No. 18/17 Football Opens Pac-10 Play At Oregon State

Sept. 19, 2005

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    Following a decisive 52-21 victory over Northwestern that included a school-record 773 yards of total offense, the No. 18/17 Arizona State University Sun Devils are set to open conference play this weekend, travelling to play Oregon State (2-1), Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. at Reser Stadium. The Sun Devils are off to a 2-1 start and the high-powered offense has scored 146 points to set a school record for the most points scored in the first three games of a season. The Beavers are coming off a 63-27 loss at No. 11 Louisville, but will be on their home turf where they have the best home record within Pac-10 Conference games since 1999, going 18-6 (.750) over that stretch. The Beavers have also played in five bowl games in the last six years, including beating Notre Dame in the Insight Bowl last season. Following this week's game with the OSU Beavers, ASU will return home to play its fourth home game at Sun Devil Stadium against No. 1/1 USC (3-0).

    Media Exposure
    TBS will televise the Oregon State game to a national audience with Ron Thulin (play-by-play), Charles Davis (color) and Craig Sager (sidelines) calling the action. It marks the third TV game this season and 16th in the last 17 games dating back to the end of the 2003 season. 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), Mark Lewis (pregame) and Vince Marotta (halftime and postgame) will bring the action to Sun Devil fans. Amy Bender will provide reports from the ASU sidelines during home games. ASU games can also be heard live on the Sun Devils' official web site at

    In the Series with Oregon State
    Arizona State holds a 22-8-1 all-time advantage in the series with Oregon State and has won eight of the last 10 meetings. Last year, the Sun Devils opened Pac-10 play with a 27-14 win over the Beavers at Sun Devil Stadium (9/25/04). In that game, the ASU defense held the Beavers to -19 rushing yards and forced three turnovers. In ASU's last trip to Corvallis in 2003, the Beavers snapped ASU's seven-game winning streak in the series with a 45-17 victory at Reser Stadium in the Pac-10 opener for both teams. ASU is 5-5-1 all-time in games played in Corvallis and is 3-2 in its last five trips to the OSU campus. The Sun Devils have dominated the series in games played in Tempe, going 17-3 and have won 15 straight. ASU has earned a victory in 23 of the last 25 meetings with the Beavers. ASU's only losses in that streak, which stretches back 33 years, came in 2003 and 1993 (a 30-14 defeat in Corvallis), while the only tie came in 1989 (17-17).

    Quick Hits -- Release Highlights

    ... Sam Keller has 15 TD's and 1,309 yards passing in four career starts (3-1).... Derek Hagan is ASU's all-time leading receiver (196 catches).... Hagan is 27 yards short of also becoming ASU's career leader in receiving yards.... Keegan Herring is second in the Pac-10 and 11th in the NCAA with 122.3 yds/gm.... ASU set a school record with 773 yards of total offense vs. Northwestern.... ASU ranks second in the nation in total offense per game (630.67).... ASU has won 12 of its last 16 games since 2003 and nine of last 10 home games.... The offensive line has allowed only one sack in three games this season.... Jamaal Lewis has caught a TD on eight of his 25 career receptions.... Rudy Burgess has been versatile with 150 yds rushing and 137 yds receiving.

    Team Captains
    Six Sun Devils have been elected team co-captains by their teammates. ASU's team co-captains for the season are senior tight end/h-back Lee Burghgraef, senior wide receiver Derek Hagan, junior defensive tackle Jordan Hill, junior quarterback Sam Keller and senior center Grayling Love. Three of those six captains will represent the Sun Devils at the coin toss each game with an additional single-game captain who is selected by ASU's coaches each week. The single-game captain for the Oregon State game will be senior cornerback Josh Golden.

    In the Rankings
    Following last week's 52-21 win over Northwestern, the Sun Devils remained No. 18 in this week's Associated Press poll and improved five spots from No. 22 to No. 17 in the USA Today coaches' polls. The Sun Devils climbed to 15th in both polls after the season-opening victory over Temple, marking the highest national ranking for the team since being 14th in each of the final polls in 1997. Oregon State is not ranked.

