Football Travels to Oregon for Pac-10 Matchup Saturday Night at 8:15 p.m.
Oct. 29, 2001
TEMPE, Ariz. -
Following a 33-31 last-second loss to the No. 13/11 Washington Huskies last weekend, the Sun Devils hit the road, traveling to Eugene's Autzen Stadium to take on the No. 8/9 Oregon Ducks. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. PST/8:15 p.m. MST, and the game will be televised by Fox Sports Net. Arizona State (4-3, 1-3 Pac-10) is looking for its first conference road win of the year after falling at Stanford and USC earlier this season, and its first Pac-10 win away from Sun Devil Stadium since downing Washington State 23-20 in overtime last season on Oct. 21. Oregon brings a 7-1 overall and 4-1 Pac-10 mark into Saturday's game after rebounding from its first conference loss the week before with a 24-17 victory over then No. 14 Washington State last weekend in Pullman.
In the SeriesArizona State leads the all-time series with Oregon 13-8 dating back to a first meeting in 1966. The Sun Devils hold a 6-5 advantage in games played in Eugene, while Oregon has won the last three meetings in the series, including the last two at Autzen Stadium. Oregon has won the last two games by a combined four points, including a wild 20-17 come-from-behind victory in 1999 which saw Oregon quarterback Joey Harrington throw a 29-yard touchdown pass with nine seconds left in the game and last year's 56-55 double-overtime victory in Tempe. In last year's game, the two teams combined for an ASU-record 111 points, 866 passing yards and 1,232 yards of total offense.
ExposureFox Sports Net will broadcast the Oregon game to a national cable audience with Steve Physioc, Tom Ramsey and Lewis Johnson (sidelines) calling the action. It will mark the second of two consecutive Fox Sports Net broadcasts for the Sun Devils. ASU will appear on Fox Syndication next week vs. Washington State and on Fox Sports Net again vs. Arizona. Television for the re-scheduled UCLA game is still to be determined.
The Sun Devil Sports Network will carry the game live on its 13-station network including flagship stations XTRA Sports 910 AM and KFYI NewsRadio 550 AM. Tim Healey, Jeff Van Raaphorst, Vince Marotta and Nathan LaDuke (pregame and postgame) will bring the action to Sun Devil fans. The game can also be heard live on ASU's official web site at www.TheSunDevils.com.
Oregon ConnectionsThree members of the Arizona State coaching staff, including head coach Dirk Koetter, have ties to the University of Oregon. Koetter spent two seasons in Eugene (1996-97) as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach ... Assistant head coach/special teams coordinator/tight ends coach Tom Osborne came to Tempe after spending six seasons at Oregon (1995-00) where he coached the two top tight ends in Duck history and transformed Oregon's special teams into the best unit in the Pac-10 and one of the best in the country. During his tenure, the Ducks' special teams units accounted for 10 touchdowns and blocked 22 kicks ... Quarterbacks coach Mark Helfrich, a 1996 graduate of Southern Oregon University in Ashland, and a Coos Bay native, spent one season in Eugene, serving as Oregon's offensive graduate assistant in 1997 under then offensive coordinator Koetter.
What Time is It Anyway?The state of Arizona never changes its clocks, remaining on Mountain Standard Time all year. With the time change on Oct. 28, Arizona is now on Mountain time, meaning that Saturday's game at Oregon will kick off at 8:15 p.m. Mountain and 7:15 p.m. Pacific Time.
Tough Road AheadArizona State will face opponents ranked in the national top 20 in three of its last four games this season, including road games against No. 8/9 Oregon this weekend and at No. 9/11 UCLA on Dec. 1 sandwiched around a Nov. 10 Homecoming meeting with No. 16/19 Washington State and a Nov. 23 home game with intrastate rival Arizona. Those three ranked teams have a combined record of 20-3 this season (Oregon 7-1, Washington State 7-1, UCLA 6-1).
