Football Returns Home to Host Washington State for Homecoming on Saturday Afternoon
Nov. 5, 2001
TEMPE, Ariz. -
Coming off last weekend's 42-24 loss at then No. 8/9 Oregon, the Sun Devils return home for their final homestand of the year, playing host to the No. 11/12 Washington State Cougars Saturday afternoon on Homecoming/Hall of Fame Weekend at Sun Devil Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. MST/3:30 p.m. PST, and the game will be televised on Fox Sports Net Syndication. Arizona State (4-4, 1-4 Pac-10) comes into the game looking to snap a two-game conference losing streak after falling to Washington 33-31 on Oct. 27 and at Oregon last weekend. Washington State heads to Tempe following an emotional 20-14 victory over then No. 9/11 UCLA last weekend in Pullman. The Cougars are one of three teams tied for first in the Pac-10 with a 5-1 conference mark and a 8-1 overall record with their only loss coming at the hands of Oregon 24-17 two weeks ago on the Palouse.
In the SeriesArizona State leads the all-time series with Washington State 16-9-2 dating back to 1960, including a 23-20 overtime victory last year in Pullman. Last season, Mike Barth kicked a 41-yard game-winner and first-round NFL draft choice Adam Archuleta picked off a pass in the endzone in overtime to give the Sun Devils the 23-20 victory Oct. 21 in Pullman in what was the first of ASU's NCAA-record three overtime games.
The Sun Devils have won the last four games in what has been a streaky series, including a 33-21 victory at Sun Devil Stadium last year. Prior to those four games, WSU had won four straight, and before that, ASU had won four in a row. ASU holds a 10-4-2 record against the Cougars at home and has won the last two games at Sun Devil Stadium. ASU's last loss to the Cougars in Tempe was the last loss in the series, a 28-21 defeat on Oct. 22, 1994. ASU head coach Dirk Koetter is 0-2 in his career against Washington State with two losses while he was at Boise State (33-21 loss in 1998 and 42-35 loss in 2000), while WSU head coach Mike Price is 4-6 against ASU.
ExposureFox Sports Net will broadcast the Washington State game on syndication with Barry Tompkins, Warren Moon (analyst) and John Jackson (sidelines) calling the action. The game will be televised to an audience of 18 stations in six western states. ASU will appear on Fox Sports Net in two weeks vs. Arizona, while television for the re-scheduled UCLA game is still to be determined.
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.
Hall of Fame WeekendAs part of Homecoming Weekend, Arizona State will induct six former Sun Devil student-athletes (four men and two women) into the Sun Devil Hall of Fame this weekend and honor the group at halftime of the ASU-Washington State game. This year's class includes Jay Barrs (men's archery), Kendall Carter (baseball), Mark Malone (football), Mary Bea Porter (women's golf, women's basketball, volleyball, softball), Dan St. John (wrestling) and Lynda Tolbert (track & field).
Barrs competed for ASU from 1983-84 and was a two-time national intercollegiate champion before winning gold and silver medals at the 1988 Olympics. Carter, who set an NCAA freshman record with 19 wins in 1981, capped off his four-year Sun Devil career in 1984 with ASU records for most victories (47) and most appearances (102). Carter was drafted by the Texas Rangers in 1984 and served on the ASU coaching staff from 1986-1990. Malone finished his three-year ASU tenure in 1979 by notching the longest run in NCAA history by a quarterback (98 yards vs. Utah State) and earning team MVP honors. He was drafted in the first round by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1980. Porter competed in four sports from 1968-73. In her senior season, Porter was a first-team All-American in golf and was named the College Athlete of the Year before joining the LPGA in 1973. St. John competed at ASU from 1987-1990 and became the first ASU wrestler to win NCAA titles in consecutive years. ASU's school record holder for career wins (147), career dual wins (71) and single-season wins (45), St. John also set a school best with an unbeaten streak of 75-matches. Tolbert earned eight All-America honors from 1986-90. An NCAA champion in 1988 and 1990 in the outdoor 100m hurdles, she is a former collegiate record holder in the indoor 60m hurdles.
