No. 21/24 Football Takes On Purdue In Vitalis Sun Bowl
Dec. 15, 2004
#21/24 Arizona State Sun Devils (8-3, 5-3 Pac-10)
vs. Purdue Boilermakers (7-4, 4-4 Big Ten)
Friday, December 31, 2004 - 12:15 p.m. Mountain
Sun Bowl Stadium (50,426) - El Paso, Texas
CBS/Westwood One Radio/Sun Devil Sports Network
ASU Football Links:
Purdue Football Links:
Making their second bowl appearance in three years, the No. 21/24 Arizona State Sun Devils will travel to El Paso, Texas, to take on the Purdue Boilermakers in the 71st annual Vitalis Sun Bowl. The match-up between the Pac-10 Conference's third-place team and the Big Ten Conference's fifth-place team is slated to unfold Friday, Dec. 31 at the 50,426-seat Sun Bowl Stadium at 12:15 p.m. MST and will be televised nationally on CBS. Arizona State, which played six teams that earned 2004 bowl bids, finished the regular season with an 8-3 overall record, which tied for the 2002 team (8-6) for ASU's most wins since the 1997 Sun Bowl team went 9-3. ASU tied for third in the Pac-10 with a 5-3 conference mark, which matched the record and finish of ASU's 2002 Holiday Bowl squad. Winners of two of their last three regular-season games, the Sun Devils are making their sixth bowl appearance in nine years and their second in four seasons under head coach Dirk Koetter. It also marks the fourth all-time appearance for Arizona State in the Sun Bowl and the first since 1997.
Purdue, which is making its eighth consecutive bowl appearance, brings a 7-4 overall mark into the team's Sun Bowl matchup with Arizona State. The Boilermakers finished in a tie for fifth in the Big Ten standings this season with a 4-4 league mark. Purdue won its first five games of the season before dropping four straight conference games (three to ranked opponents). The Boilermakers come into the Sun Bowl on a two-game winning streak, defeating Ohio State and Indiana to wrap up Big Ten play.
CBS will televise the Vitalis Sun Bowl to a national television audience with Verne Lundquist, Todd Blackledge and Tracy Wolfson calling the action. It will mark the 14th straight game that ASU has appeared on television dating back to the final two games of the 2003 campaign. All 11 of ASU's regular-season games in 2004 were televised.
The Sun Devil Sports Network carries all 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.
Westwood One will also broadcast the Sun Bowl to a national radio audience with Joel Myers and Shea Walker calling the action.
In the Series
Purdue and Arizona State have never met on the gridiron, while the Sun Devils hold a 10-5 all-time record against teams from the Big Ten Conference. ASU went 2-0 against teams from the Big Ten this season, turning in a 30-21 victory at Northwestern on Sept. 11 and blasting then No. 16/12 Iowa 44-7 on Sept. 18 at Sun Devil Stadium. The Sun Devils have won seven of their last nine meetings with Big Ten opponents.
The Sun Devils' appearance in the 2004 Vitalis Sun Bowl will mark the 21st all-time bowl invitation for the team which holds a 10-9-1 record in postseason play. ASU has earned a bowl invitation for the sixth time in nine years and the second time in four seasons under head coach Dirk Koetter.
Arizona State has dropped its last three bowl games, including a 34-27 loss to then No. 6 Kansas State in the 2002 Pacific Life Holiday Bowl. The team's .525 postseason winning percentage ranks third in the conference, and its 21 bowl appearances are tied for fourth among Pac-10 schools. This season, five Pac-10 schools have earned bowl berths including USC, California, ASU, Oregon State and UCLA.
Pac-10 Bowl RecordsSchool W L T Pct.USC 27 15 0 .643Washington State 6 4 0 .600Arizona State 10 9 1 .525Washington 14 14 1 .500UCLA 12 12 1 .500Oregon State 4 4 0 .500Stanford 9 10 1 .475California 6 7 1 .464Arizona 5 7 1 .423Oregon 7 11 0 .389
Pac-10 Bowl Appearances (includes 2004 bowl invitations)School Appearances Last 9 YearsUSC 42 5Washington 29 7UCLA 25 6Arizona State 20 6Stanford 20 3Oregon 18 7California 14 3Arizona 13 2Washington State 10 4Oregon State 8 5
ASU in the Sun Bowl
This year will mark Arizona State's fourth all-time appearance in the Vitalis Sun Bowl and its first since 1997. The Sun Devils hold a 1-1-1 record in their Sun Bowl appearances, most recently defeating Iowa 17-7 on Dec. 31, 1997. Sun Bowl MVP Michael Martin carried the ball 27 times for 169 yards with a third-quarter touchdown to lead the Sun Devils in 1997. ASU built a 17-0 lead in the game and the Sun Devil defense held the Hawkeyes scoreless for three quarters. Leading the defense was lineman Jeremy Staat who had three quarterback sacks.
ASU went 0-1-1 in its other two appearances in the Sun Bowl, falling to Case Western Reserve 26-13 in 1941 and playing Catholic University to a 0-0 tie in 1940.
Tillman to be Honored at Sun Bowl
The Vitalis Sun Bowl will honor fallen Army Ranger and Sun Devil great Pat Tillman at this year's game by inducting Tillman into the Sun Bowl Legends Hall of Fame. His jersey number 42 will be painted on the stadium turf on game day, and members of the Tillman family will be in attendance at the game. ASU's 1997 appearance in the Sun Bowl was the last game of Tillman's Sun Devil career.
Thirteen Arizona State seniors will end their Sun Devil careers Dec. 31 at the Vitalis Sun Bowl. 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.
Thirteen Sun Devils have earned 2004 All-Pac-10 Conference honors this year, including freshman tight end Zach Miller who was named the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year. Junior offensive lineman Grayling Love and senior safety Riccardo Stewart were first-team All-Pac-10 selections, while four Sun Devils were second-team honorees and six student-athletes earned honorable-mention accolades.
