Sun Devils Getting Ready For Northwestern

Sept. 13, 2005

Potent offense awaits Northwestern defense

Matching the fourth-best offense in the country against a defense that returns only three starters from a year ago may not be what Northwestern was hoping for on Saturday.

But No. 18 Arizona State can't complain.

After last weekend's 35-31 loss to Louisiana State, the Sun Devils are the nation's fourth-most potent offense, averaging 559.5 yards per game. advertisement

'They lost a lot of guys on that defense,' ASU coach Dirk Koetter said. 'They're playing a lot of new faces'

With Northwestern having only three returners, two of which are linebackers, ASU will be able to throw more at it than it did in a 30-21 win a year ago. Koetter is looking to have his team run more in between the tackles against Northwestern, something it wasn't able to do against LSU.

ROBINSON HONORED

The Pac-10 named ASU senior linebacker Dale Robinson its Defensive Player of the Week. The award comes two days after Robinson had a game-high 15 tackles, one sack and a forced fumble in the Sun Devils' loss.

Koetter was impressed that the Pac-10 gave the award to a player from a losing team.

'Dale was all over the field,' Koetter said. 'Can't imagine that many people played better than Dale, win or lose, because he was everywhere. His effort was fantastic, on top of the fact that he's a very talented player.'

ONE WAY TO LEARN

Because ASU didn't have an LSU game tape from this season to study, Koetter had to revert to Nebraska footage from two seasons ago.

Why Nebraska from 2003?

Because LSU defensive coordinator Bo Pelini was in the same position there when the Cornhuskers ran the type of defense that Koetter expected from LSU.

The results weren't too bad for a team that didn't know what to expect.

'I'd say they did about 40 percent of what we thought they would, and about 60 percent different than what we thought they would,' Koetter said.

NOT TOTAL YET

It will take about a week to 10 days for ASU to have a final tally raised from the game against LSU, said Tom Collins, ASU senior associate athletic director.

Besides adding up ticket sales, ASU is determining LSU's expenses to get to a grand total. All money left after expenses will be donated to the Hurricane Katrina relief effort.

FORMER TEAMMATES

Redshirt defensive end Loren Howard, who transferred from Northwestern in August, will not play against his former team Saturday.

Besides sitting out the mandatory one year, Howard had knee surgery in August. He missed last year's game against ASU with another injury.

EXTRA POINTS

Koetter said he hopes to get freshman running back Keegan Herring more playing time in the coming games. Herring, who was coming off a record-breaking ASU debut, rushed five times for 36 yards, but fumbled once against LSU. . . . Freshman linebacker Chad Lindsey has not played yet this season, but the coaching staff hopes that will change soon. . . . Tailback Shaun DeWitty has yet to play a down because of an injury sustained in training camp. Koetter said DeWitty has been practicing well, and a decision on his future should come soon. The problem, Koetter said, is that because DeWitty missed so much time, it might be tough for him to get the repetitions he needs.

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