Football Heads To The Palouse For ABC Showdown With Washington State
Nov. 10, 2003
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Coming off a 38-27 loss at Stanford last weekend, the Arizona State Sun Devils returnto the road for the fourth time in five weeks, traveling to Pullman, Wash., to take on the No. 8/8 Washington State Cougars on Saturday afternoon. Saturday's game, which is ASU's 11th contest in 11 straight weeks, will kick off at 12:30 p.m. Pacific Time (1:30 p.m. Mountain) and will be televised to a regional audience by ABC. The Sun Devils head into Saturday's game looking to snap a three-game losing streak (their second of the season) and end a two-game losing streak to the Cougars. ASU is also still looking for its first Pac-10 road win this season after dropping three conference road games this year. This weekend marks ASU's fourth road game in five weeks, while the team will have a bye next week and end the regular season at home against Arizona on Nov. 28. Washington State leads the Pac-10 Conference with an 8-2 overall mark and a 5-1 league record. The Cougars have won seven of their last eight games, including a 31-13 victory over UCLA last weekend in Pullman.
In the Series
Arizona State leads the all-time series with Washington State 16-11-2 dating back to a first meeting in 1960, while the series is tied 6-6 in games played in eastern Washington (5-5 in Pullman, 1-1 in Spokane). The Cougars have won the last two games in the series, including a 44-22 victory on Nov. 2, 2002 in Pullman. Both teams came into last year's contest undefeated and leading the Pac-10 with four conference wins. Then No. 8 WSU came away with the win over the 16th-ranked Sun Devils to snap a four-game losing streak to ASU and went on to win the Pac-10 title and earn the league's Rose Bowl berth. Prior to last year, the Sun Devils had won the last two meetings at WSU's Martin Stadium, including a 23-20 overtime victory in Pullman on Oct. 21, 2000, when 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 in what was the first of ASU's NCAA-record three consecutive overtime games.
The series between the two schools has traditionally been very streaky. While WSU has won the last two games, ASU had won the previous four. Before that, WSU had won four straight and ASU had done the same in the four games before that. ASU head coach Dirk Koetter heads into Saturday's game still looking for his first career win over the Cougars. Koetter holds an 0-4 record 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) and two at ASU.
ABC will broadcast Saturday's game live to a regional audience with Keith Jackson, Dan Fouts and Todd Harris calling the action. It will mark the third ABC appearance of the season for the Sun Devils and their sixth television appearance this year.
The Sun Devil Sports Network will carry all 12 of ASU's football games live on its 11-station network including flagship stations KTAR 620 AM and ESPN Radio 860 AM in Phoenix. Tim Healey (play-by-play), Jeff Van Raaphorst (color analyst), Vince Marotta and Paul Calvisi (pregame, halftime and postgame) will bring the action to Sun Devil fans. Calvisi will also provide reports from the ASU sidelines during home games. ASU games can also be heard live on ASU's official web site at www.TheSunDevils.com.
What Time is It Anyway?
The state of Arizona never changes its clocks remaining on Mountain Standard Time all year. From April to the end of October, Arizona State is on Pacific Daylight Time, while when the rest of the country changed its clocks on October 26, Arizona State remained the same, matching up again with Mountain Standard Time. Therefore, this weekend's game at Washington State will kick off at 12:30 p.m. Pacific and 1:30 p.m. Mountain.
Washington State Connections
Assistant 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...Washington State assistant head coach/special teams coach/recruiting coordinator Robin Pflugrad, in his third year at WSU, spent six seasons at Arizona State on former head coach Bruce Snyder's staff. Pflugrad was ASU's wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator from 1995-2000...two Sun Devil seniors, 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.
Last Time Out
Plagued by costly turnovers, the Arizona State Sun Devils fell to the Stanford Cardinal 38-27 last weekend in Palo Alto, Calif. Despite the loss and playing on a still sore ankle, junior quarterback Andrew Walter threw for 357 yards on 23-for-53 passing with four touchdowns. With the effort, Walter moved into second place on the ASU career passing lists and third on the career TD passes list.
Things started rough for the Sun Devils when Walter's first pass on the opening drive was intercepted by Stanford's Trevor Hooper on the ASU 11-yard line. From there, Cardinal quarterback Chris Lewis ran the ball 11 yards into the end zone to give Stanford an early 7-0 lead. After stalling on their second drive, the Sun Devils punted away to the Cardinal on the Stanford 17-yard line. From there, Lewis found receiver Evan Moore for 46 yards to help set up a 1-yard TD run by tailback J.R. Lemon, putting the Cardinal on top 14-0 with just five minutes off the game clock.