The 13 combined honorees mark the most for Arizona State since the 1996 season that saw 16 different players garner all-conference honors. Miller becomes the second Sun Devil in school history to earn Pac-10 Freshman-of-the-Year honors and the first since Terrell Suggs in 2002, while it also marks the first time since 1996 that a Sun Devil had won a player of the year honor while playing offense (Jake Plummer, Offensive Player of the Year). A complete list of all of the honors earned by the Sun Devils this season is available on page 10 of this release.
Pac-10 Freshman of the Year: TE Zach MillerAll-Pac-10 First Team: OL Grayling Love, S Riccardo StewartAll-Pac-10 Second Team: QB Andrew Walter, WR Derek Hagan, RT Andrew Carnahan, DL Jimmy VerdonAll-Pac-10 Honorable Mention: PK Jesse Ainsworth, LB Justin Burks, C Drew Hodgdon, WR Terry Richardson, LB Dale Robinson, LB Jamar Williams
Seven Sun Devils were named to the Pac-10 All-Academic teams this year, led by first-teamers Jason Burke and Grayling Love. Burke, a sophomore long snapper, carries a 3.89 GPA in economics, while Love, a junior offensive lineman, holds a 3.48 GPA in finance.
Burke, Love and sophomore placekicker Jesse Ainsworth also were named to the 2004 CoSIDA Academic All-District VIII first team, marking the first time ASU has had more than two student-athletes named to that squad. Ainsworth is undeclared on his major and holds a 3.62 cumulative GPA, while Love is a second-time all-district honoree after he was a second-team academic all-district selection last season. ASU led the Pac-10 with the most student-athletes represented and was one of three schools in the district with three members on the 24-member list.
Pac-10 All-Academic First Team: LT Grayling Love, P Chris MacDonaldPac-10 All-Academic Second Team: LS Jason Burke, PK Jesse AinsworthPac-10 All-Academic Honorable Mention: RT Andrew Carnahan, QB Chad Christensen, OL Brandon RoddCoSIDA Academic All-District VIII First Team: PK Jesse Ainsworth, LS Jason Burke, LT Grayling Love
True freshman tight end Zach Miller and redshirt freshman Chris MacDonald have also been named first-team Freshman All-Americans by the Sporting News and Rivals.com. Miller, who has also been named the 2004 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, has caught 51 passes for 524 yards and six touchdowns this season. He has already set ASU's freshman receiving records for yards and catches and stands just four receptions shy of the ASU single-season mark for catches by a tight end, which was set by current Baltimore Raven Todd Heap who had 55 in 2000.
Miller was also named to the 2004 Sporting News All-America second team. He is one of four true freshmen in the country to garner first or second-team Sporting News All-America honors this season. Miller is the first Sun Devil freshman to be named an All-American since safety David Fulcher was a Sporting News second-team honoree in 1983.
MacDonald, a former walk-on who was awarded a scholarship while at Camp Tontozona in August, ranks fourth in the Pac-10 and 19th in the country with an average of 43.1 yards per punt. He has delivered 15 of his 60 kicks inside the 20-yard line this year.
Arizona State has seven players on its roster from the state of Texas, including three starters. Junior linebacker Jamar Williams and senior safety Emmanuel Franklin hail from Houston, while sophomore right tackle Andrew Carnahan is from Hereford. Also hailing from the Lone Star State are redshirt freshman offensive lineman Julius Oriekwu (Houston), junior linebacker Matt Fawley (Richardson), true freshman wide receiver Michael Jones (Sugar Land) and true freshman offensive lineman Jonathan Lehmann (Giddings).
Fourth-year Arizona State head coach Dirk Koetter is also more than a little familiar with El Paso, having coached at UTEP for three seasons from 1986 to 1988. He joined the UTEP staff as the quarterbacks coach and passing-game coordinator in 1986 and spent the next two seasons as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, helping UTEP earn an appearance in the 1988 Independence Bowl.
... Sophomore quarterback Sam Keller will be making the first start of his career in the Vitalis Sun Bowl in place of senior Andrew Walter who separated his shoulder Nov. 26 at Arizona. ASU also had a new qb in its last Sun Bowl appearance with Steve Campbell replaced the injured Ryan Kealy in 1997.
...The Sagarin rankings list ASU's schedule as the fourth-toughest in the country this season. ASU finished 19th in the final BCS rankings.
... The Sun Devils have allowed their opponents to convert on just 31.0 percent of their third-down efforts (51-166), which is third in the Pac-10. ASU is even stingier on fourth down, allowing opponents just 16.7 percent (2-12), which ranks second in the league.
... ASU also leads the league in its own fourth-down conversions at 58.8 percent (10-17).
... With an 8-3 record, ASU has a chance to turn in its most wins since 1997 when the team went 9-3 in its Sun Bowl campaign. ASU's win over WSU on Nov. 13 matched the eight the team had in 2002 when the Sun Devils finished in a tie for third in the Pac-10 and earned a trip to the Holiday Bowl.
... ASU ranks 21st in the final regular-season Associated Press poll and 24th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll. Prior to its loss at No. 1/1 USC on Oct. 16, ASU had climbed to 15th and 19th in the national polls, the highest since ASU's 1997 Sun Bowl squad finished at 14th in the final national polls.
... ASU averaged 62,641 fans per game at Sun Devil Stadium this year to rank third in the Pac-10 in home attendance. It marked the highest total since the team averaged 64,923 fans per contest in 1998. ASU's capacity crowd of 71,700 in the Sept. 20 Iowa game was the 16th-largest crowd in school history and the first sell-out at Sun Devil Stadium since Oct. 10, 1998 when 73,501 saw the Sun Devils fall to Notre Dame.
...ASU's non-conference opponents finished the regular season a combined 23-9 this season. No. 11/13 Iowa is 9-2, UTEP is 8-3 and Northwestern finished 6-6. Iowa tied for first in the Big Ten to win a share of the league title and is headed to the Capital One Bowl, while UTEP was second in the WAC standings and earned a bid to the Houston Bowl.