The ASU Hall of Fame can be viewed daily in the Wells Fargo Arena. In 2002, the Hall of Fame will be housed in the Ed and Nadine Carson Student-Athlete Center which will be at the south end of Sun Devil Stadium, the current ICA Building.
Homecoming RecordArizona State brings a 53-15-3 (.768) record on Homecoming Day into this week's game with Oregon. The Sun Devils have won 13 of their last 16 Homecoming contests but have lost the last two including a 56-55 double-overtime loss to Oregon last year at Sun Devil Stadium. The team's last Homecoming victory came in 1998 with a 55-22 victory over Cal on Nov. 7.
Washington State ConnectionsAssistant head coach/special teams coordinator/tight ends coach Tom Osborne is a 1983 graduate of Washington State. He played wide receiver for the Cougars in 1979-80. Osborne started his coaching career on the Palouse as well, serving as WSU's student coach in 1981-82 and as a graduate assistant coach from 1983-85 ... 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.
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 true freshman free safety Jason Shivers is Koetter's selection for the Washington State game.
Barth Named a Lou Groza Award SemifinalistJunior placekicker Mike Barth has been named a semifinalist 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. Barth was one of 20 players to be named semifinalists, the second consecutive season that he has made the cut from the preseason watch list. The Palm Beach County Sports Commission will name three finalists for the award on Nov. 12, while the award will be presented to the nation's top placekicker during a banquet on Tuesday, December 4, at the Sheraton at CityPlace in West Palm Beach, Fla.
This year, Barth has been successful on 75.0 percent of his field goal attempts (9-of-12) and was the only Pac-10 kicker to remain perfect through the first six weeks of the season, making his first seven field goals of the year. He is ranked fourth in the conference in field goal percentage and is sixth in scoring at 7.4 points per game. Barth has also been stellar on kickoffs, booting 56.3 percentage into the endzone (27-of-48). 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.
An updated biography of each player on the Lou Groza Award Watch List can be found at http://www.palmbeachsports.com/Groza. The voters for the Lou Groza Award are comprised of all Division I head coaches, sports writers and sportscasters from across the country, conference officials, various NFL kickers, and all previous Lou Groza Award winners.
What Time is It Anyway?The state of Arizona never changes its clocks, remaining on Mountain Standard Time all year. With the time change on Oct. 28, Arizona is now on Mountain time, meaning that Saturday's game with Washington State will kick off at 4:30 p.m. Mountain and 3:30 p.m. Pacific Time.
Tough Road AheadArizona State is facing opponents ranked in the national top 20 in three of its last four games this season, including last week's road games at No. 8/9 Oregon, this week's Homecoming meeting with No. 11/12 Washington State, a Nov. 23 home game with intrastate rival Arizona and a Dec. 1 trip to No. 17-16 UCLA. Those three ranked teams have a combined record of 22-4 this season (Oregon 8-1, WSU 8-1, UCLA 6-2).
Last Time OutOregon's Joey Harrington tied his own school record by throwing six touchdown passes - four to Keenan Howry - as the No. 8/9 Ducks defeated Arizona State 42-24 last week at Autzen Stadium in Eugene. Harrington was 19-of-32 for 319 yards, while Howry had nine catches for 126 yards. Senior tailback Delvon Flowers ran for 107 yards and a career-best three touchdowns, including a 54-yarder for the game's opening score, but the Sun Devils were held to just 272 total yards after that. Flowers returned the kickoff 37 yards, then surprised the Ducks five plays later by going through an opening on the left side of the line and blowing past the secondary for his 54-yard score. Junior Mike Barth kicked a 19-yard field goal to cut Oregon's lead to 14-10 in the second quarter, but Harrington connected with Howry twice in the third quarter and then with Samie Parker in the fourth quarter to make it 42-10. Flowers scored twice in the fourth quarter with a pair of two-yard touchdown runs.
Sophomore quarterback Jeff Krohn was hit in the head on a first-quarter slide and did not play in the second half, while redshirt freshman Andrew Walter came on in relief and completed 8-of-25 attempts for 105 yards in the first extended action of his young career.