With 6:23 minutes left in the first quarter, ASU had another turnover when redshirt freshman tailback Loren Wade fumbled the ball on the ASU 20-yard line, and Stanford recovered. With a chance to score again, Lewis was looking for the end zone, but senior Jimmy Verdon pulled down an interception, his second of the season, and returned it to the ASU 14-yard line, but ASU was unable to convert on the drive. Stanford opened the second frame with some impressive rushing by Lemon. After breaking loose on a 32-yard rush, Lemon carried it 10 yards into the end zone for his second TD of the game, pushing the lead to 21-0.
Sophomore return man Josh Golden took the ensuing kickoff and returned it 33 yards to set up the Sun Devils' next drive. Sophomore wide receiver Derek Hagan caught a short pass from Walter and broke several tackles for a 67-yard touchdown completion, ASU's longest pass play of the season, putting ASU on the board 21-7. Lewis next found his receivers for four passes in excess of 10 yards in an 86-yard, 11-play drive that ended with an 11-yard pass to receiver Alex Smith for the Cardinal's fourth TD of the half and a 28-7 halftime lead.
In the third quarter, Lewis completed a pass to Luke Powell for 33 yards to set up a 22-yard field goal by Michael Sgroi. With Stanford leading 31-7, Walter found Fulton on a 16-yard completion and then followed it with a 19-yard pass to Fulton for a TD, narrowing the gap to 31-13 at the end of the quarter.
Continuing the drive from the third quarter, after being sacked by ASU senior tackle Shane Jones, Lewis responded with a 33-yard pass to receiver Evan Moore to put the Cardinal up 38-13. Walter hooked up with sophomore receiver Matt Miller for 32 yards before finding Hagan for a TD on a 46-yard pass to make it 38-20 with over 10 minutes to play in the game. Miller set career highs in the game with six catches and 111 receiving yards.
After trading punts with the Cardinal, the Sun Devils' offensive unit took possession on its own 9-yard line with 4:21 to play. Walter went to the air again, finding Miller for 29 yards and 21 yards in the drive. He also connected with Hagan for a 17-yard completion, followed by an 8-yard completion which gave Hagan his third receiving TD of the game and inched ASU closer at 38-27. Hagan finished the game with four catches for 138 yards and set a career high with three touchdowns. Sophomore Matt Fawley led ASU's defense with a career-best 12 tackles (11 solo). Jones had a career-best 11 tackles (6 solo) and 2.5 tackles for loss, and he and true freshman linebacker Mark Washington each had a sack.
Scoring Through the Air
Junior quarterback Andrew Walter threw four touchdown passes last week at Stanford, tying his season high and turning in his fourth game with at least three scoring strikes this season. With his four TD passes last week, Walter moved into third place on ASU's career list with 51. Current Denver Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer (1993-96) holds the school record with 65 touchdowns in his illustrious career, while College Football Hall of Famer Danny White (1971-73) is second on ASU's career charts with 64. Walter is now tied for 20th on the Pac-10's career touchdown passes list with Washington's Cody Pickett and UCLA's Tom Ramsey (1979-82) at 51 and needs eight more TDs to move into the league's top 10 in the category.
Walter had three touchdown passes against both Oregon and North Carolina, including the game-winning five-yard toss to senior Skyler Fulton as time ran out Oct. 18 at North Carolina. He threw three scoring strikes to three different receivers in ASU's 59-14 win over Oregon on Oct. 11. Walter has now turned in 15 multiple touchdown games in his career, including six this season. He completed a season-high four touchdown passes Sept. 6 against Northern Arizona. With his four-TD effort at Stanford, he has now had six career games with at least four TD passes. Walter's career high in a single game is five TDs in last year's 65-24 win over Stanford.