... After allowing just 12.8 points per game in the first five weeks of the season, ASU has allowed 34.5 ppg in the last five contests.
... The Sun Devils have scored first in six of 11 games this year after doing it just five times in 12 games in 2003. ASU has scored first only 16 times in its last 37 games dating back to the 2002 season.
... ASU's loss to top-ranked USC on Oct. 16 snapped a streak of five straight wins this year and six overall for the Sun Devils dating back to last season's win over Arizona. ASU had not won five straight games in one season since the 1997 Sun Bowl campaign, while the team had not won six straight since reeling off 11 consecutive wins to start the 1996 season.
... Arizona State holds a 225-78-3 all-time record at Sun Devil Stadium (.740).
... ASU's Pac-10 miss this year was Washington (0-8 in the league). ASU also missed the last Pac-10 team to go without a league win (Cal 0-11 in 2001).
...Assistant head coach and special teams coordinator Tom Osborne was honored as the 2003 American Football Monthly Magazine's Division I-A Special Teams Coordinator of the Year.
... ASU Athletics Director Gene Smith played football at Notre Dame, earning three letters and playing on the Irish's 1973 national title squad.
With a 45-28 victory over Washington State on Nov. 13 in the team's home finale, Arizona State won its seventh straight home game and turned in just the second undefeated (and untied) home season in 17 years. The previous 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.
ASU's seven straight home victories, which date back to the Arizona game in 2003, 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).
Undefeated Teams At Sun Devil Stadium2004 (6-0) 1975 (7-0) 1968 (6-0)1996 (7-0) 1973 (6-0) 1964 (7-0)1986 (6-0-1) 1971 (6-0) 1959 (7-0)1981 (7-0) 1970 (6-0)
Led by ASU's career-leading passer Andrew Walter who will miss the bowl game after separating his shoulder at Arizona, ASU's passing offense is averaging 312.5 yards per game this season to lead the Pac-10 and rank fifth in the country. Walter broke John Elway's Pac-10 career passing touchdowns record Nov. 6 against Stanford and set the ASU single-season mark for TD passes with five scoring strikes Nov. 13 against Washington. Walter finished his career with 85 touchdowns, including 30 this year to break Mike Pagel's previous school record of 29 in 1981. Sophomore Sam Keller will take over the quarterbacking duties for the Sun Devils in the 2004 Vitalis Sun Bowl. Keller, who will be making his first career start against Purdue, completed 65.4 percent of his passes this year (17-26) for 236 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. In place of the injured Walter, he completed 8-of-13 passes for 94 yards and a touchdown Nov. 26 against Arizona and marched the Sun Devils 60 yards down the field on the potential game-winning drive in the fourth quarter.
The Sun Devils have scored 32 of their 38 touchdowns through the air this year, while the team ranks third in the league and 23rd in the country in total offense at 427.0 yards per game. The Sun Devils are fourth in the Pac-10 and 31st nationally in scoring offense (30.1 points per game). ASU's 3,150 passing yards so far this season rank fourth on the ASU singe-season charts, while at 312.5 passing yards per game, the team is on pace to break the school record of 303.9 set in 2002.
ASU Single-Season Passing Yards1. 4,254 2002 (14 games)2. 3,291 2003 (12)3. 3,155 2000 (12)4. 3,150 2004 (11)5. 3,077 1973 (12)
ASU Single-Season Passing Yards Per Game1. 312.5 2004 (3,150 in 11)2. 303.9 2002 (4,254 in 14 games)3. 274.2 2003 (3,291 in 12)4. 262.9 2000 (3,155 in 12)5. 259.3 2001 (2,852 in 11)
Junior wide receiver Derek Hagan, who was one of 11 semifinalists for the 2004 Biletnikoff Award, has led the Sun Devils in receiving yards in eight of 11 games this season. A 2004 second-team All-Pac-10 selection and second-team rivals.com All-American, he turned in his seventh 100-yard game of the year Nov. 26 at Arizona, catching seven passes for 110 yards. His seven 100-yard games this year are more than any other player in ASU history has had in a single year.
Hagan caught five balls for a season-high 160 yards and tied his career best with three touchdown catches Oct. 23 against UCLA. He has had 100 yards in each of the last three games, including eight catches for 108 yards Nov. 6 vs. Stanford and nine for 113 yards and a TD Nov. 13 against Washington State.
With 96.9 receiving yards per game, Hagan is second in the Pac-10 and 10th in the nation, while his 6.7 receptions per contest are second in the league and 14th in the country. Of his 74 catches this year, 43 have resulted in a first down and/or a touchdown (40 first downs and nine TDs), including five of seven catches Sept. 25 vs. Oregon State and five of eight Nov. 6 against Stanford. Hagan is riding a streak of 28 straight contests with a catch (154 receptions), including all 12 games last season and 10 this year. His 74 catches rank second on the ASU single-season charts, while he is sixth on the receiving charts with 1,066 yards and needs just 10 yards to match his production of last season.
Hagan topped the 100-yard mark in each of the first three games of 2004. In ASU's Sept. 18 win over then No. 16/12 Iowa, he turned in eight catches for 112 yards and two touchdowns. At Northwestern, Hagan caught eight passes for 154 yards and two TDs, while in the Sept. 2 season-opening win over UTEP, he had eight catches for 119 yards and one touchdown. With seven catches for 66 yards Sept. 25 against Oregon State, Hagan had his streak of six straight 100-yard receiving games snapped. That game also ended a streak of six consecutive games with at least one touchdown catch. Hagan reached 100 yards in each of the last three games last year (138 yards vs. Stanford, 109 at Washington State and 155 vs. Arizona).
Hagan now has 13 career 100-yard games, which is tied for first on the ASU career lists with Eric Guliford who had 13 from 1989-91. Hagan continues to climb the ASU career receiving charts and is second on the lists with 172 catches and fifth with 2,547 yards and should break both records next year as a senior.
