Football Plays Host to Colorado Saturday Night

Sept. 3, 2007

   Game Week Notes: vs. Colorado (pdf)
   Sun Devil Football Gameday Central 
   2007 ASU Football Rosters 
   2007 ASU Football Schedule/Results 
   2007 ASU Football Statistics
   2007 Pac-10 Conference Statistics
   NCAA Football Statistics 
   2007 ASU Football Media Guide 
   College Football National Rankings

Date: Saturday, September 8, 2007
Kickoff: 7:15 p.m. MT
Site: Frank Kush Field/Sun Devil Stadium (71,706) - Tempe, Ariz.
Television: FSN
Play-by-Play: Barry Tompkins
Color: Petros Papadakis
Sideline: 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: Amy Bender

• Junior Rudy Carpenter needs seven more yards for 5,000 career passing yards
• Senior Ryan Torain ranks 13th nationally and second in the Pac-10 among returning runners after recording the top rushing season by a Sun Devil in the Pac-10 era
• A win against the Buffaloes would give ASU its fourth 2-0 start in the past five seasons
• Arizona State's remaining opponents currently have a 7-3 combined record
• The Colorado game will be the first of six games currently scheduled to be televised
• Senior WR Rudy Burgess is the only active player in the Pac-10 Conference to have surpassed 1,000 yards rushing and receiving during his career
• ASU's offensive line includes fi ve players who earned their undergraduate degrees this past spring
• ASU has not suffered back-to-back losing seasons in 59 years, the fourth longest active streak in the nation

TEMPE, Ariz. - Coming off a 45-3 opening night victory over the San Jose State Spartans, Arizona State welcomes the Colorado Buffaloes to Tempe on Saturday night, September 8. Colorado enters the contest 1-0 after a 31-28 overtime victory over Colorado State last week in Denver. ASU coach Dennis Erickson will go after career NCAA coaching victory #150 on Saturday. It will be the 215th college game Erickson has coached. Last week against the Spartans, Ryan Torain ran for 123 yards and three touchdowns, while Rudy Carpenter threw for 197 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Sun Devils to the victory.

The Sun Devil Sports Network will carry all 12 of ASU's football games live on its 10-station radio network, including flagship station Sports 620 KTAR AM. Tim Healey (play-by-play) and former Sun Devil quarterback Jeff Van Raaphorst (color analyst) will call the action, while Amy Bender will provide sideline reports during home games.

Fox Sports Net will televise the contest with the Buffaloes to a national audience. Barry Tompkins and Petros Papadakis will call the action with Jim Watson patrolling the sidelines.

Saturday will be the second meeting between Arizona State and Colorado. The Sun Devils won the previous meeting 21-3 last season in Boulder. ASU vs. The Big 12: The Sun Devils are 3-2 all-time against opponents from the Big 12 Conference, which began play in 1996. The Devils hold wins over Colorado, Nebraska and Texas Tech. They fell to Nebraska and Kansas State in the 2002 Holiday Bowl.

The Dennis Erickson era of Sun Devil football got off on the right foot, as Arizona State jumped on San Jose State early and never looked back, grabbing a 45-3 victory on opening night. Ryan Torain picked up right where he left off in 2006, rushing 17 times for 123 yards and three scores in just over one half of work. Rudy Carpenter turned in a precision performance, going 14-20 for 197 yards and two scores. The ASU defense was dominant, holding the Spartans to 115 total yards while forcing two turnovers and sacking the quarterback three times. The Sun Devils spread the wealth, as 11 different receivers caught passes from two different quarterbacks, and four running backs earned carries in the win.

• Arizona State moved to 66-27-2 all-time in season openers and 46-15-1 when opening the year at home. It's the seventh straight home opener victory and the 11th in the past 12 years
• The three touchdowns for Torain marked the first multi-TD game of his ASU career
• ASU did not punt until the 6:11 mark of the third quarter

Including the final two games of the 2006 season and the opener against San Jose State, Ryan Torain has now surpassed the 100-yard rushing mark in three consecutive games, a feat matched by only four other Sun Devils dating back to 1993. It was the fifth time in his career he topped 100 yards, making him the 23rd all-time Sun Devil to record at least five 100-yard rushing games. ASU is now 246-49-5 when they have a rusher gain at least 100 yards.

