No. 20 Football Looks To End Perfect Home Season Saturday Against Washington State
Nov. 8, 2004
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Saturday, Nov. 13, 2004, 5 p.m. (TBS)- Tempe, Ariz.
Coming off a thrilling 34-31 Homecoming victory over Stanford last weekend, the No. 20/20 Arizona State Sun Devils play host to Washington State in their regular-season home finale Saturday night at Sun Devil Stadium. On Saturday, Arizona State will honor fallen Army Ranger Pat Tillman with the retirement of his No. 42 ASU jersey and celebrate Senior Day for the 13 Sun Devils who will be playing in their last collegiate game at Sun Devil Stadium. The game will kick off at 5 p.m. Mountain Time and will be televised nationally by TBS. ASU heads into the game against the Cougars on a six-game winning streak at Sun Devil Stadium for the first time in seven years and looks to turn in its first undefeated home season since 1996. The 7-2 Sun Devils are bowl eligible for the sixth time in nine years and the first since earning a spot in the 2002 Holiday Bowl and have already surpassed their wins total from last season (5-7 record). At 4-2 in Pac-10 play, Arizona State is tied for third place in the league standings with Oregon. Washington State brings a 4-5 overall record and a 2-4 Pac-10 mark into Saturday's game. The Cougars snapped a four-game losing streak with a 31-29 victory over UCLA last weekend in Los Angeles.
Following this week's game with Washington State, the Sun Devils have their second bye week of the year before ending the regular season at Arizona on Friday, Nov. 26.
TBS will televise the Washington State game to a national television audience with Ron Thulin (play-by-play), Charles Davis (color) and Craig Sager (sidelines) calling the action. It marks the third time this year that ASU has appeared on TBS (1-1 record). All 11 of ASU's regular-season games in 2004 will have been televised with Fox Sports Net carrying the Nov. 26 game at Arizona. ASU has now had 13 games in a row televised dating back to the final two games of the 2003 campaign.
The Sun Devil Sports Network will carry all 11 of ASU's football games live on its 12-station radio network including flagship stations KTAR 620 AM and ESPN Radio 860 AM in Phoenix. Tim Healey (play-by-play), former Sun Devil quarterback Jeff Van Raaphorst (color analyst) and Paul Calvisi (pregame 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 the Sun Devils' official web site at www.TheSunDevils.com.
In the Series
Arizona State leads the all-time series with Washington State 16-12-2 dating back to a first meeting in 1960. The Sun Devils also hold a 10-5-2 advantage in games played in Tempe. The Cougars have won the last three games in the series, including a 34-19 victory last season on Nov. 15, 2003 in Pullman. ASU's last win in the series came on Oct. 21, 2000 when the Sun Devils snuck away with a 23-20 overtime victory in Pullman. 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 straight OT games.
The series between the two schools has traditionally been very streaky. While WSU has won the last three 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 0-5 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 three at ASU.
Tillman Jersey to Be Retired
Arizona State will retire the No. 42 jersey of former Sun Devil Pat Tillman (1976-2004) at Saturday's game with Washington State. The 1997 Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year and a three-time all-league honoree, Tillman played linebacker at ASU from 1994-97. An Academic All-American and three-time Pac-10 All-Academic selection, Tillman graduated summa cum laude from Arizona State University's W.P. Carey School of Business with a B.S. in marketing on Dec. 19, 1997.
After a successful five-year NFL career with the Arizona Cardinals, Tillman and his brother, Kevin, a former ASU baseball player, enlisted in the U.S. Army and became members of the elite Rangers unit. He was killed in the line of duty in April in Afghanistan. Tillman was posthumously promoted to corporal and awarded the Silver Star, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Purple Heart.
All season the Sun Devil team have worn a patch with Tillman's number on the front of their jerseys, while the Pac-10 Conference has honored Tillman by renaming its Defensive Player of the Year Award after him. The ASU team shop is currently selling a replica Tillman jersey with all proceeds benefitting the Pat Tillman Foundation (pattillmanfoundation.net), which promotes leadership and public service.
In cooperation with the Tillman family, Arizona State and the Arizona Cardinals have also established the Pat Tillman Memorial Scholarship. For more information on the scholarship, please contact Lynda Lumpkin at (480) 965-2475. Donations can be sent via mail to the ASU Foundation, Attn: Lynda Lumpkin, P.O. Box 873208, Tempe, AZ 85287-3208.
Saturday night is Senior Day for the 13 Sun Devils who will be playing in the final home game of their Sun Devil careers. ASU's seniors include TE Aaron Austin, DE Connor Banks, LB Justin Burks, S Emmanuel Franklin, C Drew Hodgdon, DT Kyle Kingsbury, CB Chris McKenzie, CB R.J. Oliver, DT Gabe Reininger, S Riccardo Stewart, DE Ishmael Thrower, DL Jimmy Verdon and QB Andrew Walter. All 13 seniors will also serve as honorary captains on Saturday with Stewart, Walter, Burks and Verdon participating in the coin toss.
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.
WSU assistant head coach/tight ends coach/recruiting coordinator Robin Pflugrad spent six seasons at Arizona State on former head coach Bruce Snyder's staff. Pflugrad, who is in his fourth year at WSU, was ASU's wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator from 1995-2000.