Hagan was a third-team All-American by Athlon in its preseason college football edition. Hagan, who was also listed as a first-team All-Pac-10 selection by the magazine and the 15th-best wide receiver in the nation by Lindy's, led the team in receiving last year with 66 catches for 1,076 yards and nine touchdowns. In addition to leading the team, his 1,076-yard performance ranked fifth on the ASU single-season charts and made him just the seventh Sun Devil in school history to tally 1,000 receiving yards in a season. Hagan finished fifth in the Pac-10 and 19th in the country in 2003 with 89.7 receiving yards per game. With 66 catches, he also ranked second in the ASU record books for receptions in a season.
RECEIVING G Rec Yds TD Lg Rec/G Avg/C Avg/G2002................ 14 32 405 0 51 2.3 12.7 28.92003................ 12 66 1076 9 80 5.5 16.3 89.72004................ 11 74 1066 9 79 6.7 14.4 96.9TOTAL............... 37 172 2547 18 80 4.6 14.8 68.8
Date Opponent No. Yds TD LgSep 02, 2004 UTEP................... 8 119 1 31Sep 11, 2004 at Northwestern........ 8 154 2 47Sep 18, 2004 IOWA................... 8 112 2 45Sep 25, 2004 OREGON STATE........... 7 66 0 16Oct 02, 2004 at Oregon.............. 4 32 0 15Oct 16, 2004 at USC................. 5 52 0 20Oct 23, 2004 UCLA................... 5 160 3 79Oct 30, 2004 at California.......... 5 40 0 18Nov 06, 2004 Stanford............... 8 108 0 20Nov 13, 2004 Washington State....... 9 113 1 47Nov 26, 2005 at Arizona............. 7 110 0 50Totals.............................. 74 1066 9 79
Date Opponent No. Yds TD LgSep 06, 2003 NORTHERN ARIZONA....... 3 55 1 40Sep 13, 2003 UTAH STATE............. 3 21 0 10Sep 20, 2003 at Iowa................ 3 7 0 3Sep 27, 2003 at Oregon State........ 3 30 1 20Oct 04, 2003 USC.................... 8 170 0 35Oct 11, 2003 OREGON................. 7 108 1 29Oct 18, 2003 at North Carolina...... 11 185 1 49Oct 25, 2003 at UCLA................ 4 37 0 18Nov 01, 2003 CALIFORNIA............. 5 61 0 17Nov 08, 2003 at Stanford............ 4 138 3 67Nov 15, 2003 at Washington State.... 7 109 1 25Nov 28, 2003 ARIZONA................ 8 155 1 80Totals.............................. 66 1076 9 80
Date Opponent No. Yds TD LgAug 24, 2002 at Nebraska............ 4 36 0 13Aug 31, 2002 EASTERN WASHINGTON..... 2 29 0 24Sep 07, 2002 UCF.................... 2 23 0 16Sep 14, 2002 at San Diego State..... 1 8 0 8Sep 28, 2002 STANFORD............... 0 0 0 0Oct 05, 2002 NORTH CAROLINA......... 2 24 0 13Oct 12, 2002 OREGON STATE........... 2 25 0 17Oct 19, 2002 at Oregon.............. 5 95 0 51Oct 26, 2002 WASHINGTON............. 0 0 0 0Nov 02, 2002 at Washington State.... 1 9 0 9Nov 09, 2002 CALIFORNIA............. 2 13 0 7Nov 16, 2002 at USC Trojans......... 6 72 0 25Nov 29, 2002 at Arizona Wildcats.... 3 52 0 28Dec 27, 2002 vs Kansas State........ 2 19 0 11Totals.............................. 32 405 0 51
Career 100-Yard Receiving Games (13):
185 at North Carolina (11 rec.), 1 TD, 10/18/03170 vs. USC (8 rec.), 10/4/03160 vs. UCLA (5 rec.), 3 TD, 10/23/04155 vs. Arizona (8 rec.), 1 TD, 11/28/03154 at Northwestern (8 rec.), 2 TD, 9/11/04138 at Stanford (4 rec.), 3 TD, 11/8/03119 vs. UTEP (8 rec.), 1 TD, 9/2/04113 vs. Washington State (9 rec.), 1 TD, 10/13/04112 vs. Iowa (8 rec.), 2 TD, 9/18/04110 at Arizona (7 rec., 0 TD, 11/26/04109 at Washington State (7 rec.), 1 TD, 11/15/03108 vs. Stanford (8 rec.), 11/6/04108 vs. Oregon (7 rec.), 1 TD, 10/12/03
Single-Season Receiving Yards:1. 1,405 Shaun McDonald (87), 20022. 1,144 Morris Owens (52), 19733. 1,104 Shaun McDonald (47), 20014. 1,082 Ron Fair (64), 19895. 1,076 Derek Hagan (66), 20036. 1,066 Derek Hagan (74), 20047. 1,036 Keith Poole (55), 19958. 1,009 J.D. Hill (61), 19709. 974 Greg Hudson (62), 1973
Single-Season Receptions:1. 87 S. McDonald (1405 yds.), 20022. 74 Derek Hagan (1066 yds.), 20043. 66 Derek Hagan (1076 yds.),20034. 64 Ron Fair (1082 yds.), 19895. 62 Skyler Fulton (901 yds.), 2003 62 Greg Hudson (974 yds.), 1973
Freshman All-American tight end Zach Miller has already set both of ASU's freshman receiving records. With 39 yards Nov. 13 against Washington State, Miller took possession of the receiving yards record and now has 524 yards, surpassing the 423 College Football Hall of Famer John Jefferson had in 1974. The 2004 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and second-team Sporting News and rivals.com All-American has also shattered ASU's record for receptions by a rookie with 51 catches, setting that mark in the Nov. 6 Stanford win. Junior Derek Hagan had held the previous mark with 32 catches as a rookie in 2002.