Last week against San Jose State, the starting offense put together one of the most efficient performances in recent memory. Playing just over a half, Rudy Carpenter and the offense made five trips into the red zone, resulting in five scores and they converted eight of nine third down conversions and totaled 38 points. Carpenter finished the game 14-20 for 197 with two TD tosses, while Ryan Torain carried the ball 17 times for 123 yards and three scores. Both Carpenter and Torain came out of the game with 10 minutes remaining in the third quarter with the Devils up 38-3.

Arizona State put on a defense show on Saturday, limiting the San Jose State offense to 115 total yards. It was the lowest total allowed by an ASU defense since Sept. 18, 2004, when they held #12 Iowa to 100 yards (56 rushing, 44 passing). The Spartans ran for 40 yards and threw for 75. The Devil defense forced two interceptions and only allowed San Jose State to cross the 50-yard line three times. The Spartans started one drive on their own 44 following an ASU fumble, and another drive they took only one snap from the ASU side of the fi eld before a sack pushed them back into their own territory. The Sun Devils had three sacks in the game.

After missing the final five games of the 2006 season, including the Hawai'i Bowl, senior linebacker Robert James returned to the field in style. James led the Sun Devils with 10 tackles, including his fourth career sack. He also registered his second career interception.

Dennis Erickson needs one victory for #150 in his NCAA coaching career... Junior Rudy Carpenter needs only seven passing yards against Colorado to hit the 5,000 yard mark for his career. Carpenter has played in 23 games, including 19 as the starter, and has thrown 42 touchdowns during his Sun Devil career... Both Ryan Torain and Keegan Herring are approaching 1,500 rushing yards. Torain is 148 yards shy, while Herring needs only fi ve yards to hit the mark.

Several Sun Devils achieved career fi rsts against San Jose State. Freshman WR Kerry Taylor had three catches in his NCAA debut, including his first career touchdown reception. Sophomore QB Danny Sullivan also threw his first career TD pass, a five-yard strike to TE Andrew Pettes, which was his first career TD reception. PK Thomas Weber also attempted the first kicks of his collegiate career, going 6-6 on PATs and 1-1 on field goals, connecting from 44 yards.

Rudy Carpenter ranks second to only Alex Brink of Washington State, who is a year of eligibility ahead of Carpenter, in passing attempts, completed passes, passing yards and touchdown passes. Additionally, the Westlake Village, Calif., native has enjoyed seven career games with over 300 passing yards, the most among active Pac-10 quarterbacks.

Senior Ryan Torain had 16 rushing yards in the 2006 season opener against NAU, but he made his 2007 opener a memorable one, rushing for 123 yards and three scores in the 45-3 win over San Jose State. It was his fifth career 100-yard rushing game, despite the fact that he carried the ball only twice after halftime, thanks to a sizeable Sun Devil lead. He carved up the San Jose State defense for 7.2 yards per carry and his three touchdowns on the ground give him 10 so far in his ASU career.

Thanks to the dominating opening night performance against the Spartans, Arizona State is ranked nationally in many major categories. The Sun Devils are ranked 3rd nationally in pass efficiency defense (57.80) and 4th in total defense (115 ypg). The three points allowed by the defense is good for 5th nationally in scoring defense, while the 75 passing yards allowed is ranked 6th nationally in pass defense. ASU is ranked 17th nationally in total offense (520 ypg), while Ryan Torain is tied for 5th nationally in scoring (18 ppg). Rudy Carpenter is 12th nationally in pass efficiency (185.74).

Sophomore defensive end Dexter Davis enjoyed one of the most sensational freshman seasons by a Sun Devil defender in school history last season, earning Pac-10 All-Freshman honors and honorable mention freshman All-America recognition by The Sporting News. The Phoenix, Ariz., native recorded a team-best and Pac-10 freshman season-high 6.0 quarterback sacks, the third-most by a Sun Devil rookie in school history. Davis' total trails only those by Terrell Suggs (2000) and Shante Carver (1990), who each posted 10.0 sacks as a freshman and in total, Suggs (44 career sacks) and Carver (41) rank first and second on ASU's all-time career sacks list. Also, Davis totaled 40 tackles on the season, the most by an ASU freshman since TSN freshman All-America safety Jason Shivers' team-high 89 total stops in 2001. Davis proved to be a threat to opposing ballcarriers in a variety of ways, posting an ASU season-high and Pac-10 freshman best three forced fumbles, the most by a Sun Devil freshman since Suggs' four in 2000 and the fourth-most among freshmen in school history. He didn't miss a beat in the season opener against San Jose State, recording four tackles, including two tackles for loss and a sack.