    Last Time Out -- ASU 52, Northwestern 21
    Behind 197 yards and two touchdowns from freshman Keegan Herring and another four-touchdown performance from Sam Keller, the Arizona State Sun Devils defeated the Northwestern Wildcats, 52-21, in front of a crowd of 55,029 at Sun Devil Stadium.

    Striking first, Northwestern marched down field on an eight-play, 80 drive, led by quarterback Brett Basanez, who completed five of six passes on the drive, including a seven-yard touchdown strike to receiver Shaun Herbert. The Sun Devils answered back and quickly moved the ball down the field, as Keller connected with receiver Rudy Burgess on a 39-yard completion to set up a two-yard touchdown run by Herring. At the end of the first quarter, the score was even at 7-7.

    The Sun Devils posted 31 points in the second quarter, beginning right away with a four-play drive that scored less than one minute into the quarter. Keller found tight end Jamaal Lewis open on the sideline for a 36-yard touchdown reception. On their next possession, Keller found receiver Matt Miller for a 65-yard completion that brought the Devils down to the Northwestern 15-yard line and set up a 27-yard field goal by Jesse Ainsworth. Three minutes into the second quarter, the Devils led 17-7.

    After sophomore defensive end Kellen Mills forced a Northwestern fumble on their own 38-yard line, the Devils quickly took advantage of it and Keller found Hagan open in the end zone on a 24-yard completion. ASU then forced Northwestern into a quick three-and-out and Keegan Herring helped the Sun Devils score again with a five-yard touchdown rush, his second of the game to give the Sun Devils a 31-7 lead. Following up with an 80-yard drive, Northwestern used a combination of its passing offense and defensive penalties to score on a five-yard pass from Basanez to Herbert. However, the Devils punched it into the end zone one more time before the end of the half, as Keller connected with Burgess on a 15-yard touchdown completion. At the end of the first half, the Devils had a 38-14 lead.

    With the game soundly in hand, the Devils used a balanced attack of the run and the pass in the third quarter, striking again with 4:16 remaining on a 30-yard pass from Keller to Matt Miller, the only score of the quarter. With the starters sitting for both teams, Northwestern added a touchdown on a 12-yard completion from quarterback C.J. Bacher to Rasheed Ward and the Sun Devils' quarterback Rudy Carpenter hooked up with Brent Miller in the end zone on a seven-yard touchdown to make the final count in the game 52-21.

    The Sun Devils tabulated a school-record 773 yards of offense in the game, getting 409 passing yards and four touchdowns from Keller on 20-of-31 passing. Herring's 197-yards rushing performance was the 22nd best in school history and the most by a Sun Devil since 2001 (226 by Delvon Flowers vs. Oregon State). Senior wide receiver Derek Hagan led all players with five catches for 90 yards and Matt Miller recorded a game-high 103 receiving yards on three catches with one touchdown. Josh Barrett led the Sun Devils on defense with eight total tackles and Zach Catanese and Jeremy Payton both notched seven tackles each.

    Pac-10 Lid Lifters
    Arizona State holds a 9-16-2 all-time record in Pac-10 Conference openers since joining the league in 1978. Last year, the Sun Devils beat Oregon State 27-14 to open league action at Sun Devil Stadium. Prior to last season, ASU's last win in the team's Pac-10 opener came in 2002 when the Sun Devils turned in a 65-24 win over Stanford on Sept. 28 at Sun Devil Stadium, a game which set a school record for scoring in a Pac-10 game. That win over the Cardinal snapped a four-game losing streak in Pac-10 openers for ASU. This year marks the fifth time in the last seven years (dating back to 1998) and six times in the previous nine seasons (dating back to 1995) that ASU will open the league slate on the road.

    Oregon State Connections
    ASU running backs coach Tom Nordquist is a 1993 graduate of Oregon State. Nordquist was the starting center for the Beavers from 1990-91 and spent two years as an assistant coach there in 1992-93. A junior college All-American in 1989, Nordquist transferred to OSU from Arizona Western College. Senior wide receiver Matt Miller's father, Scott, played at Oregon State from 1962-64 and was a member of the Beavers' 1965 Rose Bowl squad.