Wade on the Run
Redshirt freshman Loren Wade had 12 carries for 55 yards last week at Stanford, snapping a streak of three straight 100-yard games for the Los Angeles native. He had 22 carries for 107 yards and a touchdown vs. California on Nov. 1 and became the first Sun Devil to accomplish the feat since Delvon Flowers gained at least 100 yards in three straight games in 2001 (Oregon, Washington State and Arizona). He is the fifth Sun Devil to accomplish the feat since the beginning of the 1992 season (Flowers in 2001, Michael Martin in 1997, Terry Battle in 1996, Mario Bates in 1993 and 1992). Wade led the Sun Devil effort with 16 carries for 130 yards (both career highs) at North Carolina on Oct. 18 and again paced the team with 19 carries for 113 yards and a touchdown Oct. 25 at UCLA. In the last five weeks, Wade has averaged 96.4 yards per game, while he has scored a rushing touchdown in four of the last six games. Wade scored ASU's only touchdown Oct.18 against the Bruins, breaking free for a 61-yard run into the end zone in the second quarter. His run was the longest for the Sun Devils since Flowers had a 74-yard touchdown run vs. Oregon State on Oct. 20, 2001. Wade now leads the Sun Devils and ranks seventh in the Pac-10 in rushing with 65.3 yards per game. Wade's average of 5.5 yards per carry ranks third among the Pac-10's rushing leaders behind only Arizona's Michael Bell (6.3 yards per carry) and USC's LenDale White (5.8).
The Sun Devils have averaged 133.0 rushing yards per game in the last five weeks, including a season-high 190 yards Oct. 18 at North Carolina, up from their season average of 114.5 yards per contest. Wade's 130-yard showing (8.1 yards per carry) vs. North Carolina marked the most for a Sun Devil since senior Mike Williams turned in 162 yards on 40 carries in ASU's win at Arizona last season, while ASU's season-best four rushing touchdowns against the Ducks on Oct. 11 were marked the most since the team scored five TDs on the ground in last year's Oct. 5 loss to North Carolina. ASU has had a player top the 100-yard mark four times this year including three games by Wade and one by sophomore Hakim Hill who tallied 115 yards on the ground at Oregon State on Sept. 27. ASU is 236-45-5 (.834) all time when having a player gain 100 or more rushing yards.
The duo of Wade (65.3 yards per game) and Hill (49.2 ypg) gives the Sun Devils a strong one-two punch in the backfield. Wade has scored four touchdowns, and Hill has three this season, while Wade leads the way with an average of 5.5 yards per carry to 4.0 yards per rush for Hill.
Junior defensive end Jimmy Verdon turned in his second interception of the season last week at Stanford, giving ASU a total of 14 interceptions this year. Arizona State has had eight different players grab its 14 interceptions on the year with at least one interception in all but two games this year (North Carolina and California). Junior safeties Riccardo Stewart and Jason Shivers lead the team with three interceptions each this season, while senior safety Hudson and Verdon each have a pair. Last year, the Sun Devils also spread the wealth in interceptions with 13 players combining for ASU's Pac-10-leading 22 picks (led by R.J. Oliver and Brett Hudson who each had four picks last year). This season, ASU is fourth in the Pac-10 with 14 interceptions. Shivers, who has played in nine of 10 games this year, is tied for eighth in the Pac-10 with 0.33 interceptions per game.
Arizona State has also returned three interceptions for touchdown this year, which is the most since the 1980 team returned four picks for touchdown. ASU's single-season record is five, accomplished by the 1974 Sun Devils. Sophomore Jamar Williams turned in his first interception of the season, picking off an Oregon pass and returning it 50 yards for touchdown in the first quarter Oct. 11, while Stewart (vs. Utah State) and junior cornerback R.J. Oliver (vs. Northern Arizona) have each returned interceptions for touchdown this year as well.
Shivers grabbed two of ASU's season-high-tying three interceptions Sept. 27 at Oregon State, marking the second time in his career that he has picked off two passes, with the first occasion being last year's 34-20 victory at Arizona on Nov. 29, 2002. ASU had three interceptions Sept. 13 against Utah State, including an interception return for touchdown by Stewart. Hudson also snagged his first interception of the year and the fifth of his ASU career vs. the Aggies, while Jones had his first career pick in that game. Stewart's touchdown marked the second straight game that an ASU player returned an interception for TD, after Oliver tied the ASU mark for longest return with a 100-yarder in ASU's season-opener vs. Northern Arizona. Oliver became the 10th player in Pac-10 history (and the second Sun Devil) to return an interception 100 yards for touchdown (ASU junior Emmanuel Franklin also had a 100-yard interception return in the 2001 season-opener against San Diego State). That marked the team-leading seventh career interception for Oliver, who led the Pac-10 in passes defended last year and was on the preseason watch list for the Jim Thorpe Award.
