Sun Devils Close Out Home Schedule with UCLA Saturday Evening

Nov. 13, 2006

FOOTBALL CENTRAL
   Game Week Notes: vs. UCLA (pdf)
   Sun Devil Football Gameday Central 
   2006 ASU Football Rosters 
   2006 ASU Football Schedule/Results 
   2006 ASU Football Statistics 
   2006 Pac-10 Conference Statistics 
   NCAA Football Statistics 
   2006 ASU Football Media Guide 
   College Football National Rankings


GAME INFORMATION
Date: Saturday, November 18, 2006
Kickoff: 8:15 pm MT
Site: Sun Devil Stadium (71,706) - Tempe, Ariz.
Television: Fox Sports Net
Play-by-Play/Color: Barry Tompkins/Petros Papadakis
Sideline Reporter: Jim Watson
Sun Devil Radio: KTAR 620 AM & KMVP/ESPN Radio 860
Play-by-Play: Tim Healey
Color: Former ASU QB and 1987 Rose Bowl MVP Jeff Van Raaphorst
Sideline Reporter: Amy Bender
Spanish Radio: KIDR 740
Play-by-Play: Ivan Lara
Color: Former Sun Devil All-American OL Juan Roque
 

WHAT TO LOOK FOR THIS WEEK
• Junior All-America TE Zach Miller (1,412 career receiving yards) passed former Sun Devil tight ends Joe Petty (1970-72) and Ken Dyer (1965-67) for second on ASU's all-time list for most receiving yards by a tight end against last Saturday. Miller had six catches for 84 yards against the Cougars.
• ASU's defense is allowing an average of only 8.5 points in the second half of games this season, including an aggregate total of only 23 points in the third quarter. In addition, the Sun Devils have allowed their opponents an average of 131.9 yards in total offense in the second half of games this year.
• The Sun Devil defense has returned three interceptions for touchdowns this season.
• Currently with 26 sacks, the Sun Devil defense has already surpassed its sack total from last season (22).
• Junior TB Ryan Torain currently ranks No. 4 in the Pac-10 in rushing, averaging 85.3 yards per game. Torain has scored nine touchdowns for the Sun Devils in 2006 (six rushing and three receiving).
• Sophomore TB Keegan Herring has had ASU's two longest runs of the season (both touchdowns): 65 yards at Washington (Oct. 28) and 40 yards at Oregon State (Nov. 4).
• Senior PK Jesse Ainsworth (291 career points) passed former Sun Devil Mike Barth (1999-02) for second on ASU's all-time list for most points with his 17-point night against the Cougars.
• The Sun Devils are the last team to beat the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (9-0), currently ranked #7/8 in the nation. ASU beat Rutgers 45-40 in the 2006 Insight Bowl.
 

TEMPE, Ariz. - Coming off an offensive explosion that saw the Sun Devils put up 562 yards in a 47-14 win over Washington State, Arizona State finishes the home portion of its schedule on Saturday (8:15 p.m.) when they host the UCLA Bruins. Winners of three of its last four, ASU (6-4, 3-4 Pac-10) will honor their seniors on Senior Day, then travel to Tucson for the final game of the 2006 regular season at Arizona (Nov. 25). UCLA (5-5, 3-4 Pac-10) is coming off a 25-7 win over Oregon State that snapped a four-game losing streak.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR THIS WEEK
• Junior All-America TE Zach Miller (1,412 career receiving yards) passed former Sun Devil tight ends Joe Petty (1970-72) and Ken Dyer (1965-67) for second on ASU's all-time list for most receiving yards by a tight end against last Saturday. Miller had six catches for 84 yards against the Cougars.
• ASU's defense is allowing an average of only 8.5 points in the second half of games this season, including an aggregate total of only 23 points in the third quarter. In addition, the Sun Devils have allowed their opponents an average of 131.9 yards in total offense in the second half of games this year.
• The Sun Devil defense has returned three interceptions for touchdowns this season.
• Currently with 26 sacks, the Sun Devil defense has already surpassed its sack total from last season (22).
• Junior TB Ryan Torain currently ranks No. 4 in the Pac-10 in rushing, averaging 85.3 yards per game. Torain has scored nine touchdowns for the Sun Devils in 2006 (six rushing and three receiving).
• Sophomore TB Keegan Herring has had ASU's two longest runs of the season (both touchdowns): 65 yards at Washington (Oct. 28) and 40 yards at Oregon State (Nov. 4).
• Senior PK Jesse Ainsworth (291 career points) passed former Sun Devil Mike Barth (1999-02) for second on ASU's all-time list for most points with his 17-point night against the Cougars.
• The Sun Devils are the last team to beat the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (9-0), currently ranked #7/8 in the nation. ASU beat Rutgers 45-40 in the 2006 Insight Bowl.