    Three Games, 146 Points = School Record
    Through the first three games of the season, the Sun Devils have scored 146 points, averaging 48.7 points per game. The 146 points scored are a school record for the first three games of the season, bettering the previous record of 145 set by the 1950 squad. ASU has scored over 115 points in the first three games of a season five times in the program's 94-year history. Junior place kicker Jesse Ainsworth leads the team with 26 points scored (2 FG, 20 PAT) and junior tight end Jamaal Lewis has 24 points by way of a team-leading four touchdowns. Quarterbacks Sam Keller (12 TD's) and Rudy Carpenter (2 TD's) have combined for 14 of ASU's 20 touchdowns on the year.

    Getting Offensive
    The Sun Devils set a school record with 773 yards of total offense in the 52-21 win over Northwestern. ASU's offensive performance was fueled by 483 yards passing and 290 yards on the ground. The previous school record was 743 yards (232 rush/511 pass) vs. Stanford in 1981. ASU leads the Pac-10 and ranks second in the nation with 630.7 yards of total offense per game and is third in the NCAA averaging 401 yards passing.

    Running Wild
    The Sun Devils rushed for 290 yards in the 52-21 win over Northwestern, marking the second 200-yard rushing game of the season (300 vs. Temple). The pair of 200-yard rushing contests mark the first time ASU has had two, 200-yard or more rushing games in a season since the 2001 season (3 200+ rushing games). ASU's six rushing TD's this season are already tied with the entire season total from the 12-game season in 2004. Led by 375 yards from freshman tailback Keegan Herring, 11 different players have carried the ball this year as the Devils are averaging 229.7 yards per game.

    First Half Heroics vs. Northwestern
    After a 7-7 tie after the first quarter against Northwestern, the Sun Devils erupted for 31 points in the second quarter to take a 38-14 lead at halftime. En route to the school-record 773 yards of total offense, ASU already had 532 yards in the first two quarters (343 passing/189 rushing), led by the 15-for-22, 343-yard passing performance from Sam Keller and 148 yards rushing and a pair of touchdowns from freshman tailback Keegan Herring. ASU's 38 first-half points were the most by a Sun Devil squad since also scoring 38 against Stanford in 2002 (9/28/02 -- 65-24 win). Keller's 343 passing yards marks the best first-half performance since current Oakland Raider Andrew Walter had 289 passing yards and four TD's against Stanford in 2002.

    Sam I Am
    Junior quarterback Sam Keller has turned in 1,078 passing yards and thrown for 12 touchdowns in the first three games this season. His 669 yards in the first two games set the school record (for first two games of a season), previously held by Jeff Krohn who had 637 combined yards in the first two games of 2001 (San Diego State and Stanford). With 56 attempts and no interceptions vs. fifth-ranked LSU (9/10/05), he also broke Paul Justin's record for consecutive attempts without an interception in a single game (51 vs. Houston, 1990).

    Keller, who is on the Maxwell Award watch list, is leading the Pac-10 with 359.3 passing yards per game and is third in the league and sixth in the nation in total offense at 355.3 yards per contest this year. He has started the last four games, dating back to his MVP performance in the 2004 Sun Bowl, and holds a 3-1 record in those contests. In his four games as ASU's starter, Keller has averaged 362.0 yards per contest, completed 60.2 percent (94-156) of his passing attempts and thrown 15 touchdown passes.

    Keller opened the 2005 season with a solid performance, completing 14-of-24 passes for 208 yards and a career-best four touchdowns Sept. 1 vs. Temple (63-16 win). He has followed that performance with back-to-back four TD, 400-yard games against LSU and Northwestern. He set career marks with 35 completions, 56 attempts and 461 yards against the Tigers. His 461 yards were the ninth-best single-game performance in school history, while he has also tied for eighth on the ASU single-game chart for TD passes in each of the last three weeks.

    Keller's Career Starts (4):Opponent                  Att Comp  Int    Pct Yards  TD LongPurdue (12/31/04)........  45   25    0   55.6   370   3   41Temple (9/1/05)..........  24   14    2   58.3   208   4   31LSU (9/10/05)............  56   35    0   62.5   461   4   44Northwestern (9/17/05)...  31   20    0   64.5   409   4   65Totals in ASU Starts..... 156   94    2   60.2  1448  15   65

    ASU's Receiving Corps
    ASU has spread the receiving wealth this season with 16 Sun Devils catching at least one pass and eight different players hauling in a touchdown pass. Last week vs. Northwestern, 10 Sun Devils had at least one reception with five different players catching TD passes, while the previous week against LSU, nine caught a pass and three different receivers scored touchdowns. Senior All-American candidate Derek Hagan leads the team with 15 catches for 238 yards (79.3 avg/game) and has caught three TD passes. He is ninth in the Pac-10 with 5.0 receptions per game and seventh in the league with 79.3 yards per contests. Junior tight end/h-back Jamaal Lewis paces the squad with four touchdown receptions this season. He has scored a touchdown on four of his nine receptions on the year, while in his career, Lewis has scored eight TDs in just 25 catches.

