Sun Devils Face Washington State on the Road
Oct. 31, 2005
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After snapping a three-game losing streak with its 44-20 defeat of Washington last weekend during Homecoming, the Arizona State University Sun Devils hit the road for the first of its final two road contests of the 2005 season when it travels to Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash., for a Pac-10 showdown with the Cougars of Washington State. The Sun Devils (4-4, 2-3 Pac-10) meet a Cougar team that has not won in the conference this season and stands 3-5 overall (0-5 Pac-10). Up next for ASU will be a 4 p.m. PT (5 p.m. MT) tilt with No. 7 UCLA (8-0, 5-0 Pac-10) at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., on Nov. 12. The game will be carried regionally by ABC.
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 www.TheSunDevils.com or www.sundevilsportsnetwork.com. The Arizona State-Washington State game will not have any TV coverage.
In the Series with the Washington State Cougars
The Sun Devils are 17-12-2 in the all-time series with the Cougars and won 45-28 last year in Tempe to snap a three-game losing skid against the Cougars. ASU will look to even its record in games played in Pullman as it currently stands 6-7 all-time at WSU after dropping the last two road games, including a 34-19 setback in 2003. The last time ASU won in Pullman was during the 2000 season in a 23-20 overtime contest.
What Time Is It Anyway?
The State of Arizona never changes its clocks, remaining on Mountain Standard Time all year. From April to the end of October, Arizona is on Pacific Daylight Time, while when the rest of the country changed its clocks on October 31, Arizona remained the same, matching up again with Mountain Standard Time.
Senior All-American wide receiver Derek Hagan has lived up to his billing as one of the top receivers in the country. With 55 catches for 830 yards and six touchdowns, Hagan ranks among the Pac-10 and NCAA leaders in several receiving categories. Over the last five games, Hagan has caught 40 passes for 592 yards and three touchdowns, including 11 for 193 vs. Oregon State, 10 for 162 against No. 1/1 USC and nine for 115 against Washington. Hagan owns nearly every ASU career receiving record, including most catches (236), yards (3,559) and is tied for first with 25 touchdowns. He is also climbing the Pac-10 career record charts, third in receptions, fourth in yards and tied for eighth in touchdowns.
Quick Hits -- Release Highlights
Derek Hagan has caught a pass in 37 straight and in 44 of 46 career games.
Rudy Carpenter threw for 401 yards and 3 TD's in his first collegiate start.
Zach Miller ranks third all-time among ASU tight ends with eight TD catches.
Hagan is only the 10th player in Pac-10 history with 200 catches and 3,000 yards.
Terry Richardson is second in the Pac-10 averaging 30.4 yards per kickoff return.
ASU's Tight Ends have accounted for 10 of the team's 28 receiving TD's.
Rudy Burgess leads the team with 7 TD's (4 receiving, 3 rushing).
The Sun Devils have rushed for 13 TD's after having only six last season.
Five 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. Four of those five 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 Washington State game will be sophomore tight end Zach Miller.
In the Rankings
Following the 31-17 loss to No. 25 Oregon, the Sun Devils dropped out of both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches's Poll for the first time this season. The Devils had been ranked in the previous 19 national polls, marking the ASU's longest such streak since the mid-1980's, nearly 20 years. The 19 straight weeks among the nation's Top 25 helps illustrate the consistency that fifth-year head coach Dirk Koetter has built in the Sun Devil program since taking over in 2001. The No. 14 ranking (AP) earlier in the season marks the highest national ranking for the Sun Devils since also being 14th in each of the final polls in 1997. ASU's opponent this weekend, Washington State, is not ranked.
Last Time Out -- Arizona State 44, Washington 20
Redshirt freshman Rudy Carpenter made his first career start as a Sun Devil and Dale Robinson recovered two Washington fumbles as Arizona State defeated the Washington Huskies, 44-20, in front of 57,678 fans at Frank Kush Field at Sun Devil Stadium. This was the first time ASU and UW met since 2002 when ASU came out with a 27-16 victory.
The Huskies got on the board first on the opening drive of the game with a 30-yard field goal from senior kicker Evan Knudson. On their ensuing drive, the Sun Devils marched 51 yards on nine plays Carpenter's 1-yard touchdown rush capping the drive to give ASU a 7-3 led midway through the first quarter. On the day, Carpenter passed for 401 yards and three touchdowns and no interceptions. The Sun Devils extended their lead after Carpenter found wide receiver Matt Miller for a 12-yard touchdown strike, which gave the Sun Devils a 14-3 advantage after the first quarter. Miller had a career day with five catches for 139 yards and three touchdowns and proved to be Carpenter's favorite target of the afternoon.