Miller turned in a career-high 102 receiving yards on eight catches Oct. 16 against top-ranked USC, marking the first 100-yard receiving career of his young career. This season, Miller is second on the team with 51 catches and third with 524 yards (47.6 yards per game). He is also tied with sophomore Terry Richardson for second on the team with six touchdowns and ranks seventh in the Pac-10 with 4.6 catches per contest.
Miller, who has been nicknamed 'The Truth' by his teammates for living up to the high-school accolades that tabbed him the No. 1 tight end prospect in the nation, caught 10 passes for 85 yards and the first two touchdowns of his career Sept. 18 vs. Iowa and added another TD Sept. 25 vs. Oregon State. The Phoenix native surpassed the season totals that current Baltimore Raven Todd Heap had as a freshman at ASU just five games into the 2004 season. Heap turned in 12 catches for 209 yards and four touchdowns as a rookie in 1998.
With his 51 catches, Miller has also already moved into second on the ASU's top 10 list for catches by a tight end in a single season and needs just four more catches to tie Heap's single-season mark. Heap set all of ASU's single-season records for receiving by a tight end with 55 catches for 832 yards in 1999. Miller is also seventh on the ASU single-season chart for receiving yards by a tight end.
RECEIVING G Rec Yds TD Lg Rec/G Avg/C Avg/G2004................ 11 51 524 6 44 4.6 10.3 47.6TOTAL............... 11 51 524 6 44 4.6 10.3 47.6
ASU Up for Fed Ex Express Air Team of the Year
Arizona State was voted the FedEx Express College Football Air Team of the Week on Thursday, Nov. 18 following the Sun Devils' Nov. 13 victory over Washington State. The Sun Devils are eligible to become the FedEx Express College Football Air Team of the Year. The teams of the year will be announced during the halftime of the FedEx Orange Bowl, and the winning schools will each receive $25,000 towards their general scholarship fund.
Each weekly FedEx Express and FedEx Ground team of the week is automatically eligible for the team of the year award. Voting for the team of the year program will take place at the conclusion of the college football regular season, and fans can go to www.fedexorangebowl.com to vote.
Tillman Jersey Retired
Arizona State retired the No. 42 jersey of former Sun Devil Pat Tillman (1976-2004) at halftime of the team's Nov. 13 win over Washington State. Tillman became the fifth Sun Devil to have his jersey retired and the first since Mike Haynes in 2000.
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 teams 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 benefiting the Pat Tillman Foundation (pattillmanfoundation.net), which promotes leadership and public service.
The Vitalis Sun Bowl will also honor Tillman this year by inducting him into the Sun Bowl Legends Hall of Fame. ASU's 17-7 win over Iowa in the 1997 Sun Bowl was the final game of Tillman's illustrious Sun Devil career. He had four tackles and a sack in that game.
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.
ASU's Retired JerseysNo. Player (Years) Year Retired11 Danny White (1971-73) 199727 Bobby Mulgado (1954-57) 195833 Wilford White (1947-50) 195140 Mike Haynes (1974-75) 200042 Pat Tillman (1994-97) 2004
ASU's Trio of Linebackers
Arizona State's linebacking crew of juniors Dale Robinson and Jamar Williams and senior Justin Burks has reaped big benefits from ASU's switch to a 4-3 defense this season. Each of the three players earned honorable-mention All-Pac-10 honors this season, while ASU's linebacking trio has accounted for 34.0 percent of Arizona State's tackles this year (239 of 704), including 29 of 69 stops Sept. 11 at Northwestern. Robinson has led the team in tackles four times this season, most recently 11 stops at No. 1/1 USC on Oct. 16. He and Burks are tied for the team lead and tied for ninth in the Pac-10 with 7.5 tackles per game, while Robinson is second on the team with 10.0 tackles for a loss of 46 yards. Burks paced the team in tackles in three games, including a career-best 13 stops in the win over Oregon State on Sept. 25 (six solo). Williams (6.8, T16th in the league) is third on the team in tackles. Williams led the team with 10 tackles Oct. 23 vs. UCLA and eight Nov. 13 against Washington State, while Burks had 11 in ASU's Nov. 6 win over Stanford.
Robinson was the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week after turning in 14 tackles (10 solo) against Northwestern, while Burks had eight tackles (seven solo). Williams was third on the team with seven tackles (all solo) against the Wildcats. Against Iowa on Sept. 18, Robinson led the way with nine tackles, while Williams had five stops (four solo), a TFL, a sack and an interception to earn Pac-10 Defensive Player-of-the-Week honors. The trio was on the watch lists for both the 2004 Rotary Lombardi and the Butkus Awards earlier this year.
Last season while at Glendale (Ariz.) Community College, Robinson, who is originally from Queens, N.Y., and was a childhood friend of ASU senior cornerback Chris McKenzie, was the Western States League Defensive Player of the Year.
ASU's Pac-10 Players of the Week
Senior quarterback Andrew Walter was named the Pac-10 Co-Offensive Player of the Week on Nov. 8, marking the second time this year that he was recognized by the conference. This season, ASU had five players earn Pac-10 Player-of-the-Week honors, sweeping the defensive category in three straight weeks earlier this year. Here is a list of the Sun Devils who have been named Pac-10 Player of the Week this year:
Date Player Honor OpponentN 8 Andrew Walter Co-Offensive StanfordO 25 Andrew Walter Offensive UCLAS 27 Emmanuel Franklin Defensive Oregon StateS 20 Jamar Williams Defensive Iowa Jesse Ainsworth Special Teams IowaS 13 Dale Robinson Defensive Northwestern
Arizona State's defense has snagged a season-high four interceptions three times this year, most recently Nov. 6 against Stanford. The team also picked off four passes in the season opener vs. UTEP and on Oct. 23 vs. UCLA. Junior cornerback Josh Golden had two of ASU's four picks Nov. 6 vs. the Cardinal, marking the fourth game this year that a Sun Devil has had two interceptions (senior safety Emmanuel Franklin vs. UCLA and UTEP, junior linebacker Jamar Williams vs. Oregon State, Golden vs. Stanford).