Following a LossArizona State head coach Dirk Koetter has led his squad to victory in 10 of 11 games following a loss. In his career, Koetter holds a 10-1 record following a loss, including a 2-0 mark in Tempe. Earlier this year, ASU followed up a loss at Stanford with a home victory over San Jose State and a loss at USC with a win over Oregon State.
Team CaptainsASU's season-long captains, as selected in a team vote, are senior safety Willie Daniel, senior center Scott Peters and junior safety Alfred Williams. Head coach Dirk Koetter will also select one game captain per week, and senior right tackle Kyle Kosier is Koetter's selection for the Oregon game.
Last Time OutJohn Anderson kicked a 30-yard field goal as time expired as No. 13/11 Washington rallied for another comeback victory, beating Arizona State 33-31 last week at Sun Devil Stadium. The Huskies trailed 31-30 when they started the winning drive from their own 10 with 7:12 left. Anderson lined up for a 28-yard attempt with 51 seconds left on fourth down, but Arizona State jumped offsides, giving Washington a first down. UW worked down the clock to three seconds before Anderson lined up for the winning kick. For Arizona State, sophomore Jeff Krohn threw for 320 yards and touchdown passes to junior Mike Pinkard and sophomore Shaun McDonald, while UW's Cody Pickett passed for 252 yards and two touchdowns.
Washington opened the scoring on its second possession with a three-yard pass from Pickett to Todd Elstrom and went up 14-0 in the second quarter when Reggie Williams capped a six-play, 71-yard drive with an 11-yard touchdown pass from Pickett. On the first play of the next series, Krohn mishandled the snap and Washington recovered the fumble at the ASU 19. Four plays later, Anderson kicked a 31-yard field to make it 17-0. Arizona State got on the scoreboard with 7:37 left in the second quarter when Krohn hit Pinkard with a 23-yard touchdown pass. Anthony Kelley's interception set up the Huskies' next score, which came on a 2-yard run by Pickett. The Sun Devils got a 42-yard field goal from junior Mike Barth with seven seconds left in the second quarter and Washington led 24-10 at halftime. Tom Pace ran three yards for an ASU touchdown 4:39 into the third quarter to make it 24-17. On the Huskies' next possession, ASU senior Donnie O'Neal blocked a punt and punter Derek McLaughlin kicked the ball out of the end zone for a safety. ASU then took the free kick and went 50 yards in six plays, with Krohn connecting with McDonald on a 33-yard pass that giving Arizona State its first lead at 25-24. Washington came back with Willie Hurst's 3-yard touchdown run on the last play of the third quarter to go back up 30-25. ASU regained the lead 31-30 on a one-yard Delvon Flowers touchdown run with 12:59 left.
Last Year Against OregonIn a game as wild as college football gets, redshirt freshman Jeff Krohn threw for a school freshman-record 432 yards and five touchdown passes, but the Sun Devils ultimately fell short 56-55 in double overtime to then No. 7/11 Oregon at Sun Devil Stadium last year on Oct. 28. It marked the second of an NCAA-record three overtime games for the Sun Devils and the first of two consecutive double-overtime contests. Oregon quarterback Joey Harrington threw for 434 yards and tied a school record with six touchdown passes for the Ducks who never led in regulation. Harrington threw a pair of touchdown passes in the final 3:21 of the fourth quarter, the last with 27 seconds left in the game to send the game into overtime.
Oregon's Allan Amundson ran one yard for the Ducks' touchdown on their second overtime possession. Arizona State followed with a 21-yard touchdown pass from Krohn to Richard Williams. The Sun Devils set up for a conversion kick that would have tied it again but tried a fake instead. Krohn rolled right and threw to junior tight end Todd Heap, but he couldn't make the catch.