As the second quarter began, UW closed the ASU lead to four at 14-10 after a 1-yard touchdown rush by senior running back James Sims. Sims posed the most problems for the Sun Devils as he rushed for 143 yards on 24 carries and finding the end zone twice. Only 1:15 came off the clock before Carpenter found Miller for his second touchdown, this time a 69-yard pass play, which extended the ASU lead to 21-10. The Washington defense, which recorded seven sacks on the afternoon, contained the explosive ASU offense through most of the second quarter. Just before the half, Sims crossed the goal line for a 3-yard score, which cut the ASU lead to 21-17 with 1:48 remaining. In the closing seconds on the half, ASU marched right back down the field and junior kicker Jesse Ainsworth booted a 21-yard field goal as time expired with ASU on top, 24-14.
An array of ASU penalties and injuries to the offensive line produced no points for ASU in the third quarter. The Sun Devil defense remained strong as they only allowed another Knudson field goal in the third quarter and ASU took a 24-20 lead into the fourth.
Numerous ASU penalties and a tough Husky defense kept UW hanging around as no team managed to score through the majority of the fourth quarter. With just over five minutes remaining in the game, however, Carpenter found Matt Miller for their third touchdown connection, this time a 10-yard strike, capping a 10-play, 64-yard drive that put ASU ahead, 31-20. A Jamar Williams interception from UW quarterback Isaiah Stanbeck put ASU at mid-field and sophomore tailback Preston Jones found the end zone on a 10-yard run to seal the win for the Sun Devils. To finish off the first Sun Devil win since September 24, cornerback Josh Golden intercepted UW back-up quarterback Johnny DuRocher and ran it back 58-yards for the touchdown as time expired as the Sun Devils won going away, 44-20.
The Sun Devils netted just 77 rushing yards on 43 carries and got most of their offensive production through the air as Carpenter threw for a career-high 401 yards and three touchdowns. The Sun Devil defense created some big plays and linebacker Dale Robinson recovered two fumbles and Golden and Williams each had an interception. The Sun Devils came through when they needed to as they converted 10-of-15 on third down and averaged 15 yards per pass completion. In addition, ASU scored all five times it was in the red zone.
Tight End University
Arizona State is quickly becoming one of the marquee schools in producing top tight ends. Sophomore TE/HB Zach Miller is a candidate for the Mackey Award and is coming off a Freshman All-America campaign in which he caught 56 passes for 552 yards and six touchdowns in 2004. Battling through a shoulder and ankle injury this season, Miller recorded three catches for 48 yards against Washington and over the last three games have recorded 16 receptions for 211 yards. For the season, Miller is fourth on the team with 21 catches for 260 yards and two touchdowns. Junior Jamaal Lewis is also having a solid season, ranking seventh on the team with 17 catches for 324 yards and five TD's. Sophomore Brent Miller (2 TD's) and senior Lee Burghgraef (1 TD) have also hauled in a TD pass this year. The tight end corps has combined for 10 of ASU's 28 receiving TD's (36%) and 48 of 215 (23%) catches. ASU also produced two-time Pro Bowl tight end Todd Heap of the Baltimore Ravens.
After six home games, Arizona State University ranks third in the Pac-10 in attendance averaging 60,077 fans per game. A total of 360,461 fans have passed through the turnstiles at Sun Devil Stadium this season, including a sellout against USC (71,706) and over 60,000 fans against LSU (63,210) and Oregon (62,789). USC leads the conference averaging 90,884 fans at the Coliseum in three games this season.
Carpenter Constructs Solid Start
Redshirt freshman QB Rudy Carpenter connected on 27-of-34 passing for 401 yards and three throwing touchdowns, as well as one on the ground, to lead Arizona State to a 44-20 victory over Washington in his first collegiate start for the Sun Devils. Carpenter hooked-up with eight different receivers during the game, including Matt Miller on five occasions (139 yards and three touchdowns) and Derek Hagan for nine receptions (115 yards). Overall, his 401 yards through the air are the second most in school history by a freshman (Jeff Krohn vs. Oregon, 2000, 432 yards) while his .794 completion percentage is a school record for the 31-40 attempt range, bettering the .771 mark (27-for-35) set by Jeff Krohn in 2001 against San Diego State.
In his last two games, including his solid performance off the bench at Stanford, Carpenter has accumulated 705 yards on 46-of-59 passing (.793) with six touchdowns and one interception. Overall in 2005, Carpenter has appeared in five games and has amassed 845 yards on 79 percent passing (60-for-76) with eight touchdowns, one interception and a passing efficiency rating of 204.45.