    The ASU receiving corps has been ranked as the fifth-best unit in the nation by Lindy's. ASU returns its top six receivers from last season, including preseason All-Americans Hagan and Zach Miller. Last year, ASU's offense featured three of the top 10 receivers in the Pac-10. Hagan finished the year ranked second in the Pac-10 and 12th in the nation with 6.9 catches per game, while Miller (4.7) was seventh in the league. Hagan also ranked second in the league and seventh in the nation with 104.0 receiving yards per game, while Terry Richardson ended up ninth in the Pac-10 at 56.6 yards per game last season.

    Hagan's Hijinks
    Senior preseason All-American wide receiver Derek Hagan leads the Sun Devils with 15 catches for 238 yards this season. With his season-high seven catches against LSU (9/10), Hagan became ASU's all-time leader in career receptions, passing the 188 that College Football Hall of Famer John Jefferson had (1974-77). Hagan has now caught 196 passes in his Sun Devil career and needs just 27 yards and four touchdowns to set ASU's career records in those categories as well. Additionally, Hagan is currently 11th in Pac-10 history in receiving yards and 12th in receptions. He needs seven catches and 54 yards to crack into the top 10 in each category. Hagan already has 14 career 100-yard games, which is already one more than any other Sun Devil in school history. In his career, he has caught 196 passes for 2,967 yards and 22 touchdowns. He has caught a pass in 32 consecutive games, which is the second-longest streak in the nation, and has at least one catch in 39 of 41 career games.

    Hagan entered the season as a preseason first-team All-American by Sports Illustrated, Playboy, Lindy's and Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook, while Lindy's ranks him the second-best receiver in the nation.

    Hagan led the Sun Devils in receiving yards in eight of 12 games last year en route to second-team All-Pac-10 and All-America honors. Last year, his 83 receptions and 1,248 yards both ranked second on the ASU single-season charts. A 2004 second-team All-Pac-10 and All-America selection, he finished second in the Pac-10 and seventh in the NCAA with 104.0 yards per game. That mark also set the school record, passing the 100.4 receiving yards per game that Shaun McDonald had in 2001 and 2002. He turned in 100 or more receiving yards in eight games in 2004 to set the school single-season mark. Hagan caught nine passes for 182 yards (both season highs) with one TD in the Sun Bowl against Purdue.

    2005 Division I-A Active Consecutive Reception StreakChris Francies, WR, UTEP..............35Derek Hagan, WR, ASU..................32Garrett Mills, TE, Tulsa..............30Mark Philmore, WR, Northwestern.......30Steve Odom, WR, Toledo................28Vincent Marshall, WR, Houston.........27Cory Rodgers, WR, TCU.................27

    Hagan on Biletnikoff Award Watch List
    A semifinalist for the award last season, senior Derek Hagan is one of 31 players on the preseason watch list for the 2005 Biletnikoff Award. The Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation, Inc., hands out the award annually to the top wide receiver in college football. Through three games, Hagan leads the Sun Devils with 15 catches for 238 yards (79.3 avg/gm) and has three touchdowns.