LAST GAME (ASU 47, Washington State 14)
    Thanks to a big night from the offense and a stout defensive effort, the Arizona State Sun Devils rolled past the Washington State Cougars 47-14 at Sun Devil Stadium.
    QB Rudy Carpenter had an outstanding game, throwing for a season high 339 yards to go along with three long touchdown passes in the win. The Sun Devil offense racked up 562 total yards while the defense allowed only 192 yards to give Arizona State its third win in the past four games. K Jesse Ainsworth added four field goals as ASU became bowl eligible with the victory.
    The Sun Devils offense would get started quickly against the Cougars, scoring 17 points in the first quarter. After TB Ryan Torain opened the scoring with a three-yard touchdown run, Carpenter found WR Michael Jones from 50 yards out for a touchdown and a 17-7 lead after one. The second quarter was more of the same for the ASU offense. Ainsworth booted two field goals, one from 46 yards out and the other from 47, while Carpenter hooked up with WR Chris McGaha for a 34-yard scoring strike that gave the Devils a 30-7 lead at halftime.
    The Cougars would cut that lead to 30-14 early in the third quarter, but Carpenter and the offense would answer right back. Another big play, this time a 62-yard touchdown pass from Carpenter to WR Brandon Smith made it 37-14. The Arizona State defense would harass Cougar QB Alex Brink into two interceptions while holding the Cougars to only 27 rushing yards. Conversely, the ASU offense was a well balanced attack, as they ran for 196 yards and threw for 366.
    The 47 points scored was the second highest total of the season, behind only the 52 scored against Nevada on Sept. 9. It was the fourth time this season the defense has held an opponent to 14 points or less, and the second time they have given up less than 200 yards in total offense (Stanford, Oct. 21).

Dirk Koetter SAID ...
    'These guys came out with something to prove. They wanted to pay their respects to the 1986 and 1996 (Pac-10 Championship) teams and show them that Sun Devil tradition is alive and well. I think they proved a pretty good point tonight ... We thought we could go at these guys vertically and part of it was that I just had to trust it and call it. It was great to see us make some big plays. We still missed some plays we should make, but you have to start somewhere. If you're going to make big plays you have to call big plays. That starts with your protection. The protection was there and the Miller brothers were huge at tight end and the young receivers were able to make some big plays behind it, which was great to see. Rudy (Carpenter) got back to old school ASU offense tonight ... I'm pleased with the way the guys came out and we still have two winnable games left. The crowd did a nice job tonight and we're looking forward to next week.'