Touchdown PassesWith scoring strikes to junior Mike Pinkard and sophomore Shaun McDonald last weekend, sophomore quarterback Jeff Krohn now has 18 touchdown passes on the season, already passing the total of 12 that he had all of last season. With 18 TD passes already, Krohn is already eighth on the ASU single-season list. He is also tied for 39th on the Pac-10 single-season lists and has the most passing touchdowns for a Sun Devil since Ryan Kealy threw for 19 in 1998.
With 20 touchdown passes, the Sun Devils are ahead of the pace of the 1981 team which threw a school-record 29 that season. That team had scored through the air just 18 times through their first seven games, including a school-record seven TD passes vs. Stanford in their seventh game of the year. In addition to Krohn's 18 TDs through the air, back-up quarterback Matt Cooper and wide receiver Justin Taplin have each tossed one scoring strike.
ASU Single-Season Touchdown Passes1. 29 Mike Pagel, 19812. 24 Jake Plummer, 1996 Danny White, 19734. 23 Danny White, 19725. 20 John Torok, 19646. 19 Ryan Kealy, 1998 Joe Spagnola, 19708. 18 Jeff Krohn, 20019. 17 Jake Plummer, 1995 Paul Justin, 1989 Jeff Van Raaphorst, 1986
Who's Catching Those TD Passes?Sophomore wide receiver Shaun McDonald has caught nine touchdown passes and is already tied for fifth on the ASU single-season list for TD catches. Last year, Donnie O'Neal and Richard Williams led the team with seven TD catches each all season. McDonald has caught at least one touchdown pass in all but one game this year (at USC). In addition to McDonald, senior Ryan Dennard has pulled in four touchdown passes on the year, senior Donnie O'Neal has three and four other players have caught one each, including junior Mike Pinkard who had his first career touchdown reception last week vs. Washington.
McDonald's four TD receptions vs. Louisiana-Lafayette on Oct. 6 marked the third multi-touchdown game of the year for an ASU receiver (O'Neal with two TDs vs. San Diego State, Dennard with three vs. San Jose State)
ASU Single-Season Touchdown Passes1. 14 Doug Allen, 19842. 12 Steve Holden, 19723. 11 Keith Poole, 1996 J.D. Hill, 19705. 9 Shaun McDonald, 2001 9 Morris Owens, 1973
Racking up the Receiving YardsWith a career-best 194 receiving yards last week vs. Washington, sophomore wide receiver Shaun McDonald has amassed a total of 696 yards, nearly double the 358 yards he had all of the last season. McDonald is currently averaging 99.4 yards per game, which is second in the Pac-10, and ranks first among the Pac-10 receiving leaders with an average of 22.5 yards per catch.
McDonald has topped the century mark in receiving in each of his last two games, including 123 yards two weeks ago vs. Oregon State. He has a chance to become the first Sun Devil since Keith Poole in 1996 to top the century mark in receiving in three consecutive games. That season, Poole tallied 376 receiving yards in three games (112 yards vs. UCLA, 10/12/96, 103 vs. USC, 10/19, 161 vs. Stanford, 10/26).
Young GunTrue freshman free safety Jason Shivers turned in a career-high 17 tackles last week against Washington (four solos, 13 assists), which is the third-highest single-game total in the Pac-10 this year. It is also the most tackles by a Sun Devil since Joe Cesta has 17 (12 solo) in a 1998 loss at Oregon. Last year, Adam Archuleta had an ASU season-high 16 on two occasions (at UCLA and vs. USC). Shivers, who has started the last five games at free safety, is now ASU's leading tackler with an average of 7.0 stops per game and is ranked 14th in the Pac-10 in the category.
Lighting Up the ScoreboardThe Sun Devils are averaging 38.71 points per game which ranks third in the Pac-10 and sixth in the nation. BYU leads the nation in scoring at 50.13 points per game, while Washington State tops the Pac-10 at 40.63 ppg. The last time ASU averaged 40 points or more per game in a season was in 1996 when the Pac-10 champion and Rose Bowl-bound Sun Devils averaged 40.7 points per contest.