    Semifinalists will be announced in early November with the three finalists named later in the month. The winner of the Biletnikoff Award will be announced in December at the annual ESPN College Football Awards Show at Walt Disney World. Here is a look at Hagan's career and 2005 game-by-game statistics:

    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................  12    83   1248  10  79   6.9  15.0 104.02005................   3    15    238   3  31   5.0  15.9  79.3TOTAL...............  41   196   2967  22  80   4.8  15.1  72.4

    ASU Career Receiving Yards:1. 2,993 John Jefferson, 1974-772. 2,967 Derek Hagan, 2002-P3. 2,867 Shaun McDonald, 2000-024. 2,694 Aaron Cox, 1984-875. 2,691 Keith Poole, 1993-96

    ASU Career Receptions:1. 196 Derek Hagan, 2002-P2. 188 John Jefferson, 1974-773. 164 Eric Guliford, 1989-924. 156 Shaun McDonald, 2000-02 156 John Mistler, 1977-80

    Mr. Robinson's Neighborhood
    Senior middle linebacker Dale Robinson has picked up where the honorable-mention All-Pac-10 selection left off last season, leading the Sun Devils in tackles in two of the first three games of 2005. Robinson has 28 total tackles (18 solo) to rank third in the Pac-10 and his six TFL's lead the league. Robinson was named the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 12 for the second time in his career. Against LSU, Robinson recorded 15 tackles (11 solo), one sack, 2.5 TFL and forced a fumble. In 15 career games in the Maroon and Gold, Robinson has recorded 121 total tackles (68 solo) and 19.0 TFL.

    Lighting Up the Scoreboard
    ASU's 52-21 victory over Northwestern (9/17) marked the sixth time in Dirk Koetter's ASU career (2nd this season) that his team has scored 50 points or more. ASU's season-opening 63-16 win over Temple tied for second for the most points scored by Koetter's ASU squads and was the highest scoring effort since the team's 65-24 victory over Stanford in 2002.

    Arizona State has averaged 31.3 points per game in Dirk Koetter's four-plus years at the helm (1628 points/52 G). Since coming to ASU, a Koetter-led team has put at least 40 points on the scoreboard 14 times and 50 or more points on six occasions (12 times in his career). Last year, the Sun Devils ranked fourth in the Pac-10 at 29.8 points per game with a season high of 48 points in a 48-42 victory over UCLA on Oct. 23. Three games into the 2005 season, ASU is ranked third in the Pac-10 and fifth in the nation in scoring offense with 48.67 points per game. ASU averaged 24.5 points per game in 2003, 32.3 ppg in 2002 and 34.0 ppg in 2001. The team set its school record for scoring in a Pac-10 game with its 65-24 win over Stanford on Sept. 28, 2002.

    Dominating the Big Ten
    With last week's 52-21 win over Northwestern, the Sun Devils ran their winning streak to four games over Big Ten opponents dating back to the start of the 2004 season. ASU is 2-0 against Northwestern during the streak (30-21 win last season in Evanston), 1-0 against Iowa (44-7 win last season) and 1-0 against Purdue (27-23 win in 2004 Vitalis Sun Bowl). The four straight wins over Big Ten opponents (also nine of last 11) improves ASU to 14-5 all-time against the conference.

    Just Win Baby
    Dating back to the end of the 2003 season, ASU has won 12 of its last 16 games and nine of the last 10 home games. In 94 seasons of Sun Devil football, ASU owns an all-time 518-315-24 record.

    Keeping Up With Keegan
    With his 197-yard rushing effort against Northwestern, freshman tailback Keegan Herring notched his second 100-yard rushing game of the season. His 134-yard effort in the season opener vs. Temple, marked the first ASU true freshman to rush for more than 100 yards since Mike Williams in 2000. Herring had 12 carries for 134 yards with one touchdown vs. the Owls, while Williams carried the ball 33 times for 143 yards and one score in ASU's win over Colorado State in 2000. Against NU, Herring recorded a career-high 23 carries for 197 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The performance was the 22nd best in ASU single-game history and the most by a Sun Devil since Delvon Flowers rushed for 226 yards against Oregon State in 2001. Herring's 67-yard run in the first quarter was ASU's longest this season and the longest by a Sun Devil since a 74-yard rush by Flowers vs. Stanford in 2001. His two TD's rushes mark are the first by an ASU player since Hakim Hill in 2003. In three games this season, Herring has rushed for 367 yards and has three TD's.

    Herring broke ASU's 34-year-old record for rushing yards in the first game of a career. His 134-yard showing shattered the 117 yards Woody Green gained on 21 carries in the 1971 season opener vs. Houston. Herring also became just the third true freshman in 14 years (since 1991) to rush for 100 yards in a game. He ranks second in the Pac-10 (11th in the NCAA) at 122.3 yards per game. He is also averaging 9.2 yards per carry this season, which is third among the Pac-10's top 10 rushing leaders. His 197 yards against Northwestern is the best individual rushing performance in the league this season and the 10th best in the NCAA.