ASU-WASHINGTON STATE POST-GAME NOTES
• With 84 yards receiving on a season-best six receptions against Washington State, Junior All-America TE Zach Miller moved into second place on ASU's all-time list for most career receiving yards by a tight end. Miller came into Saturday's game in fourth place with 1,328 yards. He passed both Joe Petty (1,352 yards) and Ken Dyer (1,365 yards) to move into the No. 2 spot. Now with 1,412 career receiving yards, Miller needs 274 yards to pass former Sun Devil Todd Heap (1,685 yards) for the top spot on the list.
• With 17 points kicking on Saturday, senior PK Jesse Ainsworth moved passed former Sun Devil Mike Barth (277) for second on ASU's all-time list for most career points. Ainsworth now has 291 points in his career. The all-time leader in points by kicking is Luis Zendejas (1981-84), who had 380 points in his career.
• Ainsworth's four field goals set a new career best. His four field goals also tied Zendejas for the second-most field goals made in a single game in school history. Zendejas had four on three occasions - vs. Washington (1981), vs. Utah State (1983) and vs. UCLA (1983). Zendejas (vs. Stanford, 1983) and Robert Nycz (vs. Miami, 1997) are tied for the school's single-game record with five field goals.
• Sophomore S Jeremy Payton's interception in the third quarter was the first of his career.
• Sophomore QB Rudy Carpenter recorded the sixth 300-yard passing game of his career with 339 yards passing vs. Washington State. With three touchdowns passes it was also the sixth time that Carpenter threw three or more touchdowns in a game.
• In his two starts against Washington State, Carpenter has completed 43-of-67 passes for 720 yards with five TDs and two INTs with a passer efficiency rating of 173.1.
• The Sun Devils had 196 yards rushing vs. Washington State, the 10th-best performance for the Sun Devils under Dirk Koetter. This season ASU has had three of the top-10 best rushing performances in Koetter's six-plus seasons as head coach. ASU also had 237 yards rushing at California (No. 5) and 206 yards rushing vs. Stanford (No. 8).
• The total game time of 2:44 is the shortest the Sun Devils have had under Koetter.
• ASU's 562 yards in total offense against the Cougars is the eight-highest total for the Sun Devils under Koetter. It was the third-highest under Koetter against a Pac-10 team.
• Washington State's 192 yards in total offense were the fifth-fewest allowed under Koetter (second-fewest against a Pac-10 team). This season the Sun Devils have recorded four of the top-10 best performances under Koetter in total yards allowed. ASU allowed 145 yards in total offense vs. Stanford (No. 2), 192 vs. Washington State (No. 5); 219 at Colorado (No. 7) and 274 yards at Washington (No. 10).
• WSU's 27 yards rushing were the fourth-fewest allowed under Koetter (second-fewest against a Pac-10 team).
• In their last two home games (vs. Stanford and vs. Washington State) the Sun Devils have given up an average of 8.5 points, 168.5 yards in total offense, and 32.0 yards rushing.
• Washington State scored seven points in the second half against ASU. Opponents are now averaging 8.5 points in the second half against ASU, including a grand total of only 23 points in the third quarter.
• Senior K Jesse Ainsworth's 17 points kicking were the highest single game total by a kicker in the Pac-10 this season.

ASU-UCLA SERIES NOTES
• The Sun Devils are 7-14-1 in the all-time series with UCLA, including last season's 45-35 Bruin victory at the Rose Bowl. UCLA was ranked #14 in the country when the two teams met in 2005.
• Last season's meeting was an offensive fireworks show, as the two teams combined for 1,175 yards of total offense. Rudy Carpenter went 27-37 for 334 yards and three touchdowns in the loss, while Bruins QB Drew Olson was 22-27 for 510 yards and five TD tosses.
• ASU won the last meeting in Sun Devil Stadium, 48-42 in 2004. The Sun Devils have won three straight over UCLA at Sun Devil Stadium, but have only faced the Bruins in Tempe once since 2000.
• Arizona State is 3-6 against UCLA at home.