T-Rich Leads Special Teams
Junior wide receiver Terry Richardson was named the US Bank Pac-10 Special Teams Player of the Week (10/2) and is ranked as one of the top returners in the nation this season. His 84-yard punt return for a TD in the first quarter against USC (10/1) marked the first by a Sun Devil player since current St. Louis Ram wide receiver Shaun McDonald had a 78-yarder against USC on Nov. 4, 2000. It was the 10th longest punt return in school history (9th longest for a TD) and the longest by a Sun Devil since Eric Guliford had a 89-yarder against California in 1992. Richardson ranks second in the Pac-10 and seventh in the nation averaging 30.4 yards per kickoff return while also sitting third in the Pac-10 and 15th in the NCAA averaging 13.8 yards on 17 punt returns. On offense, Richardson is tied for third on the team with 21 catches for 264 yards (12.6 avg.). Richardson also holds an average of 133.3 yards per game in all-purpose yardage which ranks him 34th in the nation. For his career, Richardson has caught 82 passes for 1,139 yards and seven touchdowns.
Sophomore Rudy Burgess has proven to be an all-around player and is averaging 100.9 all purpose yards per game. He has rushed for 383 yards (91 carries), caught 37 passes (354 yards) and leads the team with seven touchdowns (4 receiving, 3 rushing). In 20 career games as a Sun Devil, Burgess is averaging 98.8 all purpose yards per game and has scored 10 TD's. Over his last three games vs. Oregon, Stanford and Washington, Burgess has caught 20 passes for 134 yards and one TD and rushed 37 times for 164 yards and one TD. In 20 career games, Burgess has combined for 2,029 all purpose yards, averaging 101.5 yards per game.
Senior wide receiver Matt Miller has made it a habit of performing well in ASU's Homecoming game. After catching a pair of touchdowns last year against Stanford, including the game-winning score, Miller hauled in three touchdown strikes from Rudy Carpenter against Washington. He also recorded a career-high 139 yards on his five grabs and became the first Sun Devil since Derek Hagan last year against UCLA to catch three touchdown passes in a game.
Entering the game, Miller had snared 12 passes for 253 yards and two touchdowns. His performance against the Huskies brought his season totals to 17 catches for 392 yards and five touchdowns. He ranks tied for sixth on the team in receptions (17) and it tied for second with five touchdowns through the air.
Three of ASU's four losses this season have come against ranked opponents. The Sun Devils fell to then No. 5/5 LSU, No. 1/1 USC and No. 25 Oregon to account for the 4-4 overall record.
Just Win Baby
Dating back to the end of the 2003 season, ASU has won 14 of its last 21 games and 10 of the last 13 home games. In 94 seasons of Sun Devil football, ASU 520-318-24 all-time.
Taking Off Under Koetter
It's no secret that Dirk Koetter-led football teams have the propensity for a strong vertical passing attack. That was apparent against Washington as Rudy Carpenter stepped into the starting line up and recorded 401 yards and three touchdowns on 27-of-34 passing in his first collegiate start. Koetter has guided several impressive debuts of Sun Devil quarterbacks, including Sam Keller, Andrew Walter and Jeff Krohn. In his first start, Keller earned Sun Bowl MVP honors by throwing for 370 yards on 25-of-45 passing with three touchdowns. Walter become one of the highest ranking quarterbacks in both school and conference history under Koetter as he established program records for yards (10,617) and touchdowns (85), which also ranked fifth and first in the Pac-10, respectively. Krohn, who played his junior season during Koetter's first year at the helm, led the Sun Devils to a 38-7 defeat of San Diego State to open the 2001 season while throwing for 271 yards on 27-of-35 passing and four touchdowns.
Overall, Koetter has coached seven quarterbacks that have gone on to play in the professional ranks, including ASU's Walter (Oakland, 3rd round), Oregon's Joey Harrington (Detroit, 1st), Akili Smith (Cincinnati, 1st) and A.J. Feeley (Philadelphia, 5th), Boston College's Matt Hasselbeck (Seattle, 6th) and Boise State's Bart Hendricks (CFL Edmonton, FA) and Ryan Dinwiddie (Chicago, FA).