    ASU is 243-45-5 (.838) in 293 career games when having a player gain at least 100 yards on the ground (12-7 under Dirk Koetter).

    Gains on the Ground
    Seven Sun Devils carried the ball 45 times for 290 yards in the Sept. 17 victory over Northwestern. ASU also rushed for 300 yards in the season opener against Temple, marking the team's first 300-yard rushing game in four years. ASU's last 300-yard contest came on Oct. 20, 2001 when the Sun Devils accumulated 314 yards in a 41-24 victory over Oregon State.

    Four different Sun Devils - sophomores Rudy Burgess, Preston Jones and Antone Saulsberry and freshman Keegan Herring - scored ASU's four rushing touchdowns against the Owls. The four scores on the ground marked the most since ASU scored four rushing touchdowns in a 59-14 victory over Oregon on Oct. 11, 2003. Last year, ASU scored just six rushing touchdowns all season compared to 35 passing TDs.

    Sophomore Rudy Burgess' first-quarter touchdown run vs. Temple marked just the second time in Dirk Koetter's five years at ASU that the Sun Devils had opened the season with a score on the ground. It also marked just the 10th time since 1982 that ASU's first TD of the year was a rushing TD. ASU's six rushing touchdowns this season are already tied with the entire season output from last season and just five short of the 11 from 2003.

    ASU Picked Third in Preseason Pac-10 Poll
    Arizona State has been picked to finish third in the Pac-10 in the league's preseason poll of West Coast media members. Defending league and national champion USC was the unanimous favorite to win its third consecutive Pac-10 title. After USC, opinions were mixed as ASU, California, Oregon and UCLA all received multiple second-place votes and were tightly bunched in the upper half of the poll. The Sun Devils tied for third in the league last year after being picked to finish sixth in the preseason. The media poll has correctly selected the conference champion in 22 of 44 previous polls, including the last five years in a row.

    Pac-10 Preseason Media Poll (first-place votes)1.  USC (41).............4102.  California...........3003.  Arizona State........2964.  Oregon...............2905.  UCLA.................2826.  Washington State.....1897.  Oregon State.........1598.  Arizona..............1319.  Stanford.............10610. Washington...........92

    Who's Back
    The Sun Devils return 48 letterwinners to the field this season, including 13 starters and three specialists. The eight returning offensive starters are WR Derek Hagan, OL Grayling Love, OL Chaz White, OL Stephen Berg, OL Andrew Carnahan, HB Lee Burghgraef, TE Zach Miller and WR Terry Richardson. The Sun Devils also return three other players with starting experience on offense, including OL Mike Pollak (four starts at center), OL Zach Krula (five starts at right guard) and TB/WR Rudy Burgess (three starts at tailback). On defense, the five returning starters include DE Kyle Caldwell, DT Jordan Hill, LB Dale Robinson, LB Jamar Williams and CB Josh Golden. Josh Barrett also returns after starting four games at safety last season. ASU's specialists are also all back, including placekicker Jesse Ainsworth, punter Chris MacDonald and snapper Jason Burke.

    Home-Field Advantage
    ASU's Sept. 10 loss to then No. 5/5 LSU snapped the team's eight-game winning streak at Sun Devil Stadium, which had dated back to the Arizona game in 2003. That marked the longest home winning streak since the team won eight consecutive games over the 1996 and 1997 seasons (all seven in 1996 and the season-opener in 1997). With last week's 52-21 win over Northwestern, ASU has now won nine of its last 10 home games. Last year, Arizona State won all six of its home games to turn in just the second undefeated (and untied) home season in 17 years and opened the 2005 season with a 63-16 win over Temple. 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 turned in just 10 undefeated home campaigns in the 46 seasons since opening Sun Devil Stadium in 1958.

    Ainsworth a Candidate for Lou Groza Award
    Junior placekicker Jesse Ainsworth is one of 30 players on the preseason watch list for the 14th annual Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award, presented by the FedEx Orange Bowl.