DEVILS DEFENSE SHOWS IMPROVEMENT
    Despite no shortage of effort and having the Pac-10 co-Defensive Player of the Year (Dale Robinson), the ASU defense endured a tough season in 2005, finishing the season ranked 114th in total defense and 86th in scoring defense.
    Through ten games in 2006, the unit has shown improvement under second-year defensive coordinator Bill Miller, who twice in his coaching career has been nominated for the Frank Broyles Award, which is given annually to the nation's top assistant coach.
    Below are some of the highlights from ASU's defense through the season's first ten games.
• Allowing 154.8 fewer yards per game in total offense compared to last season.
• Recorded 26 sacks, four more than ASU had the entire 2005 season.
• ASU's 26 sacks have come from 16 different players.
• Returned three interceptions for touchdowns (junior CB Chris Baloney vs. NAU, freshman S Ryan McFoy vs. Nevada, senior CB Keno Walter-White at USC).
• Held Washington State to only 192 yards of total offense, their lowest output of the season.
• Allowed only 27 net rushing yards against Washington State (Nov. 11), the fourth-fewest allowed under Koetter (second fewest against a Pac-10 team).
• Held Washington (Oct. 28) to only 148 yards passing, its lowest output of the season and 59.5 yards below its season average coming into the game.
• Allowed Stanford (Oct. 21) to gain only 145 yards in total offense, marking the second-best defensive showing under Dirk Koetter. The best showing came against Iowa in Tempe on September 20, 2004, when the Sun Devils limited the Hawkeyes to 100 total yards.
• Stanford's three points for the game represented the second time this season that a team scored no more than three points in a game (Colorado also scored three points on Sept. 16). It marked the first time that ASU held multiple opponents to three or fewer points in the same season since 1993 when three ASU opponents scored three or fewer points.
• Held USC (Oct. 14) to its lowest totals of the season in both net yards passing (148 yards) and total offense (307 yards). USC came into the game averaging 249.6 yards per game in the former and 413.4 yards per game in the latter. The 307 yards in total offense were the fewest for the Trojans since Oct. 9, 2004 when they had only 205 yards in total offense in a 23-17 win vs. Cal. USC's 148 passing yards were its fewest since it threw for 87 yards in the 2000 season opener vs. Penn State (Aug. 27, 2000).
• Allowed Colorado (Sept. 16) to gain only 219 yards in total offense, the (then) fifth-best defensive effort by ASU under Koetter. The Colorado offense failed to score a touchdown marking the first time the ASU defense did not allow a touchdown since a 44-7 win at home against Iowa on Sept. 18, 2004. Iowa's only touchdown in that game came on a punt return.
• Allowed just 53 net rushing yards to NAU, ASU's best effort since holding Stanford to 37 yards on Nov. 6, 2004. It also marked the seventh-best defensive rushing effort under Koetter.
• Is allowing an average of only 8.5 points in the second half of games this season, including an aggregate total of only 23 points in the third quarter. In addition, the Sun Devils have allowed their opponents an average of 131.9 yards in total offense in the second half of games this year.
• S Josh Barrett was named the U.S. Bank Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week following his performance in ASU's 26-23 overtime victory at Washington on October 28. Barrett had a game-high nine tackles, including five solos, and intercepted two passes, returning them 40 yards.
    For the season Barrett currently leads the team in combined tackles (55) and is second on the team in solo tackles with 37. Barrett's two interceptions and fives passes defensed are also currently tied for first on the team.

CARPENTER GETS THE CALL
S    ophomore Rudy Carpenter is in the midst of his first full season as ASU's starting quarterback after being forced into duty midway through last season.
    Despite not starting until the eighth game of the 2005 season, Carpenter finished the year ranked first in the nation with a school record 175.01 passer efficiency rating while also ranking third nationally in completion percentage (68.4). He also threw for a team-high and school freshman record 2,273 yards to go along with 17 touchdown passes. In addition, he achieved a nation-leading and team record-low interception percentage (.008), after throwing two interceptions out of 228 total passing attempts. He capped-off his phenomenal rookie campaign by earning Offensive Player of the Game honors for his role in ASU's victory against Rutgers in the 2005 Insight Bowl. In that game, Carpenter accounted for ASU individual bowl game records of 467 passing yards and four touchdown passes.
    Currently 10-5 as a starter, Carpenter passed for a season high 339 yards in the 47-14 win over WSU (Nov. 11). He also had three touchdown passes, including a 50-yarder and a 62-yarder. In ASU's win at Washington (Oct. 28), Carpenter completed 16-of-22 passes for 170 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winning 25-yard scoring strike to TE Brent Miller in overtime.
    Last month against Stanford (Oct. 21), Carpenter nearly tied the school single-game record for consecutive completions (13). He completed his first 12 passes, but missed on his 13th. He would go on to finish the game 14-15 for 160 yards and one touchdown. Carpenter's .933 percent completion percentage vs. Stanford set the school single-game record for highest completion percentage (10-15 attempts).