ASU's 63-point effort vs. Louisiana-Lafayette on Oct. 6 marked the most points for a Sun Devil squad since 66-3 victory over Texas-El Paso on Oct. 22, 1977 and is tied for the most points by a Pac-10 team this season with Oregon's 63-28 win over that same night. With its 53-15 win over San Jose State on Sept. 29, ASU has been involved in two of the four highest scoring games in the Pac-10 this year. The win over Louisiana-Lafayette also marked the eighth time that a Dirk Koetter-led team has topped 50 points (twice at ASU).
With 10 total touchdowns (nine receiving, one rushing), sophomore Shaun McDonald ranks fourth in the Pac-10 in scoring (tied for 20th in the nation) and third in touchdown scoring (8.9 points per game). Junior kicker Mike Barth is seventh in the Pac-10 in scoring at 7.6 points per game.
Keeping Up With KrohnSophomore quarterback Jeff Krohn turned in the third 300-yard passing game of his young career with 320 yards last week vs. Washington, completing 17-of-29 passes ... he continues to rank first in the Pac-10 and sixth in the country in passing efficiency (165.3) ... Krohn ranks third in the conference in passing yards per game (238.4) and fourth in total offense (242.0) ... he had led the league in both categories before the USC game where he completed 2-of-3 attempts for eight yards in the first quarter before missing the rest of the game with a foot injury ... he needs just 82 more passing yards to surpass the 1,751 yards he had all of the last year ... he has thrown at least one touchdown pass in all but one game this year (USC) and more than one TD strike in five of seven games this season.
More Notes on KrohnKrohn holds a 9-7 record as ASU's starting quarterback in his career ...with 637 passing yards in the first two games of the season (271 vs. San Diego State and 366 at Stanford), Krohn set the school record for most passing yards in the first two games of the year ... he also became the quickest quarterback in school history to reach 1,000 passing yards, accomplishing the feat in the second quarter of the Louisiana-Lafayette game (three games and two quarters) ... over his last 11 games (dating back to the USC game last year), Krohn has had just six interceptions in his last 258 pass attempts ... his 366 yards vs. Stanford (17-of-37) marked the second-best passing effort of his career ... his career high in passing yards is 432 yards vs. Oregon last year ... with his 27-of-35 passing performance (.771) vs. San Diego State on Sept. 8, Krohn set the school record for completion percentage for 31 to 40 pass attempts ... he threw passes for the first 11 scores of the year and was responsible for the first 12 TDs of the year for the Sun Devils when he carried the ball five yards into the endzone with 46 seconds left in the third quarter vs. the Spartans ... Krohn has been successful on 56.3 percent of his pass attempts (98-174) ... seven of his 18 touchdown passes this year have been for 40 yards or more, including a 63-yard scoring strike to sophomore Shaun McDonald Oct. 20 vs. Oregon State.
Story of the SackArizona State ranks second in the Pac-10 in both sacks by and sacks allowed. The Sun Devils have allowed 11 quarterback sacks so far this season and turned in 20. Oregon leads the conference with six sacks allowed, while the eight other league schools have given up 13 or more. ASU did not surrender a sack in its first two games of the year.
Led by Lombardi and Rimington Award candidate Scott Peters, the Sun Devil starting offensive line features five seniors who have started a total of 109 games (C Peters-40, LT Levi Jones-31, LG Marquise Muldrow-13/Travis Scott-4, RT Kyle Kosier-20) and a sophomore (RG Regis Crawford) who has started six games this season. Peters, a first-team All-Pac-10 selection last year, has started 40 consecutive games in his career, dating back to the last nine games of the 1998 season.