    In three games this year, Ainsworth leads the team in scoring with 26 points (2 FG, 20 PAT) and has recorded a touchback on 20 of his 25 kickoffs. Dating back to the 2003 season, Ainsworth has connected on 64 straight PAT attempts and is 30-for-46 (65.2) in his career on field goals.

    ASU's 2004 special teams player of the year, Ainsworth ranked second in the Pac-10 and 13th in the nation last year with 1.50 field goals per game. He connected on 18-of-28 field goals (64.3 percent) and was one of two kickers in the Pac-10 to connect on all of his PAT attempts (40-of-40).

    The 20 semifinalists for the Lou Groza Award will be announced on Oct. 31, and the three finalists will be named on Nov. 14. The winner of the Lou Groza Award will be announced on Dec. 8 during the ESPN Home Depot College Football Award Show in Orlando.

    Caldwell on Hendricks Award Watch List
    Junior Kyle Caldwell is one of 24 players on the preseason watch list for the 2005 Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year Award. Named the three-time All-American at the University of Miami and and NFL Hall of Famer, the award is based on several criteria including on-field performance, leadership abilities and contributions to school and community. Former ASU star Terrell Suggs won the inaugural Hendricks Award in 2002.

    Caldwell shared the team lead with seven sacks last season. He started all 12 games and showed his athleticism by hauling in an interception, collecting 26 tackles and breaking up four passes. A 2003 Sporting News Pac-10 All-Freshman team selection, Caldwell played in 11 games as a true freshman and was co-winner of the Bill Kajikawa Freshman of the Year Award. He has also been recognized as a Hard Hat Player for his work in ASU's winter strength and conditioning program each of the last two years.

    Keller Named to Maxwell Award Watch List
    Junior quarterback Sam Keller has been named to the watch list for 2005 Maxwell Award, which is annually presented to the collegiate player of the year. Keller led the Sun Devils to victory in the 2004 Vitalis Sun Bowl in his first career start. He was named the Sun Bowl MVP after recording then career bests in touchdowns (3-since broken), completions (25-of-45) and yards (370).

    Ten semifinalists for the award will be announced in October, and the field will be trimmed to three finalists in November. The winners of the Maxwell Award will be announced at the Home Depot College Football Awards Show that will be broadcast on ESPN in December. The formal presentation of the Maxwell Award will take place at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Banquet in February 2006.

    Miller on Mackey Award Watch List
    The Nassau County Sports Commission has announced that sophomore tight end Zach Miller has been named to the John Mackey Award Watch List for the 2005 season. Given annually to the best collegiate tight end, the award recipient is selected by vote of the John Mackey Award Selection Committee and announced in mid-December.

    A preseason first-team All-American, Miller was named the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year last season after setting ASU's freshman receiving records and breaking the school mark for catches by a tight end in a single season.

    Named after NFL Hall of Famer John Mackey, the award has been awarded every year since 2000. All-American Todd Heap was one of three finalists for the inaugural Mackey Award in 2000.

    Miller Time
    Sophomore All-America tight end Zach Miller set both of ASU's freshman receiving records last season. The 2004 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and second-team Sporting News and All-American shattered ASU's record for receptions by a rookie with 56 catches, surpassing the 32 that Derek Hagan had as a rookie in 2002. With 552 yards, Miller also broke the mark of 423 yards that College Football Hall of Famer John Jefferson had in 1974. Miller turned in a career-high 102 receiving yards on eight catches Oct. 16 vs. top-ranked USC.

    In two games this season (missed NU game), Miller has caught five catches for 49 yards (9.8 avg.) and one touchdown.

    With his 56 catches, Miller also broke Todd Heap's single-season record for catches by a tight end (55) and finished seventh on ASU's season chart for receiving yards by a tight end with 552.

    This preseason, Miller has been tabbed a first-team All-American by Street and Smith's and College Football News, while Lindy's has him ranked as the fourth-best tight end in the country. He continues to climb the ASU career charts and already ranks seventh in career receptions by a tight end (61) and tied for fifth in career receiving touchdowns by a tight end (seven).

    Love a Preseason Candidate for the Outland Trophy
    Senior center Grayling Love is one of 36 preseason candidates for the 2005 Outland Trophy, which has been given annually to the nation's top offensive or defensive lineman since 1946.