MILLER AMONG NATION'S ELITE TIGHT ENDS
    Three quarters through the 2006 season, junior All-America TE Zach Miller has continued to prove why he is regarded as one of the top players in the country at his position. Miller currently leads the Sun Devils in receptions (37) and receiving yards (384) and is tied for first on the team in touchdown receptions (3).
    After two and a half seasons Miller, who was named to the 2006 John Mackey Award Watch List, is at or near the top of the career standards for ASU tight ends in touchdown receptions (13, first), receptions (131, first) and receiving yards (1,412, fourth).
    Miller's 98 catches in 2004-05 were more than any other tight end in the nation the last two seasons while his receiving yardage and touchdown totals were also the second-most in the nation at his position during that same duration.
    According to his head coach, it is not only his ability as a receiver that makes him such a special player.
    'In my opinion, Zach Miller is one of the best blocking tight ends in the nation,' Koetter said. 'He gets a ton of credit for his acrobatic catches, but when you watch cut-ups you see what a tremendous blocker he is.'
    After his freshman season, Miller earned second-team All-America honors, just one of four freshmen to earn first team or second-team All-American accolades that season. Miller also earned first-team Freshman All-American accolades for his successful 2004 season. In 2004, he was named the Pacific-10 Conference Freshman of the Year, becoming just the second Sun Devil to earn the honor (Terrell Suggs, 2000).
    As a freshman, Miller broke the ASU record for receptions in a season by a tight end with 56. His 56 receptions in 2004 tied for the most receptions in the NCAA by a tight end. Along with his 56 receptions, he tallied 552 receiving yards and six touchdowns. In 2005, Miller missed some time with an injury and still managed the team's third-highest amount of receptions with 38, four of which were touchdowns. He also recorded 476 receiving yards for an average of 12.5 yards per reception.
    Already the school record holder for most touchdown receptions by a tight end (13) and most receptions (131) by a tight end, Miller needs 281 yards to become the school's career leader for receiving yards by a tight end.

MIND AND BODY CONTROL
    Not only is junior TE Zach Miller a standout on the gridiron, he is also a star in the class room. Miller was named an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District First Team selection on Nov. 9. Miller carries a 3.84 grade-point average as a marketing major. He was selected to the Academic All-Pac-10 Second team a season ago.

COVERING A LOT OF TORAIN
    Junior college transfer TB Ryan Torain has proven to be one of the best additions to the Sun Devils offense in 2006. After demonstrating his ability to be a steady contributor in the season's first three games, Torain had a breakout performance at California (Sept. 23), when he rushed for a career-best 191 yards (Sept 23). Many of Torain's yards against the Golden Bears were earned after initial contact with Cal's defenders as he broke numerous tackles throughout the game. One week later against the Oregon Ducks (Sept. 30), Torain led the Sun Devils with 113 yards rushing on 19 carries.
    Through 10 games, Torain leads the Sun Devils in rushing with 853 yards and is ranked fourth in the Pac-10 averaging 85.3 yards per game. He has ten carries of 15 yards or more, including a season-best 40-yard run vs. Nevada (Sept. 9).
    In addition to his ability to run with the football, Torain has also displayed a talent for receiving, too. He is currently second on the team with 16 receptions for 177 yards and three scores. Torain currently leads the team in touchdowns with nine.

BACK ATTACK
    When a team ranks third in the country in passing offense (as ASU did last year) it would not be hard to understand why its running game, no matter how solid, might be overlooked. Last season the Sun Devils averaged 145.7 yards per game, their highest average since head coach Dirk Koetter's first year at ASU in 2001. Through ten games this season the Sun Devils are second in the Pac-10 averaging 167.6 yards rushing per game. To put that number in perspective, if the Sun Devils were to keep up that pace, it would be the first time since 2001 that they averaged more than 150 yards on the ground.
    ASU has no shortage of talent in its backfield, which includes sophomore Keegan Herring, who led the team in rushing last season with 870 yards; sophomore Shaun DeWitty, a 6-2, 215-pound back who had a solid spring for ASU; junior college transfer Ryan Torain, who rushed for more than 800 yards and 12 touchdowns as a sophomore at Butler (Kan.) CC despite missing four games with an injury; and freshman Dimitri Nance, who ran up career totals of 3,173 yards and 41 touchdowns during his high school career.
    The aforementioned quartet of running backs combined for 142 yards rushing (5.1 per-carry average) in ASU's season-opening victory over Northern Arizona (Aug. 31). Nance led the way with 61 yards and one score. The following week against Nevada (Sept. 9), Torain led ASU's rushing attack with 70 yards on only eight carries (8.8-yard average). Torain's night included a 15-yard TD run in addition to a 40-yard scamper, the longest rush by an ASU player in 2006. In addition to Torain's success, DeWitty tallied a touchdown reception for the second consecutive week, this one a 22-yard strike from QB Rudy Carpenter.
    At Colorado (Sept. 16), the Sun Devils rushed for 182 yards, the 10th-best rushing performance under Koetter and the second-best on the road. Herring (82 yards) and Torain (80 yards) combined for 162 of ASU's yards against the Buffaloes, who came into the game No. 6 in the NCAA in fewest rushing yards allowed per game (32.5) and No. 4 in the country in per-carry average (0.9). ASU averaged 4.0 yards per carry at Colorado.
    At California (Sept. 23), the Sun Devils had their best ever rushing performance on the road under Koetter as they gained 237 yards, including a career-best 191 yards from Torain. One week later ASU ran for 142 yards against Oregon (Sept. 30). Torain once again paced the backfield with 113 yards on 19 carries.
    ASU continued its road rushing success at Washington (Oct. 28) as the Sun Devils ran for 190 yards in a hard-fought 26-23 overtime victory. Torain (23 carries) and Herring (six carries) each rushed for 98 yards to lead the Sun Devils. Herring's 65-yard touchdown run in the third quarter at Washington is the longest offensive play for the Sun Devils this season. Against Oregon State, Herring tied the second-longest ASU run of the season with a 40-yard touchdown scamper.
    The Sun Devil backfield was once again impressive in the win over Washington State (Nov. 11), as ASU rushed for 196 yards and two touchdowns. Four Sun Devil runners had at least 20 yards on the ground, led by Ryan Torain's 84 on 19 carries.