Super SuggsAlthough last week's game was the first contest of the year that he did not turn in a sack, sophomore defensive end Terrell Suggs continues to rank first in the Pac-10 with nine sacks for a loss of 49 yards. Suggs is also second in the conference in tackles for loss at 16 and is tied for first in fumbles forced with four. In the past four games, Suggs has turned in five sacks and 10 tackles for loss, including a career-best 5 TFLs at USC. Suggs turned in a career game vs. Louisiana-Lafayette with a career-best 10 tackles and four tackles for loss (-14) in addition to two sacks for a loss of 10 yards, a pass deflection and a forced fumble. Suggs tallied a pair of sacks vs. Louisiana-Lafayette and at USC, marking the sixth and seventh times in his career and the second and third times this year that he has had two in a game. Last year's Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and a preseason mention for All-America honors, Suggs led the team in tackles for loss (16-72) and sacks (10-60) last season.
Consistent FootJunior Mike Barth saw a streak of 12 consecutive field goals come to an end Oct. 20 vs. Oregon State when his 36-yard attempt in the second quarter was blocked. Prior to that blocked kick, Barth had made a 39-yarder and a 24-yarder in the first quarter vs. the Beavers. He had been perfect in his last seven games dating back to last season, while his last miss was a 43-yarder vs. USC last year. A candidate for the Lou Groza Award candidate, Barth was the only kicker in the Pac-10 to remain perfect through the first six weeks of the season and is tied for second in the Pac-10 at 80.0 percent (8-of-10). He had a streak of 38 straight PAT attempts snapped in the third quarter Oct. 6 vs. Louisiana-Lafayette (when a penalty pushed the kick back 15 yards) and is now 29-of-30 (.967) in PAT attempts this year, which ranks fourth in the league.
Flowers Starting to BloomSenior tailback Delvon Flowers turned in his fourth career 100-yard rushing game and his second of the season with 23 carries for a career-best 226 yards and two touchdowns vs. Oregon State on Oct. 20. Earlier this year vs. San Jose State, Flowers tallied 159 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries. Flowers' 226-yard effort vs. the Beavers surpasses his career high of 161 yards in a loss at Oregon in 1999. It also marks the sixth-best rushing game in school history and the most rushing yards by a Sun Devil in a Pac-10 game. Ben Malone set the school record with 250 rushing yards in a 1973 win over Oregon State, but that game occurred five years before the Sun Devils joined the Pac-10.
Flowers' two-touchdown effort vs. OSU marked the second multiple-TD game of his career, while his 74-yard touchdown run in the third quarter was a career long and the longest play from scrimmage for the Sun Devils this season. Flowers leads the team and ranks sixth in the Pac-10 in rushing this year, averaging 87.0 yards per game and 6.0 yards per carry.
The Century MarkThe Sun Devils have three tailbacks on the roster who have each rushed for 100 yards or more in a game in their ASU careers. Last season, Tom Pace turned in three 100-yard rushing games (103 yards vs. Washington State, 158 vs. Oregon and 139 vs. Boston College), while Mike Williams turned in a 143-yard showing against Colorado State last season to become the first true freshman to top the century mark since Mario Bates rushed for 161 yards against Arizona at home on Nov. 23, 1991. Delvon Flowers, who missed all of last season following an ACL tear in preseason camp, topped the century mark on two occasions in 1999 and has done it twice in 2001, including a career-high 226 yards vs. Oregon State on Oct. 20. ASU is 234-42-5 (.842) all time when a player gains 100 yards or more.
Kickoff NotesThe Sun Devils have been excelling on kickoffs and kickoff returns as of late. ASU is third in the Pac-10 and tied for 12th in the nation with an average of 25.0 yards per kickoff return. Senior Tom Pace and sophomore Mike Williams each rank in the top 10 in the Pac-10 in the category with Pace checking in at second in the league and seventh in the nation with an average of 29.8 yards per return and Williams at sixth with 23.4 yards per return. On kickoffs, junior Mike Barth has booted 24 of 43 kickoffs (55.8 percent) into the endzone including a stellar 20-of-36 in the last five games.
