Devils Rout Central Florida 46-13
Sept. 7, 2002
by Travis Breedlove, ASU Sports Information
During a downpour at Sun Devil Stadium the host Sun Devils (2-1) and their defense found a way to stop the Golden Knights (0-2) after trailing at the half 10-13 to pull off a dominating win 46-13. The Devils' defense could not be stopped in the second half yielding only five net yards and two first downs to UCF while adding 14 points of their own off turnovers and sacks.
The game started with UCF taking their opening drive only nine yards before having to punt back to the Sun Devils, but on ASU's possession Mike Williams would fumble the ball leading to the first points of the game. UCF would take the ball at the Sun Devils 31-yard line and kicker Matt Prater would make a 48-yard field goal to put the Golden Knights up 3-0 in just over two minutes of play.
The teams would trade punts before ASU's next possession. Starting on their own 48-yard line Chad Christensen would complete a third and 10 to wide receiver Derek Hagan for 16 yards and a first down to keep the drive alive and move into UCF territory. The Golden Knights defense would not give up much more ground on the Sun Devil's drive as they evened the score on a Mike Barth 47-yard field goal at 3-3.
The rain began pouring down and the teams traded punts again. UCF then took advantage on their next possession striking hard and fast. Golden Knight quarterback Ryan Schneider completed an 80-yard pass to wide receiver Doug Gabriel for a touchdown putting the Golden Knights up 10-3 after a Prater extra point.
The Sun Devils tried to regroup on their next possession, but a Hakim Hill fumble on the ASU 20-yard line gave UCF a short field to work with and the first quarter was coming to an end. The defense began to show its dominance as they stopped UCF at the six-yard line and only gave up a Prater field goal to trail 13-3.
With the rain coming down hard both offensives began to struggle. 'There was some ugly football in the first half offensively and in special teams,' commented head coach Dirk Koetter. The two teams would again trade punts after combining for only three yards in nine plays. Then, after the Sun Devil offense sputtered, a costly turnover would turn the game around into the Devils favor. Punter Tim Parker would kick the ball 30 yards only to have the ball bounce off a UCF player and was recovered by defensive end Connor Banks for a Sun Devils first down at the UCF eight-yard line.
Moments later Chad Christensen would hook up with Shaun McDonald for one of his three touchdown catches in the game. Barth would add the extra point to bring the Devils closer at 13-10. The first half would come to an end with the Devils trailing by three points, but the momentum had started to swing in their favor.
The second half started similar to the first half as ASU would fumble the ball away on their first possession giving the Golden Knights the ball. However, thanks to a 55-yard second half kickoff return by Hakim Hill they did not have the benefit of a short field. The Devil defense would hold the Golden Knights and quarterback Ryan Schneider in check forcing them to punt the ball away on downs.
Christensen would take two sacks on the next series forcing Tim Parker to punt the ball back to the Golden Knights. Again, the Sun Devil defense would step up as freshman Jamar Williams would pick off a Schneider pass giving the ball back to the offense.
Couch Dirk Koetter pulled quarterback Chad Christensen and inserted Andrew Walter in hopes of sparking the offense. 'A lot of great quarterbacks come off he bench and do it, so you just have to rise to the occasion,' Walter commented on getting in the game. Walter completed his first pass to Shaun McDonald for eight yards only to get stuck on a fourth and one. Koetter reinserted Christensen on the fourth down play who completed a 45 yard pass to Mike Pinkard resulting in a first down on the ASU nine-yard line. Walter then came back in and after a six-yard loss on a rush he completed a 13-yard pass to McDonald for a Sun Devil score. Barth added the extra point to put ASU in the lead for the first time in the game 17-13.
It started to get ugly for the Golden Knights after that. On UCF's next offensive series, starting on their own 14, they lost nine yards on a Alex Haynes rush and then gave up a safety with Terrell Suggs putting pressure on UCF quarterback Ryan Schneider. ASU now had a 19-13 lead and the defense was gaining steam and momentum.
ASU would receive the kickoff and Andrew Walter would lead the team again. Driving down the field 60 yards and five plays Walter would hit McDonald for a 26-yard touchdown reception. The Sun Devils went for two points, but failed, leaving the score 25-13 in favor of the home team.
UCF would continue to have problems on offense and would soon be without their starting signal caller. UCF quarterback Ryan Schneider had his first pass of the Golden Knights' next possession intercepted by Josh Amobi for a touchdown. The touchdown wasn't the only pain the Golden Knights suffered on the play. Quarterback Ryan Schneider would also be injured on the play and have to be carted off the field with bruised ribs. The Sun Devils would add another Barth kick to extend their lead to 32-13.
UCF backup quarterback Brian Miller could not do much either. After taking a delay of game penalty, a Alex Haynes rush for seven yards and a false start penalty Miller would throw an interception to Connor Banks who would return it into the end zone for another ASU score. Barth would add to his game totals with another extra point putting ASU up 39-13. UCF would have one more possession to end the third quarter.
The Golden Knights continued their third quarter possession into the fourth quarter, but ended up punting it away to ASU. The Sun Devils ended up punting the ball back forcing UCF to start at their own 27-yard line. Brian Miller would take back to back sacks from Jamar Williams for eight yards and Solomon Bates for five yards to hamper the UCF offense.
ASU would take drive for its last score with 10:32 remaining in the game. Behind the rushing of Canidate ASU would take it 59 yards in 12 plays to put themselves up 46-13 with a Barth extra point. On the final scoring drive Cornell Canidate carried it nine times for 55 yards and a touchdown with the offense eating up 6:45 on the clock to seal a Sun Devil win.
The Sun Devil defense was out to prove that it could dominate UCF in the second half and it did allowing only two first downs, seven net passing yards and minus two net rushing yards in the second half. Coach Koetter could only praise the defense after the game, '(the defense unit) has been much maligned over the last year and a third, but they had an awesome game plan and hung in there.'
GAME NOTES: Terrell Suggs added three more sacks to his career sack total moving into third place on ASU's all time sack list...Jamar Williams recorded his first career sack and interception as a Sun Devil...Hakim Hill tied for third most return yards in a game with 157 yards and was just two shy of the record set in 1990 by Kevin Galbreath vs. Houston.