JUST FOR KICKS
    In his three-plus seasons Jesse Ainsworth has made it a habit of being nearly perfect on PAT attempts, missing just three times in 153 tries. Dating back to the final game of the 2003 season when he connected on 4-of-4 PATs, Ainsworth has now made 132 consecutive PATs, establishing a new Pac-10 Conference record. Ainsworth broke the record of 108 straight, set by UCLA's John Lee from 1983 to 1985.
    Ainsworth, who was a perfect 53-of-53 last season after going 40-of-40 in 2004, moved past former program record holder Luis Zendejas, who netted 75 from 1981-83. Ainsworth tied Zendejas' mark when he connected on a try following ASU's first touchdown against Oregon last season, a 20-yard touchdown reception by Derek Hagan in the first quarter. In the third stanza, Ainsworth hit home the record-breaking 76th PAT in a row. Ainsworth's 53 PATs last season put him fourth in ASU's record books for the most PATs made in a single season.
    Against the Cougars on Nov. 11, Ainsworth set a new career high when he booted four field goals, tying him with Zendejas for the second-most field goals made in a single game in school history. His four field goals were from 34, 46, 47 and 32 yards, respectively.
    Ainsworth's 45 field goals are third-most in a Sun Devil career and he needs five more to move into second place. He also is just the sixth kicker in school annals to score 200 or more points as his 291 points place him second on the list, passing Mike Barth (1999-2002).

VIVA LAS VEGAS ALL-AMERICAN CLASSIC
    Four Sun Devils have been selected to play in the Las Vegas All-American Classic at Sam Boyd Stadium on January 15th. S Zach Catanese, DL Jordan Hill, LB Derron Ware and K Jesse Ainsworth have all accepted invitations and will take part in the sixth annual senior All-Star game. Last season, CB Mike Davis, Jr. represented Arizona State in the game.

ASU PICKED TO FINISH FOURTH IN PRESEASON PAC-10 POLL
    ASU was picked to finish fourth in the Pacific-10 Conference in a pre-season poll of West Coast media members who regularly cover the league. Defending Pac-10 champion USC earned 18 first-place votes and was picked to win its fourth straight Pac-10 title. The Sun Devils will travel to Los Angeles to face the Trojans on October 14th at Memorial Coliseum.
    Four teams received first place votes this season after USC was the unanimous choice last year. The Trojans garnered 18 votes, while Cal was second with seven. Oregon received three votes and the Sun Devils also earned a first place vote.
    The media poll has correctly selected the Conference Champion in 23 of 45 previous polls, including the last six years in a row.

UP NEXT
    The Sun Devils close out the 2006 regular season when they travel to Tucson to take on in-state rival Arizona (Sat., Nov. 25, 4 p.m. MT). The battle for the Territorial Cup will be televised by Fox Sports Net.

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