Flowers Starting to BloomSenior tailback Delvon Flowers turned in his fifth career 100-yard rushing game and his third of the season last weekend at Oregon with 107 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries. With the three touchdowns, the third multiple-TD outing of his career, Flowers became the first Sun Devil tailback to score three times on the ground since J.R. Redmond did it at USC in a 26-16 win over USC in 1999. He has now scored six rushing touchdowns in the last three games.
Flowers turned in 23 carries for a career-best 226 yards and two touchdowns vs. Oregon State on Oct. 20. 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' 74-yard touchdown run in the third quarter vs. OSU was a career long and the longest play from scrimmage for the Sun Devils this season. Flowers leads the team and ranks sixth in the Pac-10 in rushing this year, averaging 89.5 yards per game and 5.9 yards per carry.
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 three times in 2001, including a career-high 226 yards vs. Oregon State on Oct. 20. ASU is 234-44-5 (.836) all time when a player gains 100 yards or more.
Young GunTrue freshman free safety Jason Shivers has averaged 16.0 tackles over the last two games, including 15 last weekend at Oregon (seven solos and his first career sack). This week's single-game captain, Shivers turned in a career-high 17 tackles Oct. 27 against Washington (four solos, 13 assists), which is the third-highest single-game total in the Pac-10 this year. It is also the most tackles by a Sun Devil since Joe Cesta has 17 (12 solo) in a 1998 loss at Oregon. Last year, Adam Archuleta had an ASU season-high 16 on two occasions (at UCLA and vs. USC). Shivers, who has started the last six games at free safety, is now ASU's leading tackler with an average of 8.0 stops per game and has jumped to a tie for seventh in the Pac-10 in the category.
Racking up the Receiving YardsWith 104 yards last week at Oregon, sophomore wide receiver Shaun McDonald has topped the century mark in receiving in each of his last three games, becoming the first Sun Devil since Keith Poole in 1996 to accomplish the feat. McDonald has turned in 420 yards in his last three games (five catches for 123 yards vs. Oregon State, nine for a career-best 194 yards vs. Washington and five catches for 103 yards last week at Oregon). In 1996, Poole tallied 376 receiving yards in three games (112 yards vs. UCLA, 10/12/96, 103 vs. USC, 10/19, 161 vs. Stanford, 10/26).
McDonald has amassed a total of 799 yards, more than double the 358 yards he had all of the last season. McDonald is currently averaging 99.9 yards per game, which is second in the Pac-10, and ranks first among the Pac-10 receiving leaders with an average of 22.2 yards per catch.
At his current pace, McDonald has an opportunity to shatter the Arizona State school record for receiving yards per game in a season which was set by Ron Fair who averaged 98.3 yards per game in 1989 (1,082 yards in 11 games). The last Sun Devil to average more than 90 receiving yards per game was Keith Poole who turned in 94.2 yards per contest in 1995.
Touchdown PassesWith scoring strikes to junior Mike Pinkard and sophomore Shaun McDonald two weeks ago vs. Washington, sophomore quarterback Jeff Krohn has thrown 18 touchdown passes on the season, already passing the total of 12 that he had all of last season. With 18 TD passes already, Krohn is already eighth on the ASU single-season list. He is also tied for 39th on the Pac-10 single-season lists and has the most passing touchdowns for a Sun Devil since Ryan Kealy threw for 19 in 1998.
With 20 touchdown passes, the Sun Devils are on pace of the 1981 team which threw a school-record 29 that season. That team had scored through the air 20 times through their first eight games, including a school-record seven TD passes vs. Stanford in their seventh game of the year. In addition to Krohn's 18 TDs through the air, back-up quarterback Matt Cooper and wide receiver Justin Taplin have each tossed one scoring strike. Last week's Oregon game marked the first time this season that Sun Devils did not score on a touchdown pass and the first since a 30-17 victory on Nov. 24 of last year.