With 357 yards last week at Stanford, junior quarterback Andrew Walter jumped into second place on ASU's career list with 6,924 passing yards in his three years and 35 career games at ASU. Walter now trails only current Denver Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer who had 8,827 yards in his illustrious ASU career (1993-96). With four touchdowns last week at Stanford, Walter also moved into third place on the ASU career chart for passing touchdowns with 51.
Despite playing on a still sore ankle he sprained on the first drive of the second quarter at UCLA on Oct. 25, Walter has averaged 263.5 yards per game and thrown five TD passes in the last two weeks, including a season-high-tying four last week at Stanford. Walter returned to the lineup and threw for 170 yards and a touchdown two weeks ago vs. California. He threw two interceptions in the game, snapping a streak of three games, 11 quarters and 107 pass attempts without a pick, dating back to the third quarter of the USC game on Oct. 4. Walter has thrown just nine interceptions in 360 pass attempts this season (.0250) and has a chance to set the school record for lowest interception percentage in a season (300+ attempts), which is currently held by Mike Pagel who had nine interceptions in 334 attempts in 1980 (.0270).
Prior to spraining his ankle at UCLA, Walter had turned in season bests for passing in the three previous weeks, including 408 yards on 34-of-58 passing (both career highs and third on the ASU single-game passing lists) with three touchdowns and no interceptions in ASU's come-from-behind win at North Carolina on Oct. 18. He completed three passes for 69 yards in the game-winning drive, including a 42-yarder to Derek Hagan to bring the team to the UNC five-yard line and a five-yard game-winner to Skyler Fulton in the end zone as time expired. Walter had completed 71-of-124 attempts (57.3 percent) for 1,029 yards (343.0 ypg) and seven touchdowns in the previous three weeks.
Walter has had nine 300-yard passing games in his career, including four this year, while his 408-yard effort at UNC was the fifth 400-yard game of his career. Walter is the only quarterback in Pac-10 history to have five 400-yard games in his career. Last year, Walter became the first quarterback in Pac-10 history to turn in four 400-yard passing games in a season, while no Pac-10 quarterback had ever thrown for more than three in a season. Washington's Cody Pickett is the only other Pac-10 quarterback to have four 400-yard games in his career.
With 6,924 career yards, Walter also moved into 25th on the Pac-10 career list for passing yards, passing Oregon's Joey Harrington who had 6,911 yards in his career from 1998-01. Next on the list is Washington State's Ryan Leaf (7,101, 1995-97). Walter is also tied for 20th on the Pac-10's career touchdown passes list with 51 career scoring strikes in three years. He needs eight more TDs to move in the league's top 10 in that category.
Walter tallied 316 yards on 18-of-28 passing with three touchdowns and no interceptions in ASU's Oct. 11 win over Oregon and was named the Pac-10 Conference Offensive Player of the Week following the game. He threw for 305 yards on 19-of-38 passing with one TD Oct. 4 against then No. 10 USC. Walter ranks fifth in the league in passing yards per game (250.1) and total offense (240.4). Walter holds a 9-13 record as ASU's starter and has completed 498 passes for 6,924 yards and 51 TDs in his three-year career at ASU.
In ASU's season-opening victory against Northern Arizona, Walter completed 15-of-24 passes for 224 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. Walter threw four TD passes to three receivers vs. NAU, and with four TD passes at Stanford Nov. 8, he has had at least four scoring strikes in six games in his career.
Last year, Walter turned in one of the finest seasons in school history, setting almost every school record for passing yards and total offense. Walter shattered the school record for passing yards in a single season, throwing for 3,877 yards to become the first passer in school history to top 3,000 yards and surpass the previous school record of 2,878 by Danny White in 1973. Despite not earning his first start until the fifth game of the year, Walter, who finished third in the Pac-10 and 19th in the nation in passing efficiency at 137.10, turned in the fourth-best single-season performance in Pac-10 history. Walter completed 274 of 483 pass attempts, breaking ASU's single-season marks for attempts and completions - records previously held by Jake Plummer with 348 attempts in 1996 and Todd Hons with 199 completions in 1983 - while Walter's 28 TDs marked the second-best effort in school history behind Mike Pagel who threw 29 TD passes in 1981.
