Delvon Flowers led the team with 23 carries for 226 yards and two TDs, while senior Tom Pace also turned in a solid performance with 84 yards and a TD on 10 carries.
After not scoring a rushing touchdown in their first two games, the Sun Devils have turned up the ground attack in the last four games. Over the last four games, ASU is averaging 224.0 rushing yards per contest, compared to 189.3 yards overall, and ranks second in the Pac-10 in the category.
ASU has scored 11 rushing touchdowns in the last four games, including three last week against Oregon State and five three weeks ago vs. Louisiana-Lafayette (two each for senior Tom Pace and sophomore Mike Williams and one for junior Jermaine McKinney in that game), which marked the most rushing TDs for the Sun Devils since scoring five in that 1997 victory over the Ducks.
Flowers Starting to BloomSenior tailback Delvon Flowers turned in his fourth career 100-yard rushing game and his second of the season last week with 23 carries for a career-best 226 yards and two touchdowns vs. Oregon State. Earlier this year vs. San Jose State, Flowers tallied 159 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries. Flowers' 226-yard effort vs. the Beavers surpasses his career high of 161 yards in a loss at Oregon in 1999. It also marks the sixth-best rushing game in school history and the most rushing yards by a Sun Devil in a Pac-10 game. Ben Malone set the school record with 250 rushing yards in a 1973 win over Oregon State, but that game occurred five years before the Sun Devils joined the Pac-10.
Flowers' two-touchdown effort vs. OSU marked the second multiple-TD game of his career, while his 74-yard touchdown run in the third quarter was a career long and the longest play from scrimmage for the Sun Devils this season. Flowers leads the team and ranks third in the Pac-10 in rushing this year, averaging 90.8 yards per game and 6.6 yards per carry. His average of 6.6 yards per carry is the best among the Pac-10 tailbacks who rank in the league's top 10 in rushing.
Forcing FumblesIn 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). This year, the Sun Devils have forced 10 fumbles and recovered seven, including a recovery on Oregon State's opening kickoff return last week. Sophomore Terrell Suggs leads the team and is tied for first in the Pac-10 with four forced fumbles this season, while junior Mason Unck has also forced a pair of fumbles.
Lighting Up the ScoreboardThe Sun Devils are averaging 40.0 points per game which ranks second in the Pac-10 and sixth in the nation. BYU leads the nation in scoring at 48.86 points per game, while Washington State tops the Pac-10 at 44.0 ppg. At home, ASU is averaging 48.8 points per game. The last time ASU averaged 40 points or more per game in a season was in 1996 when the Pac-10 champion and Rose Bowl-bound Sun Devils averaged 40.7 points per contest.
ASU's 63-point effort vs. Louisiana-Lafayette on Oct. 6 marked the most points for a Sun Devil squad since 66-3 victory over Texas-El Paso on Oct. 22, 1977 and is tied for the most points by a Pac-10 team this season with Oregon's 63-28 win over that same night. With its 53-15 win over San Jose State on Sept. 29, ASU has been involved in two of the four highest scoring games in the Pac-10 this year. The win over Louisiana-Lafayette also marked the eighth time that a Dirk Koetter-led team has topped 50 points (twice at ASU).
With nine total touchdowns (eight receiving, one rushing), sophomore Shaun McDonald ranks third in the Pac-10 in scoring (tied for 17th in the nation) and second in touchdown scoring (9.3 points per game). Junior kicker Mike Barth is fifth in the Pac-10 in scoring at 8.0 points per game, while senior wide receiver Ryan Dennard is seventh in the conference in touchdown scoring at 6.4 points per game.
Notes on the DefenseASU held Oregon State scoreless in the fourth quarter last week and to just one touchdown in the second half ... the Beavers had just 37 yards of total offense in the fourth quarter and 92 in the second half and went three-and-out in five of their last six possessions of the game ... ASU has held the three 1,000-yard rushers it has faced well below their season averages, including holding Oregon State's Ken Simonton to 74 yards last week ... The Sun Devils held USC's Sultan McCullough to just eight yards before he left the game with an injury, while San Jose State's Deonce Whitaker was held to minus-six yards three weeks ago.
Super SuggsSophomore defensive end Terrell Suggs has tallied at least one sack in each of ASU's six games this year and is ranked first in the Pac-10 with nine sacks for a loss of 49 yards. Suggs is also second in the conference in tackles for loss at 16 and is tied for first in fumbles forced with four. In the past three games, Suggs has turned in five sacks and 10 tackles for loss, including a career-best 5 TFLs at USC. Suggs turned in a career game vs. Louisiana-Lafayette with a career-best 10 tackles and four tackles for loss (-14) in addition to two sacks for a loss of 10 yards, a pass deflection and a forced fumble. Suggs tallied a pair of sacks vs. Louisiana-Lafayette and at USC, marking the sixth and seventh times in his career and the second and third times this year that he has had two in a game. Last year's Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and a preseason mention for All-America honors, Suggs led the team in tackles for loss (16-72) and sacks (10-60) last season.
Story of the SackArizona State ranks second in the Pac-10 in both sacks by and sacks allowed. The Sun Devils have allowed nine quarterback sacks so far this season and turned in 18. Oregon leads the conference with six sacks allowed, while the eight other league schools have given up 11 or more. ASU did not surrender a sack in its first two games of the year.