No team in the Pac-10 showcased as many talented defensive freshmen as ASU did in 2006, headlined by defensive end Dexter Davis and linebacker Travis Goethel, both of whom earned Pac-10 All-Freshman and honorable mention Freshman All-America honors by The Sporting News. Both Davis and Goethel played well in their first games as sophomores, as Davis had two tackles for loss and sack while Goethel was second on the team with five tackles, including a tackle for loss.

The Sun Devils showcase one of the most experienced and honored offensive lines in the Pac-10, as ASU boasts the only unit of linemen in the conference which returns all fi ve starters from the conclusion of the 2006 season. Also, ASU returns three offensive linemen that received All-Pac-10 honors in 2006, trailing only Oregon State for most in the conference and five Sun Devil linemen, including four starters, have already earned their undergraduate degree. The Sun Devil front five is led by second-team All-Pac-10 center, graduate Mike Pollak and honorable mention All-Pac-10 recipients junior guard Paul Fanaika and graduate tackle Brandon Rodd. Graduate guard Robert Gustavis and graduate tackle Julius Orieuwku also provide starting experience for 2007. Last season, Gustavis and Pollak started all 13 games at right guard and center, respectively, while Rodd started all 11 games in which he played at left tackle. After injuries suffered by 2006 seniors Andrew Carnahan and Stephen Berg, Faniaka started the season's final 10 games, while Orieukwu was a starter in the fi nal seven contests. Sophomore tackle Richard Tuitu'u adds depth in 2007 after filling in as a starter for Rodd last season. Graduate Zach Krula will be welcomed back to the line in 2007, having earned a sixth-year of eligibility from the NCAA after missing the majority of the past two seasons due to injury. A starter in nine of 17 career games at guard, Krula was moved to right tackle this season. In 2006, the Sun Devil blockers helped enable ASU to gain its greatest rushing total since 1999 and showcase the team's first 1,000-yard runner since 2001. They continued that trend in the season opener as the Devils rushed for 250 yards, averaging 4.7 yards per carry.

After establishing itself in recent years as a national offensive powerhouse predominately predicated on its passing attack, ASU proved it could attack opposing defenses with a punishing ground game last season. The Sun Devils boast the most potent running backs combination in the Pac-10, as senior Ryan Torain and junior Keegan Herring combined for 1,778 rushing yards in 2006, more than any pair of returning Pac-10 teammates. Torain and Herring started 2007 off well, combining for 199 yards in the season opening win over San Jose State. In total, ASU showcases three of eight active Pac-10 ballcarriers to have surpassed 1,000 career rushing yards, including Herring and Torain as well as senior wide receiver Rudy Burgess, who is a dangerous all-purpose threat and was ASU's starting tailback during the 2004 and 2005 seasons.

Senior running back Ryan Torain enjoyed one of the most incredible rushing seasons in school history in 2006, totaling 1,229 rushing yards on 223 carries. Torain became the first Sun Devil to surpass 1,000 rushing yards since Delvon Flowers in 2001 and produced the greatest single-season rushing output since Sun Devil great Freddie Williams' total of 1,427 for head coach Frank Kush's legendary 1975 squad. The 1,229 yards was the most ever by a Sun Devil running back since ASU joined the Pac-10 in 1978. The 6-1, 213-pounder earned second-team All-Pac-10 honors while rushing for over 100 yards in four games and more than 80 yards in eight contests. Torain has his sights set on an even better 2007, starting the season with a 123-yard performance on opening night.

Ryan Torain is only the seventh returning 1,000 yard rusher in school history, and the first since Darryl Harris in 1987. Only Woody Green, who rushed for over 1,000 yards in three straight years, and Freddie Williams have ever put together back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons for the Sun Devils.

After breaking ASU's freshman rushing record by totaling 870 yards in 2005, junior Keegan Herring rushed for 549 yards on 94 carries in 2006 as part of the most dynamic rushing combination in the Pac-10 Conference. One of the quickest athletes in the Pac-10, Herring led all Sun Devil runners last season averaging 5.8 yards-per-carry and is one of only four active ballcarriers in the conference to have rushed for over 500 yards in each of the past two seasons. Herring collected 76 yards on 16 carries against San Jose State on Sept. 1. In 26 career games, the Peoria (Ariz.) High School product has totaled 268 carries for 1,495 yards and 13 rushing touchdowns.