    A three-year starter who has played at every spot on the line, Love is the leader of ASU's talented and deep offensive line that is one of the strengths of this year's team. Love made the move to center this year and was listed as the third-best center in the country by the Sporting News this preseason. He started all 12 games in 2004, including six at left tackle and six at right guard, and was a key contributor on a passing offense that led the Pac-10 and ranked fifth in the nation at 317.3 yards per game. He was named the Hard Hat Co-Champion for his work in ASU's offseason strength and conditioning program.

    A 2005 graduate with a bachelor's degree in finance, Love was one of two players in the Pac-10 to earn first-team all-league honors for his work on the field and in the classroom. He also earned first-team Academic All-District honors and was the recipient of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame postgraduate scholarship (Valley of the Sun chapter).

    The Outland Trophy winner is selected by the FWAA's All-America Committee, which selects the association's 25-man team and picks three Outland Trophy finalists. The 2005 Outland Trophy announcement will be on Dec. 8 on the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show in Orlando, Fla. The Outland Trophy presentation banquet, sponsored by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee and First Data Corporation, is set for Jan. 12, 2006, in Omaha, Neb.

    Love and Miller on Lombardi Award List
    Senior center Grayling Love and sophomore tight end Zach Miller are also listed among the 123 players under consideration for the 36th annual Rotary Lombardi Award, which is annually presented to the top lineman in college football. The preliminary watch list is divided up nearly equally with 58 offensive players and 63 defensive players. To be eligible for the Rotary Lombardi Award, a player may play on the line of scrimmage (including tight ends on offensive) or must be a linebacker who lines up within five yards of the football. The first round of voting for the award is slated for the end of September, while the award will be presented Dec. 7 at an awards dinner in Houston.

    MacDonald on Ray Guy Watch List
    Sophomore punter Chris MacDonald has been named to the 2005 Ray Guy Award Watch List, the award given annually to the top collegiate punter. MacDonald is one of only three sophomores to make the list of 40 punters.

    Last season, MacDonald punted 64 times, averaging 43.1 yards a kick. 16 of those kicks were downed inside the 20-yard line. In three games this season, MacDonald ranks fourth in the Pac-10 averaging 44.0 yards per punt. He has twice placed the opponent inside the 20, including pinning LSU at its own one-yard line.

    The Ray Guy Award will be presented to the nation's best collegiate punter as determined by a national selection committee made up of sports writers, college football coaches and sports information directors, former punters and members designated by the Greater Augusta Sports Council. Among the statistics used to identify the Ray Guy Award winner are total yardage punted, number of times a punt is downed or kicked out of bounds inside the opponents 20-yard line, net average, average returned yardage, and percentage of punts not returned. It is also of importance for the award winner to display team leadership, self-discipline, and to have a positive impact on the team's success.

    Dynamic Duo
    ASU returns a pair of starters in its linebacking crew of seniors Dale Robinson and Jamar Williams. Heading into 2005, Street & Smith's named both Robinson and Williams as preseason honorable-mention All-America selections, while Robinson is listed as the 14th-best linebacker in the country by Lindy's.

    Including departed senior Justin Burks (graduation), ASU's starting linebackers accounted for 35.0 percent of ASU's tackles last year (269 of 769) with each player earning honorable-mention All-Pac-10 honors in 2004. Burks led the team and finished eighth in the Pac-10 with 7.9 tackles per game (95 total tackles), while Robinson was second on the squad and 10th in the league at 7.8 (93 tackles). Williams finished third on the team and 16th in the Pac-10 with 6.8 stops per game.

    Academic Achievements
    ASU's 2005 roster features seven student-athletes who have already earned their undergraduate degrees: Lee Burghgraef (business administration), Cornell Canidate (BIS-sociology and justice), Chad Christensen (finance), Josh Golden (BIS-justice studies and communication), Grayling Love (finance), Moey Mutz (kinesiology) and R.J. Oliver (recreation management). A total of 41 football student-athletes were named 'Scholar Ballers' in 2004-05 for turning in GPA's of 3.0 or higher. Arizona State is the first Division I school in the country to honor its student-athletes' academic success with a Scholar Baller patch on the front of their jerseys.

    Number of Graduates on Fall 2005 Rosters:

    --Sun Devil Football--
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