Arizona State's defense has intercepted 17 passes this year, which ranks third among Pac-10 teams, while 10 Sun Devils have had at least one pick this season, including redshirt freshman safety Josh Barrett who had his first career interception Nov. 26 at Arizona and sophomore defensive end Kyle Caldwell with his first career pick Nov. 13 against Washington State. Franklin is tied for third in the Pac-10 and 28th in the country with his four interceptions (0.36 per game), while Williams is 10th in the league with three interceptions this year (0.27). Golden and junior Mike Davis Jr. each have two interceptions on the season for the Sun Devils.
Franklin leads the active roster with five career interceptions. Only senior R.J. Oliver, who suffered a season-ending foot injury in preseason practice, has more interceptions in his career (eight). Franklin returned his second interception against the UTEP Miners 48 yards for touchdown, marking the second time that the fifth-year senior, who missed the 2002 season after having brain surgery, has accomplished the feat. In 2001, his redshirt freshman year, Franklin set the school record and tied the Pac-10 mark for the longest interception return with a 100-yarder in the season opener vs. San Diego State.
Spreading the Wealth
Arizona State's offense features three of the top 10 receivers in the Pac-10 this season. Junior Derek Hagan is ranked second in the Pac-10 and 15th in the nation with 6.7 catches per game, while freshman Zach Miller (4.6) and sophomore Terry Richardson (3.8) are seventh and 11th in the league, respectively. Hagan is also ranked second in the league and 10th in the nation with 96.9 receiving yards per game, while Richardson is ninth in the Pac-10 (56.8 ypg).
Thirteen Sun Devils have caught passes this year, while nine players have made touchdown catches on the season, including junior Matt Miller who caught his first two TD passes of the season Nov. 6 against Stanford, including the game-winner with nine seconds left. On Nov. 13 against Washington State, ASU had five different players catch a touchdown pass.
Spreading the wealth is nothing new to the Sun Devils who completed passes to 13 different receivers last year and 14 during the 2002 Holiday Bowl campaign. Last season, ASU had a different player lead the team in receiving in each of the team's first five games.
ASU has also had two receivers turn in 100 yards in the same game twice this year, both times by Hagan and Richardson. Hagan had 160 yards and Richardson had a career-best 159 against over UCLA on Oct. 23, while the pair did it again Nov. 6 against Stanford (Hagan-108, Richardson-107). Last season, the Sun Devils accomplished the feat three times, doing it in each of the last three games (at Stanford, at Washington State and Arizona). Hagan turned in a 100-yard game in each of those last three contests and was joined by Matt Miller in the Stanford game and Skyler Fulton in the other two.
Five Sun Devil seniors - quarterback Andrew Walter, linebacker Justin Burks, center Drew Hodgdon, defensive lineman Jimmy Verdon and cornerback Chris McKenzie - have already been invited to play in various senior all-star games this year.
Walter was invited to play in the Senior Bowl on Jan. 29, 2005 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala. Burks and Hodgdon have accepted the invitation to play in the East-West Shrine Game on Jan. 15, 2005 at SBC Park in San Francisco. Verdon has been invited to participate in both the East-West Shrine Bowl and the Hula Bowl (Jan. 22, 2005 at War Memorial Stadium on Maui). McKenzie has been invited to play in the Las Vegas All-American Classic, which will be held Jan. 22, 2005 at the Sam Boyd Stadium.
Brent Guy to Take Over at Utah State
ASU defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Brent Guy has been named as the 25th head football coach at Utah State University. Guy, who has served as ASU's defensive coordinator for the past four seasons, was previously an assistant coach at Utah State from 1992-94. He will remain with the Arizona State football team in its preparations for the Vitalis Sun Bowl before heading to Logan, Utah, for his first head coaching position. A 1983 graduate of Oklahoma State, Guy has been a part of nine bowl appearances in his playing and coaching career, including this year's Sun Bowl.
Notes from the Red Zone
Arizona State has been efficient in the red zone on both sides of the ball this season. On offense, the Sun Devils have scored on 77.6 percent of their trips into the red zone (38-49, 25 TDs and 13 FGs) to rank fourth in the Pac-10, including 7-of-7 in the team's Sept. 18 win over then No. 16/12 Iowa and 5-of-5 in an Oct. 23 win over UCLA. The Sun Devils' Oct. 30 game at California marked the only game this season that ASU has failed to score when getting inside its opponents' 20-yard line (0-3).
Arizona State is fifth in the Pac-10 in red-zone defense, allowing teams to score 76.5 percent of the time (26-34). ASU's opponents have scored 20 touchdowns and six field goals in those trips inside the ASU 20-yard line.
Arizona State ranks third in the Pac-10 and 35th in the nation in turnover margin, forcing +0.36 turnovers per game. The Sun Devils have won the turnover battle 26-22, recovering nine fumbles and picking off 17 passes, while giving up 22 miscues (10 interceptions and 12 fumbles). Prior to losing four fumbles Oct. 30 at Cal, ASU had been the only squad in the nation that had not lost a fumble this year. ASU has gone without a turnover in three of the team's 11 games this year (Northwestern, Oregon State and Oregon) and turned the ball over a season-high five times Oct. 30 against California and Nov. 26 at Arizona. Oklahoma State is leading the nation at +1.64, while USC is first in the Pac-10 in turnover margin at +1.17.
Senior safety Emmanuel Franklin is tied for third in the Pac-10 and 28th in the country with his four interceptions (.36 per game), while junior linebacker Jamar Williams is 10th in the league with three interceptions this year. Franklin, sophomore defensive tackle Jordan Hill and senior defensive ends Ishmael Thrower and Jimmy Verdon have each recovered two fumbles this season. Verdon returned a fumble 24 yards for touchdown Nov. 26 at Arizona.