Led by Lombardi and Rimington Award candidate Scott Peters, the Sun Devil starting offensive line features five seniors who have started a total of 104 games (C Peters-39, LT Levi Jones-30, LG Marquise Muldrow-12/Travis Scott-3, RT Kyle Kosier-19) and a sophomore (RG Regis Crawford) who has started all six games of the season. Peters, a first-team All-Pac-10 selection last year, has started 39 consecutive games in his career, dating back to the last nine games of the 1998 season.
Consistent FootJunior Mike Barth saw a streak of 12 consecutive field goals come to an end last week at Oregon State when his 36-yard attempt in the second quarter was blocked. Prior to that blocked kick, Barth had made a 39-yarder and a 24-yarder in the first quarter vs. the Beavers. He had been perfect in his last seven games dating back to last season, while his last miss was a 43-yarder vs. USC last year. A candidate for the Lou Groza Award candidate, Barth was the only kicker in the Pac-10 to remain perfect through the first six weeks of the season and is tied for first in the Pac-10 at 87.5 percent (7-of-8). He had a streak of 38 straight PAT attempts snapped in the third quarter Oct. 6 vs. Louisiana-Lafayette (when a penalty pushed the kick back 15 yards) and is now 27-of-28 (.964) in PAT attempts this year, which ranks fourth in the league.
Keeping Up With KrohnSophomore quarterback Jeff Krohn continues to rank first in the Pac-10 and sixth in the country in passing efficiency (164.9) ... Krohn ranks fifth in the conference in passing yards per game (224.8) and sixth in total offense (228.5) ... he had led the league in both categories before the USC game where he completed 2-of-3 attempts for eight yards in the first quarter before missing the rest of the game with an ankle injury ... Krohn holds a 9-6 record as ASU's starting quarterback in his career ...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 ... he also became the quickest quarterback in school history to reach 1,000 passing yards, accomplishing the feat in the second quarter of the Louisiana-Lafayette game (three games and two quarters) ... over his last 10 games (dating back to the USC game last year), Krohn has had just five interceptions in his last 229 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 ... he threw 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 has been successful on 55.9 percent of his pass attempts (81-145) ... seven of his 16 touchdown passes this year have been for 40 yards or more, including a 63-yard scoring strike to sophomore Shaun McDonald last week vs. Oregon State.
Touchdown Passes & CatchesWith a 65-yard scoring strike to Shaun McDonald last week vs. Oregon State, sophomore quarterback Jeff Krohn now has 16 touchdown passes on the season, already passing the total of 12 that he had all of last season. As a team, ASU has thrown 18 touchdown passes, including one by junior quarterback Matt Cooper to sophomore Skyler Fulton at USC and another by junior wide receiver Justin Taplin to senior Ryan Dennard last weekend vs. Oregon State.
Fifteen touchdown passes in the first four games of the year was also the most in school history, passing the 13 that the 1970 team had. 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. With 16 TD passes already, Krohn needs just one more to enter the top 10 for single-season touchdown passes.
Sophomore wide receiver Shaun McDonald has already caught eight touchdown passes. Last year, Donnie O'Neal and Richard Williams led the team with seven TD catches each all season. McDonald's four TD receptions vs. Louisiana-Lafayette on Oct. 6 marked the third multi-touchdown game of the year for an ASU receiver (O'Neal with two TDs vs. San Diego State, Dennard with three vs. San Jose State). McDonald needs just one more to enter ASU's top five for season TD catches.
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 and has done it twice in 2001, including a career-high 226 yards vs. Oregon State on Oct. 20. ASU is 234-42-5 (.842) all time when a player gains 100 yards or more.
Kickoff NotesThe Sun Devils have been excelling on kickoffs and kickoff returns as of late. ASU is third in the Pac-10 and is ranked 15th in the nation with an average of 25.6 yards per kickoff return. Senior Tom Pace and sophomore Mike Williams each rank in the top 10 in the Pac-10 in the category with Pace checking in at fourth in the league and 10th in the nation with an average of 29.8 yards per return and Williams at seventh with 23.4 yards per return. On kickoffs, junior Mike Barth has booted 21 of 37 kickoffs (56.8 percent) into the endzone including a stellar 17-of-30 in the last four games.
Scoring MachineTwice this season, the Sun Devils have had a wide receiver score four touchdowns in a single game. Against Louisiana-Lafayette on Oct. 6, redshirt sophomore Shaun McDonald caught four touchdown passes to tie the school record for TD catches in a game set by John Allen vs. San Jose State in 1953. McDonald's four TD grabs also tie the Pac-10 single-game record, a mark held by five other conference members, most recently accomplished by UCLA's J.J. Stokes vs. Washington in 1993.
On Sept. 29, senior wide receiver Ryan Dennard caught three touchdown passes and returned a fumble for another score vs. San Jose State. With four touchdowns each, both McDonald and Dennard were just one short of the school record for touchdowns scored in a game (5, held by three Sun Devils), while the two efforts marked the 16th and 17th times in school history that a Sun Devil has scored at least four touchdowns in a game.
Show of SolidarityArizona State has joined college football teams across the nation who will wear decals of the American flag on their helmets this season to show solidarity for the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York City, Pennsylvania 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. Kickoff time will be at 2 p.m. PST/3 p.m. MST, and televsion 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.
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 was Larry Marmie who led the Sun Devils to a 21-16 win over Illinois on Sept. 10, 1988 in Tempe. Hall of Famer Dan Devine turned in the best record for a first-year head coach, leading the Sun Devils to an 8-2-1 record in 1955.
Starting YoungFour Sun Devil true freshmen have seen action thus far this season including wide receiver Daryl 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 and Louisiana-Lafayette, 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.
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.