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 31, Arizona State remained the same, matching up again with Mountain Standard Time.
With last week's win over Stanford, Arizona State has won six straight home games dating back to its Nov. 28 victory over Arizona last year. Those six victories mark the longest home winning streak since the team won eight consecutive home games over the 1996 and 1997 seasons (all seven in 1996 and the season-opener in 1997).
The Sun Devils are 5-0 at home this season and have a chance to turn in just the second undefeated home season in 17 years this weekend against WSU. The last Sun Devil squad to go unbeaten at home was the 1996 Pac-10 Championship team which turned in a 7-0 record at Sun Devil Stadium. ASU's 1986 Rose Bowl team went 6-0-1, while the Sun Devils have had just 10 undefeated home campaigns in the 46 seasons since opening Sun Devil Stadium in 1958:
Undefeated Teams At Sun Devil Stadium1996 (7-0) 1973 (6-0) 1964 (7-0)1986 (6-0-1) 1971 (6-0) 1959 (7-0)1981 (7-0) 1970 (6-0)1975 (7-0) 1968 (6-0)
Last Time Out
Senior Andrew Walter threw a four-yard touchdown pass to junior Matt Miller in the closing seconds of the game to propel Arizona State to a 34-31 come-from-behind victory over Stanford last week at Sun Devil Stadium. With his four TD passes, Walter shattered John Elway's Pac-10 mark of 77 career TD passes and now has 80 in his career.
Stanford scored the first points of the game in the opening quarter when lineman Udeme Udofia blocked an ASU punt on the ASU three-yard line. The Cardinal led 7-0 at the end of the first quarter after a four-yard pass from Trent Edwards to Alex Smith.
The Sun Devils responded in the opening minutes of the second quarter as junior cornerback Josh Golden intercepted a pass at midfield to set up the offense. After Walter found sophomore Terry Richardson on a 29-yard completion, sophomore Jesse Ainsworth nailed a 34-yard field goal to narrow the gap to 7-3. However, Stanford capitalized again on another blocked punt by Udofia, this time knocking it down on the ASU 18-yard line. After missing a field goal from 43 yards but retaining possession on a penalty, Stanford tailback Kenneth Tolon rushed one yard for a TD and a 14-3 Stanford lead.
The Sun Devils answered by driving 80 yards in 31 seconds for a score. After Walter found freshman tight end Zach Miller on the right sideline for a 44-yard gain, he connected with Richardson for a 41-yard TD reception to cut the lead to 14-10 late in the half. On Stanford's next drive, Golden picked off his second pass of the night, returning it 35 yards to the Stanford 42-yard line. With two seconds left, Walter threw a long pass into the end zone, and Matt Miller hauled in the 52-yard catch to put ASU on top 17-14 at the half.
The second half opened with a pair of turnovers, but the Sun Devils came out ahead. Following an interception by junior Mike Davis, Walter fumbled on the Stanford two-yard line to give the ball back to the Cardinal. However, senior safety Riccardo Stewart hauled down Tolon in the end zone for a safety, putting the Sun Devils on top 19-14.
After a pair of punts, Walter found junior Derek Hagan on a 20-yard gain to set up a seven-yard touchdown pass to Zach Miller. After 17 unanswered points, the Sun Devils led 26-14 at the end of the third quarter. Countering with an 18-point run of their own, the Cardinal opened the fourth quarter by recovering a Sun Devil fumble on the ASU 25-yard line and punching it in for the score with a three-yard rush by tailback Ray Jones.
Following Stanford's successful two-point conversion, the Sun Devils still led 26-22. The Cardinal took possession on a turnover on downs deep in their own territory and drove 60 yards before settling with a 47-yard field goal to close to within one point of the Devils, 26-25. Stanford forced ASU into a quick punt and struck again quickly as quarterback T.C. Ostrander connected with Alex Smith on a 67-yard touchdown reception, reclaiming the lead at 31-26 after Ostrander failed to convert for two.
With 2:02 remaining in the game, the Sun Devils took possession on their own 20-yard line and began a 13-play, 80-yard drive. After scrambling for 12 yards for a first down, Walter took to the air, finding Richardson on a 19-yard gain and Hagan on an 11-yard pass. However, a nine-yard sack and a penalty found the Devils in a second-and-29 situation with time running down. Walter found Hagan for 19 yards and moved the chains on an 11-yard pass to Richardson. Inside the Cardinal 20-yard line, Walter connected with Zach Miller for 10 yards before finding Matt Miller in the end zone on a four-yard pass play that sealed the victory for the Sun Devils with just nine seconds remaining in the game.
Redshirt freshman Rudy Burgess had 34 carries for 186 rushing yards (both career highs), marking the most yards by a Sun Devil since Delvon Flowers recorded 226 in a 2001 game against Oregon State. The Sun Devil receiving corps also turned in big games as Hagan led all receivers with eight catches for 108 yards and Richardson had five catches for 107 yards and a TD. Walter finished the game with 415 yards on 28-of-42 passing with four touchdowns. On defense, senior linebacker Justin Burks had 11 tackles and a sack, while ASU turned in four interceptions for the third time this year, including the first two of the season by Golden.
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