Putting the Special in Special Teams
ASU's kickers, Jesse Ainsworth and Chris MacDonald, have had a great deal of success so far in 2004. Ainsworth, a sophomore in his second year as ASU's placekicker, tops the league in several kicking categories. The 2004 honorable-mention All-Pac-10 selection is tied for second in the Pac-10 and ranks 20th in the nation in field goals made (1.45). In addition, he is first in field goal percentage (16-23, .696) and tied for first in PAT kicking (37-37). Ainsworth ranks second in the Pac-10 in both overall and kick scoring and fifth in the Pac-10 in overall scoring (7.7 points per game). He has drilled a career-long 48 field goal twice this season (vs. UTEP and Iowa). On 62 kickoffs, he has 36 touchbacks and sailed another 23 inside the 10-yard line.
MacDonald, a redshirt freshman who earned 2004 Freshman All-America honors from both rivals.com and the Sporting News, has averaged 43.1 yards per punt, which ranks fourth in the Pac-10 and 19th in the country. He booted a career-long 72-yard punt Nov. 13 vs. Washington State and had 61-yarder Sept. 25 against Oregon State. MacDonald also has six touchbacks and has had 15 of his 58 punts downed inside the 20-yard line, including 3-of-4 Oct. 2 at Oregon.
Redshirt freshman Rudy Burgess has also established himself in ASU's return game this year. He is averaging 22.5 yards per kickoff return which is fifth in the Pac-10, while he also ranks fourth in the Pac-10 with 7.4 yards per punt return. Against Northwestern on Sept. 11, he turned in 127 return yards (67 punt and 60 kickoff), including career longs with a 42-yard kickoff return and a 34-yard punt return.
Getting to the Quarterback
Arizona State's defense is third in the Pac-10 with 34 sacks this year. Sophomore defensive end Kyle Caldwell leads the team and ranks seventh in the league with 7.0 sacks (0.64 per game), including two in ASU's Nov. 13 win over Washington State. Sophomore defensive tackle Jordan Hill is second on the team and tied for 10th in the league with 6.5 sacks (0.59 sacks per game), while senior defensive end Ishmael Thrower trails just behind with 5.5 sacks. ASU has 14 players with at least one sack on the year, including senior cornerback Chris McKenzie who had the first sack of his career Nov. 6 against Stanford.
On the other side of the ball, Arizona State's offensive line is eighth in the Pac-10 in sacks allowed, giving up 36 through 11 games this season. The Sun Devils did not allow a sack in two games this year (Iowa and Oregon State). ASU gave up just eight sacks through the first five games of the season. Last year, ASU was third in the Pac-10 with 25 sacks on the year.
Senior center Drew Hodgdon made his return to the field Sept. 25 against Oregon State after missing the first three games with a broken foot and made his first start of the year Oct. 2 at Oregon. The Sun Devils returned three starters along the offensive line in 2004 in senior center Drew Hodgdon (33 career starts), junior guard Grayling Love (23) and sophomore right tackle Andrew Carnahan (23). New starters this year include redshirt freshman center Mike Pollak who has five starts (the first four games of the year at center and the USC game at right guard), and sophomore left guard Stephen Berg who has started the last 10 contests after redshirt freshman Brandon Rodd (also a new starter) tore his ACL in the first game of the year. In addition, junior left tackle Chaz White has started 16 games in his career. Love earned first-team All-Pac-10 honors this year after garnering second-team accolades a year ago, while Carnahan is a second-team all-league selection this year after earning Freshman All-America honors last season. Love was also named a preseason honorable-mention All-American by Street & Smith's and was listed as the best run blocker in the Pac-10 by Lindy's.
Senior quarterback Andrew Walter will miss Arizona State's Vitalis Sun Bowl appearance after suffering a shoulder separation in the regular-season finale at Arizona. The Grand Junction, Colo., native ends his career as one of the top quarterbacks in school and league history.
A semifinalist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm and the Davey O'Brien awards this year, Walter became the Pac-10 career touchdown pass leader this season and finished his career with 85, surpassing the 77 that John Elway threw in his Stanford career (1979-82). Walter also became just the sixth quarterback in Pac-10 history to throw for 10,000 yards and finishes fifth on the league's career list with 10,617 yards.
A second-team All-Pac-10 selection this year, Walter set just about every passing record in school history. He holds the top three single-season efforts in passing yards, including the second-best mark of 3,150 yards this year, and three of the top four marks for touchdown passes in a season. This year, Walter, who has already earned his bachelor's degree in communication, set the school single-season mark with 30 touchdown passes. Walter finishes his career ranked second among the NCAA's active career leaders for passing touchdowns and sixth in career passing yards. Hawaii's Timmy Chang (113) is the only active quarterback in the nation to have thrown more career touchdown passes than Walter.
This season, Walter ranked second in the Pac-10 at 286.4 passing yards per game and second in the league and 16th in the nation in total offense at 276.2 yards per game. He completed 57.3 percent of his attempts (244-426) with 30 touchdowns and only nine interceptions this year.