With a 536-yard passing performance to upend No. 6 Oregon on Oct. 19, Walter set Pac-10 and Arizona State school records for single-game passing yards, surpassing the previous mark of 534 yards by fellow Sun Devil Paul Justin vs. Washington State in 1989. He was named the Oct. 20 Sporting News, cnnsi.com and USA Today.com National Player of the Week in addition to earning his first career Pac-10 Player-of-the-Week honor. Walter also shattered the majority of ASU's total offense records, setting the marks for total yards (3,661 yards) and yards per game (261.5 ypg). He also tied Danny White (1973) with four games with at least 300 yards of total offense and turned in the sixth-best season in Pac-10 history. He finished third in the league and 18th in the nation in total offense.
Following a 2-for-2 showing last week at Stanford (two TDs), the Sun Devils have scored on 22 of their last 25 trips into the red zone (88.0 percent). ASU was 2-for-2 (two field goals) at UCLA on Oct. 25, 5-for-6 (three TDs, two FGs) Oct. 18 at North Carolina and a perfect 9-for-9 in their previous two games (USC and Oregon). ASU had scored just 50 percent of the time in their first four games (6-12). The Sun Devils scored two TDs and one field goal in three trips into the red zone vs. the Trojans on Oct. 4, while the team had six touchdowns in six trips past Oregon's 20-yard line on Oct. 11.
Hagan's Four 100-Yard Games
Sophomore wide receiver Derek Hagan turned in his fourth 100-yard receiving game of the year last week at Stanford with four catches for 138 yards and a career-best three touchdowns. He had a 67-yard TD catch in the second quarter, which is ASU's longest pass play of the year, catching a short pass and breaking several tackles to put ASU on the scoreboard.
Hagan had three consecutive 100-yard receiving games vs. USC, Oregon and North Carolina, becoming the first Sun Devil receiver to turn in three in a row since current St. Louis Ram Shaun McDonald had three straight 100-yard efforts last season (175 yards at San Diego State, 221 vs. Stanford, 156 vs. North Carolina). McDonald was also the last Sun Devil to accomplish the feat in four straight games, tallying 100-plus yards in games against Oregon State, Washington, Oregon and Washington in 2001. In the last six games, Hagan, who now leads the team in receiving, has had 39 catches for 699 yards (116.5 yards per game) and five touchdowns.
Hagan turned in a career outing to lead the Sun Devils past North Carolina on Oct. 18, hauling in 11 passes for 185 yards (both career bests) and a touchdown. In addition to being a career high, his 11 catches tied with three other Sun Devils for the fourth-best single-game mark in school history. Ron Fair holds the school record for receptions in a game with 19 catches in a 1989 win over Washington State. Hagan caught seven balls for 108 yards and one touchdown vs. Oregon on Oct. 11, while Oct. 4 against USC, he caught eight passes for 170 yards. He also played a key role in setting up both of ASU's touchdown drives vs. the Trojans, hauling in receptions of 35 and eight yards to help set up quarterback Andrew Walter's 12-yard scoring strike to senior Skyler Fulton in the first quarter. He also caught a 24-yard pass to get ASU to the USC 5-yard line in the third quarter, a drive which ended a one-yard TD run by redshirt freshman Loren Wade. Hagan's previous career bests were 95 yards in ASU's upset at then No. 6 Oregon on Oct. 19, 2002 and six catches at USC on Nov. 16 of last year.
Hagan leads the team in receiving this season with 51 catches for 812 yards and seven touchdowns. He ranks seventh in the league in receiving yards per game (81.2) and ninth in the Pac-10 in receptions per game (5.20). He has almost doubled his production from all of last season. Last year, Hagan broke College Football Hall of Famer John Jefferson's record for receptions by an ASU freshman with 32 catches (for 405 yards) on the year.
Senior receiver Skyler Fulton's game-winning five-yard catch from junior Andrew Walter Oct. 18 at North Carolina marked the first time that the Sun Devils have won a game on the last play since Arizona State took home a 23-20 victory at Washington State when kicker Mike Barth nailed a 49-yard field goal in overtime on Oct. 21, 2000. Coincidentally, that was the second time that season that Barth and the Sun Devils earned a win on a game-winning play as time expired. On Sept. 16 of that same year, Barth drilled a 49-yarder to beat then No. 25 Colorado State on the last play of the game at Sun Devil Stadium.
ASU's Oct. 18 victory at North Carolina marked the second consecutive week that the Sun Devils had turned in season highs in both passing yards and total offense. Prior to a Oct. 25 loss at UCLA where the team gained just 253 total yards, ASU had averaged 373.0 passing yards and 547.5 total offense yards in wins over Oregon and UNC, up from season averages of 265.7 and 382.1 yards, respectively. The team's 598 yards of total offense against the Tar Heels on Oct. 18 marked the most since the Sun Devils had 657 yards in their 38-35 loss to the Tar Heels at Sun Devil Stadium last season.