Only four teams in the nation return a running back unit that consisted of a 1,000 yard rusher and a 500 yard rusher last season, including ASU's Ryan Torain and Keegan Herring. Torain and Herring combined for 1,778 rushing yards in 2006. Arkansas, Clemson and Western Michigan are the others.

Senior safety Josh Barrett enjoyed a terrific season in his first year as full-time starter in 2006, earning honorable mention All-Pac-10 honors while leading the Sun Devils in total tackles (82) and interceptions (three) as a starter in all 13 contests. The Reno, Nev., native also ranked second on the squad in pass defl ections (six) and third in tackles-for-loss (7.5) and is the third-leading returning tackler among Pac-10 defensive backs. An incredible athlete and a member of the Bednarik Award, Lott Trophy and Nagurski Trophy Watch Lists, the 6-3, 231-pound Barrett has often times been clocked as ASU's fastest player and is expected to continue to be a major contributor and leader as a senior in 2007.

Sun Devil fans will be in for a treat at halftime of the ASU/USC game on Thanksgiving at Sun Devil Stadium. Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Chuck Berry will perform with the ASU Marching Band during intermission of the game, performing a medley of four songs in a 'Super Bowl' style halftime show. Berry, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, is most famous for his song 'Johnny B. Goode'.

The Arizona State football team has several two-sport athletes on the roster. WR Mike Jones has spent the past two seasons as a centerfielder for the baseball team, including last year's Pac-10 Championship team that advanced to the College World Series. Jones was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 42nd round of the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft, but has opted not to sign a contract and will return to the baseball team in 2008. WR Kyle Williams will also play baseball for ASU in 2008. He took the 2007 baseball season off to concentrate on football, but hopes to compete for an infield spot in 2008. In addition to the baseball players, ASU football also has three student-athletes who participated in the Pac-10 Track & Field Championships last season. WR Rodney Glass, CB Justin Tryon and WR Brandon Smith all ran for the Devils in Palo Alto, Calif.

The Sun Devils are one of eight teams in the country who start the season with four home games. Rutgers, who has five home contests to start 2007, Michigan, Kansas, Tulane, Stanford, Vanderbilt and Auburn all join Arizona State on the list. Only ASU, Stanford and Auburn will play all four of those games against teams from the Division I-Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A). Coincidentally, Stanford's fourth home game is against Arizona State, who will be playing their first road game of the season against the Cardinal.

Several Sun Devils are on preseason watch lists for national awards, led by senior safety Josh Barrett. Barrett finds himself on four lists for the 2007 season. He is on the watch list for the Lott Trophy, awarded to the nation's premier defensive player both on and off the field, the Nagurski Award, given to the nation's top defensive player, the Bednarik Trophy, handed out to best defensive player and the Thorpe Award, given to the nation's top defensive back. Senior running back Ryan Torain is on the Maxwell Award watch list, the award given to the most outstanding college football player. Senior center Mike Pollak is on the watch list for the Outland Trophy, awarded to the top interior lineman in the country, and the Rimington Trophy, given to the top center in the nation. Junior quarterback Rudy Carpenter was named to the Manning Award Watch List, given to the nation's top quarterback. Senior offensive linemen Mike Pollak and Brandon Rodd are both on the Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List, given to the top lineman in college football.

Josh Barrett, Michael Marquardt, Mike Pollak and Ryan Torain have been named the team captains for the 2007 season in a vote by the players.

Since 1997, Arizona State is second only to USC in the number of players from the Pac-10 taken in the annual NFL Draft. 40 Sun Devils have been selected in the draft over the past 10 years, including fi ve players who were selected in the fi rst round. Recent ASU standouts Terrel Suggs (10th overall selection in 2003), Levi Jones (10th overall selection in 2002) and Todd Heap (31st overall selection in 2001) have all found success in the NFL since leaving Arizona State.

ASU was picked to finish fourth in the Pacifi c-10 Conference by West Coast media members who regularly cover the league. Defending Pac-10 champion USC was the unanimous choice to win their fifth straight conference crown, garnering all 39 first place votes. ASU and USC will meet at Sun Devil Stadium on Nov. 22 on ESPN. The media poll has correctly selected the Conference Champion in 24 of 46 previous polls, including the last seven years.

Arizona State welcomes San Diego State to Sun Devil Stadium on Sept. 15. FSN Arizona will televise with contest, which is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. kickoff. ASU is 9-0-1 against San Diego State in a series that dates back to 1934. This will be the fourth match-up since 2000.

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