PASSING G Att- Cmp- Int Yds TD Lg Pct Avg/P Avg/G Effic2001................ 11 86- 38- 2 546 3 53 44.2 6.3 49.6 104.42002................ 14 483- 274- 15 3877 28 85 56.7 8.0 276.9 137.12003................ 12 421- 221- 10 3044 24 80 52.5 7.2 253.7 127.32004................ 11 426- 244- 9 3150 30 79 57.3 7.4 286.4 138.4TOTAL............... 48 1416- 777- 36 10617 85 85 54.9 7.5 221.2 132.6
ASU Single-Game TD Passes:1. 7 Mike Pagel vs. Stanford, 19812. 6 Andrew Walter vs. Stanford, 2004 6 Danny White vs. New Mexico, 19714. 5 Andrew Walter vs. WSU, 2004 5 Andrew Walter vs. Iowa, 2004 5 Andrew Walter vs. Stanford, 2002 5 Jeff Krohn vs. Oregon, 2000
ASU Single-Game Passing Yards:1. 536 Andrew Walter vs. Oregon, 20022. 534 Paul Justin vs. WSU, 19893. 532 Jeff Van Raaphorst vs. FSU, 19844. 511 Ryan Kealy vs. Arizona, 19985. 477 Andrew Walter vs. Cal, 2002
Pac-10 Career TD Passes:1. 85 Andrew Walter, ASU, 2001-P2. 77 John Elway, Stanford, 1979-823. 75 Steve Stenstrom, Stanford, 1991-944. 72 Carson Palmer, USC, 1998-025. 70 Jason Gesser, WSU, 1999-02
Pac-10 Career Passing Yards:1. 11,818 Carson Palmer, USC, 1998-022. 10,911 Steve Stenstrom, Stanford, 1991-943. 10,708 Cade McNown, UCLA, 1995-984. 10,617 Andrew Walter, ASU, 2001-P5. 10,540 Derek Anderson, OSU, 2001-P6. 10,220 Cody Pickett, UW, 1999-037. 9,680 Jonathan Smith, OSU, 1998-018. 9,393 Erik Wilhelm, OSU, 1995-989. 9,349 John Elway, Stanford, 1979-8210. 8,830 Jason Gesser, WSU, 1999-02
A 2003 second-team All-Pac-10 honoree, senior safety Riccardo Stewart made his return to the field Sept. 11 at Northwestern a memorable one. He was third on the team in tackles with seven stops (all solo) and caused the game-clinching turnover in the fourth quarter against the Wildcats. Stewart stopped NU's potential go-ahead drive with a bone-jarring hit on the Wildcat tailback Terrell Jordan at the ASU 20, forcing a fumble, which was recovered by senior Ishmael Thrower. Stewart was also second on the team with six tackles (five solo) Oct. 16 at No. 1 USC. He led the team with a career-best 12 tackles (10 solo) Oct. 30 against No. 7/8 California and tied for the team lead with eight tackles Nov. 13 vs. Washington State (seven solo).
A two-year team co-captain, Stewart won the Sun Devil Valor Award in each of the last two seasons, an honor given to a great team player who consistently displays courage on and off the field. This season, he was fourth on the team with 7.0 tackles per game (48 solo, 15 assisted) but will miss ASU's bowl game after having shoulder surgery following the Arizona game.
Stewart earned first-team All-Pac-10 honors this year, which marked the third straight season that he has garnered mention on the all-league teams (second-team in 2003 and honorable-mention in 2002). Stewart was a preseason honorable-mention All-American by Street & Smith's and was listed as the 20th-best safety in the country in the preseason by Lindy's. A four-year starter, Stewart is one of the most experienced Sun Devils with 41 career games and 31 starts to his credit. Last year, he ranked second on the team and seventh in the Pac-10 with 7.6 tackles per game (84 stops) and paced the Sun Devils with three interceptions.
A total of 26 players saw the first action of their Sun Devil careers in the Sept. 2 season opener against UTEP, including five true freshmen, 16 redshirt freshmen, four juniors and one senior. Four of those players made starts in their ASU debuts, including redshirt freshmen offensive linemen Mike Pollak and Brandon Rodd, true freshman h-back Zach Miller and junior linebacker Dale Robinson. In comparison, 20 Sun Devils saw the first action of their careers in the Sun Devils' first two games last season.
The five true freshmen to see action against UTEP included Miller, walk-on cornerback Rodney Cox, wide receiver/cornerback Jeremy Payton, tight end Andrew Pettes and linebacker Antone Saulsberry. Payton saw action both on offense and defense against the Miners. Last year, seven true freshmen played for the Sun Devils. ASU's current roster features a total of 19 Sun Devils who saw action during their true freshman campaigns, including Jesse Ainsworth, Josh Barrett, Kyle Caldwell, Sam Keller, DeAndre Johnson, Daniel Varvel and Mark Washington in 2003; Mike Davis Jr., Matt Fawley, Derek Hagan, Mike Talbot, Chaz White and Jamar Williams in 2002; and Lamar Baker in 2001.
Lighting Up the Scoreboard
Arizona State has averaged 30.5 points per game in Dirk Koetter's four years at the helm. This year, the Sun Devils are fourth in the Pac-10 and 31st in the nation at 30.1 points per game. The team averaged 24.5 points per game last year, 32.3 ppg in 2002 and 34.0 ppg in 2001. Last season, the Sun Devils scored a season-high 59 points in a 59-14 win over Oregon on Oct. 11. That effort 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. Since coming to ASU, a Koetter-led team has put 50 or more points on the scoreboard four times (10 times in his career).
With their 27-0 loss at No. 7/8 California on Oct. 30, the Sun Devils had their school-record streak of 109 consecutive games without being shut out snapped. It marked the first shutout for the team in nine years, since a 31-0 loss at USC on Sept. 30, 1995.
ASU Picked Sixth in Preseason Pac-10 Poll
Arizona State was picked to finish sixth in the Pac-10 in the league's preseason poll of West Coast media members. Defending league and Associated Press national champion USC was picked to finish first, garnering all 24 first-place votes. ASU proved to be something of a challenge for the media members. The Sun Devils were sixth but were just seven points out of fourth place, while media members picked them anywhere from third to ninth. The Sun Devils exceeded all expectations this year, finishing in a tie for third place in the league standings, their second third-place showing in three years.
2004 Pac-10 Preseason Media Poll (first-place votes in parentheses)No. Team Pts. Actual Finish1. USC (24) 240 1st2. California 210 2nd3. Oregon 192 T5th4. Oregon State 138 T3rd5. Washington State 133 7th6. Arizona State 131 T3rd7. Washington 100 10th8. UCLA 98 T5th9. Stanford 40 T8th10. Arizona 38 T8th