Scoring MachineTwice this season, the Sun Devils have had a wide receiver score four touchdowns in a single game. Against Louisiana-Lafayette on Oct. 6, redshirt sophomore Shaun McDonald caught four touchdown passes to tie the school record for TD catches in a game set by John Allen vs. San Jose State in 1953. McDonald's four TD grabs also tie the Pac-10 single-game record, a mark held by five other conference members, most recently accomplished by UCLA's J.J. Stokes vs. Washington in 1993.
On Sept. 29, senior wide receiver Ryan Dennard caught three touchdown passes and returned a fumble for another score vs. San Jose State. With four touchdowns each, both McDonald and Dennard were just one short of the school record for touchdowns scored in a game (5, held by three Sun Devils), while the two efforts marked the 16th and 17th times in school history that a Sun Devil has scored at least four touchdowns in a game.
Show of SolidarityArizona State has joined college football teams across the nation who will wear decals of the American flag on their helmets this season to show solidarity for the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York City, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., as suggested by the American Football Coaches Association.
UCLA Game Rescheduled for Dec. 1Arizona State and UCLA have rescheduled their football game at the Rose Bowl for Saturday, Dec. 1. Kickoff time will be at 2 p.m. PST/3 p.m. MST, and televsion will be determined at a later date. The Pacific-10 Conference voted Tuesday, Sept. 11 that conference competition in all sports would not be conducted through the weekend in sympathy to the tragic events in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania that day. Participation in non-conference competition in each sport was left to the discretion of each institution, and a majority of the sporting events throughout the nation were postponed or cancelled.
In Their First YearWith his team's 38-7 victory over San Diego State on Sept. 8, head coach Dirk Koetter joins a group of eight former Sun Devil mentors who won the first game of their ASU careers. Prior to Koetter, the last head coach to win his first game was Larry Marmie who led the Sun Devils to a 21-16 win over Illinois on Sept. 10, 1988 in Tempe. Hall of Famer Dan Devine turned in the best record for a first-year head coach, leading the Sun Devils to an 8-2-1 record in 1955.
Starting YoungFour Sun Devil true freshmen have seen action thus far this season including wide receiver Daryl Lightfoot, safety Jason Shivers, linebacker Barton Hammit and cornerback Lamar Baker. Arizona State's roster features a total of 14 players who saw action as true freshmen. Seventeen true freshmen have played over the last four seasons, including six last year (Terrell Suggs, Mike Karney, Mike Williams, Skyler Fulton and Derick Arnold). In 1999, four true freshmen played, including Solomon Bates, Josh Amobi and Mike Barth, while Justin Taplin and Willie Daniel were among the four to see action in 1998.
Shivers and Baker have both started the last five games, marking the first time that ASU has two true freshmen in starting lineup since defensive end Terrell Suggs and tailback Mike Williams both started against Colorado State and Utah State last season. Prior to last year, ASU had not had two true freshmen in the starting lineup since 1995. That year, ASU had two freshmen starters in three separate games.
Pac-10 Preseason PollArizona State was selected to finish seventh in the Pac-10 Conference by West Coast media members in the official preseason conference poll. The Sun Devils were picked to finish fifth in last year's preseason poll and ended up in a tie for fifth.
Walk-OnsSophomore quarterback Jeff Krohn is one of just four starting quarterbacks in the country who began his career as a walk-on. Krohn, who earned a scholarship midway through last season, led the Pac-10's top-ranked passing offense last year and set school marks for passing yards in a season and single-game passing yards for a freshman. The other signal-callers who began their careers as walk-ons are Texas A&M junior Mark Farris, Houston junior Kelly Robertson and Oregon State junior Jonathan Smith.
In the great tradition of walk-ons at Arizona State that includes NFL first-round draft pick Adam Archuleta, there are currently seven players on the Sun Devil depth chart who at least began their careers as walk-ons. Those Sun Devils are senior Levi Jones, Krohn, senior tailback Tom Pace, sophomore cornerback Adrian Thomas, junior safety Patrick Wilson, senior long snapper B.J. Miller and junior snapper Jay Breckenridge.