Sam I Am
Junior quarterback Sam Keller, who ranks seventh in the nation with 2,165 passing yards (155-264) and has thrown for 20 touchdowns in the first seven games this season, will miss the remainder of the 2005 season following surgery to repair damage to the thumb on his throwing hand. Keller joins an elite list, becoming only the sixth quarterback in school history to throw 20 touchdowns in a season and is already tied for eighth in ASU single-season record book with John Torok (1964). Keller's 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). With a career-high five interceptions vs. No. 1 USC, Keller had a string of 131 consecutive pass attempts without an INT snapped, falling just six short of breaking the school record set by Mike Pagel in 1980.
Keller has thrown two or more TD's in seven of his eight career starts and has thrown four or more TD's six times this season. He set career marks with 35 completions, 56 attempts and 461 yards against No. 5 LSU (9/10). His 461 yards were the ninth-best single-game performance in school history, while he has also tied for 8th on the ASU single-game chart with four TD's four times this season.
Preseason All-American wide receiver Derek Hagan is ASU's all-time leading receiver and is living up to the high expectations for his senior season. Over the last five games, Hagan has gained sole possession of the school's career receiving yards record (3,559) and with a TD reception against Oregon, is now tied for first with 25 career touchdowns. He also holds the school career records for catches (236) and 100-yard games (17). With 40 catches over the last five games, Hagan leads the team with 55 catches for 830 yards and is fifth in the Pac-10 averaging 103.8 yards per game. His 55 grabs also stand as the 10th-most in a single-season at ASU, giving him three of the Top 10 performances in ASU annals.
Additionally, Hagan became just the 10th player in Pac-10 history to record 3,000 or more yards and 200 or more catches in a career (see list to right) and is currently fourth with 3,559 career yards and is third with 236 career catches. Hagan has 17 career 100-yard games, which is already four more than any other Sun Devil in school history and his 193 yards against Oregon State are the 10th most in ASU single-game history. He has caught a pass in 37 consecutive games, which is the fourth-longest streak in the nation, and has at least one catch in 44 of 46 career games (three career games with 10 or more catches).
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 Rivals.com 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 Streak
Jovon Bouknight, WR, Wyoming 44
Charles Sharon, WR, Bowling Green State 42
Chris Francies, WR, UTEP 38
Derek Hagan, WR, Arizona State 37
Hagan on Biletnikoff Award Watch List
A semifinalist for the award last season, senior Derek Hagan is one of 31 players on the 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 eight games, Hagan leads the Sun Devils with 55 catches for 830 yards and has six touchdowns. He also ranks 12th in the nation in yards per game (103.8) and is 15th in catches per game (6.88).
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:
Year 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 8 55 830 6 45 6.8 15.1 103.8Career 48 236 3559 25 80 4.9 15.1 74.1
Date Opponent No. Yds TD LongSep 01, 2005 Temple 3 53 2 31Sep 10, 2005 #5 LSU 7 95 0 24Sep 17, 2005 Northwestern 5 90 1 26Sep 24, 2005 at Oregon State 11 193 2 45Oct 01, 2005 #1 USC 10 162 0 25Oct 08, 2005 #25 Oregon 4 46 1 20Oct 22, 2005 at Stanford 6 76 0 17Oct 29, 2005 Washington 9 115 0 24Totals 55 830 6 45
Mr. Robinson's Neighborhood
Senior linebacker Dale Robinson has picked up where the honorable-mention All-Pac-10 selection left off last season. Robinson leads the Devils and ranks second in the Pac-10 with 78 total tackles (47 solo). He is also tied for third in the league with 11.0 TFL's and has recorded three games this season with 10 or more tackles. 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 20 career games in the Maroon and Gold, Robinson has recorded 171 total tackles (97 solo) and 24.0 TFL.
The Sun Devils set a school record with 773 yards of total offense in the 52-21 win over Northwestern (9/17) and have combined for 2,471 yards over the last five games (494.20 avg). The previous school record was 743 yards (232 rush/511 pass) set vs. Stanford in 1981. ASU ranks second in the Pac-10 and fifth nationally with 514.8 yards per game. The Devils also rank eighth nationally in scoring (39.00) and second in passing (376.3) offense.
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. In eight games this season, ASU ranks third in Pac-10 and eighth in the NCAA averaging 39.0 points per game.
Arizona State has averaged 31.47 points per game in Dirk Koetter's five years at the helm (1794 points/57 G). Since coming to ASU, a Koetter-led team has put at least 40 points on the scoreboard 16 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. Eight games into the 2005 season, ASU is ranked third in the Pac-10 and eighth in the nation in scoring offense averaging 39.0 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.