ASU Single-Season Touchdown Passes1. 29 Mike Pagel, 19812. 24 Jake Plummer, 1996 Danny White, 19734. 23 Danny White, 19725. 20 John Torok, 19646. 19 Ryan Kealy, 1998 Joe Spagnola, 19708. 18 Jeff Krohn, 20019. 17 Jake Plummer, 1995 Paul Justin, 1989 Jeff Van Raaphorst, 1986
Who's Catching Those TD Passes?Sophomore wide receiver Shaun McDonald has caught nine touchdown passes and is already tied for fifth on the ASU single-season list for TD catches. Last year, Donnie O'Neal and Richard Williams led the team with seven TD catches each all season. McDonald has caught at least one touchdown pass in all but two games this year (at USC, at Oregon). In addition to McDonald, senior Ryan Dennard has pulled in four touchdown passes on the year, senior Donnie O'Neal has three and four other players have caught one each, including junior Mike Pinkard who had his first career touchdown reception Oct. 27 vs. Washington.
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)
ASU Single-Season Touchdown Passes1. 14 Doug Allen, 19842. 12 Steve Holden, 19723. 11 Keith Poole, 1996 J.D. Hill, 19705. 9 Shaun McDonald, 2001 9 Morris Owens, 1973
Lighting Up the ScoreboardThe Sun Devils are averaging 36.88 points per game which ranks fourth in the Pac-10 and 14th in the nation. BYU leads the nation in scoring at 50.78 points per game, while Washington State tops the Pac-10 at 38.3 ppg. At home, ASU is averaging 45.2 points per game (226 points in five games). 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 10 total touchdowns (nine receiving, one rushing), sophomore Shaun McDonald ranks fourth in the Pac-10 in scoring and third in touchdown scoring (7.8 points per game). Junior placekicker Mike Barth is sixth in the Pac-10 in scoring at 7.4 points per game.
Keeping Up With KrohnSophomore quarterback Jeff Krohn turned in the third 300-yard passing game of his young career with 320 yards two weeks ago vs. Washington, completing 17-of-29 passes ... he completed 5-of-11 passes for 64 yards in the first half at Oregon before leaving the game with concussion-like symptoms ... Krohn continues to rank first in the Pac-10 and seventh in the country in passing efficiency (161.1) ... Krohn ranks fifth in the conference in passing yards per game (216.6) and total offense (220.0) ... 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 a foot injury ... he needs just 18 more passing yards to surpass the 1,751 yards he had all of the last year ... he has thrown at least one touchdown pass in all but two games this year (USC, Oregon) and more than one TD strike in five of eight games this season ... Krohn needs just one more game with 300 yards or more of total offense to set the school record, which is four set by Danny White in 1973 ... Krohn has gained at least 300 yards of total offense three times this year (301 vs. San Diego State, 387 at Stanford, 323 vs. Washington).
More Notes on KrohnKrohn holds a 9-8 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 12 games (dating back to the USC game last year), Krohn has had just six interceptions in his last 269 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 55.7 percent of his pass attempts (103-185) ... seven of his 18 touchdown passes this year have been for 40 yards or more, including a 63-yard scoring strike to sophomore Shaun McDonald Oct. 20 vs. Oregon State.
Kickoff NotesThe Sun Devils have been excelling on kickoffs and kickoff returns as of late. ASU is third in the Pac-10 and 16th in the nation with an average of 24.4 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 third in the league and seventh in the nation with an average of 27.7 yards per return and Williams at seventh with 23.4 yards per return. On kickoffs, junior Mike Barth has booted 27 of 48 kickoffs (56.3 percent) into the endzone including a stellar 23-of-41 in the last six games.
Super SuggsAlthough he has not had a sack in either of ASU's last two games, sophomore defensive end Terrell Suggs is second 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 five 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.
Consistent FootJunior Mike Barth saw a streak of 12 consecutive field goals come to an end Oct. 20 vs. 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 fourth in the Pac-10 at 75.0 percent (9-of-12). He had a streak of 38 PAT attempts snapped Oct. 6 vs. ULL (when a penalty pushed the kick back 15 yards) and is now 32-of-33 (.970) in PAT attempts this year (fourth in the league).
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 year 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.
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, Derick Arnold). In 1999, four true freshmen played (Solomon Bates, Josh Amobi, Mike Barth), while Justin Taplin and Willie Daniel were among the four to see action in 1998.
Shivers and Baker have both started the last five games, 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.