Lighting Up the Scoreboard
Arizona State has averaged 31.0 points per game over the last five weeks, including 33 in an Oct. 18 win at North Carolina and a season-high 59 points in the team's Oct. 11 win against Oregon. The 59 points vs. the Ducks marked the most points for the team since ASU set its school record for scoring in a Pac-10 game with its 65-24 win over Stanford on Sept. 28, 2002. The Sun Devils averaged just 19.2 points per game in the first five contests of the season and only 12.0 ppg during their three-game losing streak earlier this season (at Iowa, at Oregon State and vs. USC). In his three seasons at the helm, Dirk Koetter's offense has turned in an average of 31.1 points per game, including an average of 25.1 points per game this year, 32.3 ppg in 2002 and 34.0 ppg in 2001. ASU's 59-14 victory over Oregon on Oct. 11 also marked the 10th time (fourth time at ASU) that a Koetter-led team has put 50 or more points on the scoreboard.
Shivers Causing Shivers
Junior free safety Jason Shivers has moved into the team lead with 86 tackles this year, moving past fellow junior safety Riccardo Stewart who has 76 stops on the year. Shivers has led the team in tackles five times this year, including 11 tackles (10 solo) Nov. 1 vs. California and 12 (eight solo) Oct. 25 at UCLA. At 9.6 tackles per game this year, Shivers is ranked second in the Pac-10 behind UCLA's Brandon Chillar (10.7), while he has averaged 10.8 tackles per game over the last eight games (86 tackles).
Shivers had a game-high nine tackles Oct. 11 vs. Oregon and 13 Sept. 27 at Oregon State. He also tied his career highs with 17 tackles and 13 solo stops Sept. 20 at Iowa. That marked the most for Shivers since he turned in 17 tackles (13 solo) vs. Washington on Oct. 27, 2001 in Tempe. Both marks were the most tackles for a Sun Devil since Joe Cesta had 18 tackles (12 solo) vs. Oregon in 1998. In addition, Shivers, who was on the watch list for the Jim Thorpe Award, is tied for eighth in the Pac-10 with three interceptions this year (0.33 per game).
Shivers, who led the team in tackles in each of his first two seasons in Tempe, is averaging 8.7 tackles per game in his short career with 12 games in double figures in the category (296 tackles, 34 games). Shivers has led the team in tackles 18 times in his three seasons in Tempe.
And Not to Forget Stewart...
Junior safety Riccardo Stewart led the team with 10 tackles Oct. 18 at North Carolina, marking the fourth time in 10 games this season and eighth time in his career that he has paced the team in the category. Stewart matched his career best with 11 tackles, including seven solo stops, to lead the team Oct. 4 against USC and paced the team in the category in each of the first two games this season, including 10 tackles (8 solo) Sept. 13 vs. Utah State and 11 tackles (8 solo) in ASU's season-opener vs. Northern Arizona on Sept. 6. Stewart ranks ninth in the Pac-10 this season with 7.6 tackles per game and trails fellow junior safety Jason Shivers by just 10 tackles for the team lead in the category.
Fulton's Career Day
Senior wide receiver Skyler Fulton had a career day in ASU's Sept. 13 win over Utah State, catching eight passes for 172 yards and two touchdowns (all career highs). Of his career-high eight catches vs. the Aggies, seven were for 15 or more yards and five resulted in a first down. He also caught the game-winner Oct. 18 at North Carolina, hauling in a five-yard touchdown catch as time expired to give ASU the 33-31 victory. He had seven catches for 68 yards and two TDs vs. the Tar Heels and has led the team in receiving in each of the last two weeks (five catches for 44 yards vs. UCLA and five catches for 85 yards and one TD Nov. 1 vs. Cal).
Fulton ranks second on the team and 10th in the Pac-10 with 69.5 receiving yards per game (52 catches for 695 yards and a team-best nine TDs), while he is tied for seventh in the league with 5.2 receptions per game. He is also tied for fifth in the Pac-10 in touchdown scoring at 5.4 points per game. With his TD catch last week at Stanford, Fulton also moved into a tie for seventh on ASU's single-season list for TD catches in a season with Morris Owens who had nine in 1973.