Herring Aiming For Freshman Rushing Record
True freshman tailback Keegan Herring leads the Sun Devils and ranks ninth in the Pac-10 averaging 69.40 yards per game. He recorded his second 100-yard game of the year with a 197-yard effort against Northwestern (9/17). Herring also rushed for 134 yards in his collegiate debut, marking 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 against the Wildcats 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 are the first by an ASU player since Hakim Hill in 2003. In eight games this season, Herring has rushed for 555 yards and has five TD's. The ASU freshman record for rushing yards in a season is 773 set in 2003.
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).
Injuries have hit the offensive line hard this year as nine different Sun Devils have started up front in 2005. Stephen Berg was injured during the Washington game, leaving only one interior lineman left from the original starting line against Temple.
Top Freshman Running Backs
Freshman tailback Keegan Herring is not only one of the top tailbacks in the Pac-10, but is one of the top freshman in the country. Herring ranks sixth of all freshman rushers with 555 yards and is third with a 6.0 yards per rush average. His 197 yards against Northwestern are the fourth most yards by a freshman this season and his two 100-yard games are tied for fifth.
A Cat-anese on the Prowl
Junior safety Zach Catanese has wasted little time making the transition from junior college to the high-level play of Division I football. The transfer from Shasta College is second on the team and ranks fifth in the Pac-10 with 72 tackles (39 solo). The safety has also recorded one interception, 2.5 TFL and 2.0 sacks. Over the last four games, Catanese has recorded 40 tackles, including 13 each against USC and Oregon.
Arizona State ranks second in the Pac-10 going 59-for-121 (48.8%) on third-down conversions. Conversely, the Sun Devils rank fifth in the league in defensive third-down percentage, allowing a 36.5 conversion rate (42-of-115).
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 in parentheses)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
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.
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 the 44-20 defeat of Washington, ASU has now won 10 of its last 13 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.
Jamar Williams Named Pac-10 Player of the Week
Senior linebacker Jamar Williams was named the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week (9/26) after recording a career-high 13 tackles (9 solo) against Oregon State. It was his fifth career performance with 10 or more tackles, bettering his previous career high of 12 tackles at Washington State in 2003. In six games this season, Williams is third on the team with 37 tackles (28 solo). He recorded nine solo tackles and his seventh career interception vs. Oregon before adding the eight picked pass of his career against Washington. In four years and 44 career games, Williams has recorded 230 total tackles.
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 eight games, Ainsworth leads the team in scoring with 52 points (4 FG, 40 PAT) and has recorded a touchback on 34 of his 53 kickoffs. Dating back to the 2003 season, Ainsworth has connected on 84 straight PAT attempts and is 32-for-48 (66.0) in his career on field goals. He also took over the punting duties against Washington, kicking three times for 125 yards and a 41.7 average with one kick inside the 20.
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 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. In eight games this season, Caldwell has battled through injuries to record 11 tackles and one sack.
Miller on Mackey Award Watch List
The Nassau County Sports Commission announced that sophomore tight end Zach Miller has been named to the John Mackey Award Watch List. 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.
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 Rivals.com 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.
In six games this season (missed NU/OSU games), Miller has 21 catches for 260 yards (12.4 avg.) and two touchdowns. He recorded a season-high seven catches for 71 yards and one TD vs. Oregon and had six catches for 92 yards vs. Stanford.
With his 77 career catches, Miller ranks fourth all-time among tight ends in ASU history. As a freshman in 2004, Miller 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. Miller entered the season tabbed a first-team All-American by Street and Smith's and College Football News, while Lindy's ranked him as the fourth-best tight end in the country. He continues to climb the ASU career charts and already ranks sixth in career receiving yards by a tight end (812) and third in career receiving touchdowns by a tight end (8).
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. In six games, Keller has placed his name at the top of the watch list, ranking tied for fourth in the NCAA with 20 touchdown passes and seventh with 2,165 yards.
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.
Love a Candidate for 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. He has also been selected as a finalist (announced Oct. 27) for the 2005 Draddy Trophy, also known as the 'Academic Heisman', awarded to the student-athlete who best combines academic success, football performance and exemplary community leadership. Love, who graduated in May of 2004, was a National Scholar-Athlete Award winner last season.
A four-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 2004 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.
MacDonald on Ray Guy Watch List
Sophomore punter Chris MacDonald was 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 seven games this season, MacDonald ranks fourth in the Pac-10 and 32nd in the NCAA averaging 42.3 yards per punt. He has placed the opponent inside the 20-yard-line 10 times.
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 RostersMiami (Fla.) 11Auburn 9Boston College 9Louisiana Tech 8Virginia Tech 8Alabama 7Arizona State 7Kentucky 7Notre Dame 7Arkansas 6
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