Sun Devils Travel to Los Angeles for Meeting with Trojans

Oct. 7, 2008

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2008 ASU Football Media Guide 
College Football National Rankings
  The Oregonian:
Despite the knockdowns, Carpenter stands alone

Saturday, October 4, 2008
Kickoff: 12:30 p.m. PT
Site: Memorial Stadium (71,799), Berkeley, Calif.
Television: ABC
   Play-by-Play: Rod Gilmore
   Color: Eric Collins
Sun Devil Radio: 620 KTAR AM
   Play-by-Play: Tim Healey
   Color: Former ASU QB and 1987 Rose Bowl MVP Jeff Van Raaphorst 

USA Radio: national broadcast
   Play-by-Play: Howard David
   Color: Gary Barnett and Troy West

Senior QB Rudy Carpenter is putting his name in the Sun Devil record books, climbing the charts in several significant passing categories
Four Sun Devils made their first career starts in the Cal game
• Arizona State has now now played 10 true freshmen this season, the most in school history
• 26 members of ASU's football team played their first collegiate road game last week
• Seven members of the team have already earned their undergraduate degrees
• The Sun Devils were picked to finish second in the Pac-10 in the annual West Coast Media Poll. USC was picked to win the conference the seventh year in a row.

TEMPE, Ariz. - After a 24-14 setback against Cal in Berkeley, Arizona State continues its road swing by traveling to Los Angeles, California for a battle with the #8/9 USC Trojans on Saturday, October 11. USC enters the contest 3-1, 1-1 in the Pac-10. USC beat Oregon 44-10 last week in LA. The Sun Devils enter the contest 2-3, 1-1 in the Pac-10 following the loss to the Golden Bears.

ASU is celebrating 50 years at Sun Devil Stadium, home stadium of the ArizonaState University football team. The Sun Devils have a 244-86-3 record at SunDevil Stadium, including a 7-1 mark in 2007. In 1996, the playing field wasnamed Frank Kush Field, after the legendary Sun Devil coach. Sun Devil Stadiumhas played host to 35 Fiesta Bowls, two Insight Bowls and Super Bowl XXX. Over16 million fans have seen the Sun Devils play at Sun Devil Stadium.

The SunDevil Sports Network will carry all 12 of ASU's football games live on their10-station radio network, including flagship station Sports 620 KTAR AM. TimHealey (play-by-play) and former Sun Devil quarterback Jeff Van Raaphorst (coloranalyst) will call the action. The USC game can be heard on 620 KTAR AM.Touchdown Radio will be broadcasting the game nationally, with Roxy Bernstein,Gino Torretta and Jon Bloom on the call.

ABC will televise the Sun Devils match-up with the Trojans. Terry Gannon andDavid Norrie will call the action from the booth. Todd Harris will man thesidelines.

This will be the 25th meeting between Arizona State and USC, with the Trojansholding a 15-9 lead, including a 7-4 mark at home. The Sun Devils have notbeaten USC since 1999, when they won 26-16 at the Coliseum.

Five games into the 2008 season, 14 different Sun Devils have caught a pass.That's tied for sixth in the nation for the most different receivers with atleast one pass reception. Troy is the national leader with 17.

Three turnovers doomed the Sun Devils, as Cal jumped out to a 17-0 lead andnever looked back in a 24-14 win. Nate Longshore threw three touchdowns for theGolden Bears, while Rudy Carpenter was intercepted twice and Dimitri Nance losta fumble, leading to 14 points for California. Lawrence Guy had 2.5 tackles forloss to lead the Sun Devil defense.

Now in hisfourth season under center, senior QB Rudy Carpenter is second in the nation,behind Purdue's Curtis Painter, for the most consecutive games starting atquarterback in college football. Carpenter has started 36 straight contests andhas seen action in 40 career games. In the Pac-10 last year, only two otherquarterbacks did not miss a game. But here is the most impressive nugget...whenJake "the Snake" Plummer started the final 40 games of his career that ended in1996, ASU began a stretch in 1997 that ended in 2004 (nine seasons) in whicheight quarterbacks made at least one start. Rudy took over in the eighth game in2005 and has started every game since. He has started every game the past twoseasons, as only Andrew Walter in 2003 did the same in the past 11 seasons.

Rudy Carpenter continues to be one of the top QBs in the Pac-10 Conference.Carpenter is the active Pac-10 leader in passing attempts, completed passes,passing yards, touchdown passes and 300 yard games. Carpenter now has 73 careertouchdown passes and has thrown for 9,346 yards in his ASU career. He currentlyranks 12th all-time in Pac-10 history for passing yards, trailing Stanford'sJohn Elway (1979-82) by three yards.

Rudy Carpenter now has 73 touchdown passes in his career. He is only the fourthSun Devil all-time to throw at least 60 touchdowns, joining Andrew Walter (85),Jake Plummer (65) and Danny White (64). The 73 career TD passes is good for 7thmost in Pac-10 history, two behind Stanford's Steve Stenstrom (1991-94).

Rudy isalso climbing the Pac-10's All-Time Total Offense chart. Carpenter currentlyranks 10th all-time in total offense, accumulating 9,158 total yards. He is 51yards shy of Oregon State's Jonathan Smith (1998-2001) for 9th all-time inconference history.

With his 733 passing yards in the first two weeks of the 2008 season, RudyCarpenter has established a new standard for passing yards through the first twogames in ASU history. The previous record was held by Sam Keller in 2005, whenhe threw for 669 yards against Temple and LSU.

Rudy Carpenter has 23 wins as the starting quarterback for Arizona State, thefourth most wins as a starter in school history. Danny White holds the all-timerecord for wins by a starting quarterback, going 30-3 from 1971 to 1973. DennisSproul is second with 26 wins from 1974-77. Carpenter passed Jeff Van Raaphorst,who went 21-9-1 from 1983 to 1986, with the win over NAU on August 30. He is onewin shy of Jake Plummer for third place. Plummer went 24-16 from 1993 to 1996.Van Raaphorst, Plummer and Carpenter are the only three QBs in ASU history whohave led the Sun Devils to a Pac-10 title.

Against NAU onAugust 30, Carpenter tied a 56-year old school by completing 13 consecutivepasses. The only other Sun Devil to complete that many in a row was Dick Mackey,who accomplished the feat against San Diego Navy in 1952. The NCAA record is 24,held by Tennessee's Tee Martin in 1998 and Cal's Aaron Rodgers in 2004.Carpenter also had a string of 10 straight completions against the Cardinal.

Carpenter continues to etch his name into the ASU annals of passing history. Heis now second in career completions with 691, touchdowns with 73 and yards with9,346 and third in attempts with 1,116. He is 26 attempts shy of Jake Plummerfor second place.

Over his three seasons atArizona State, Rudy Carpenter has found success achieved by few who wore maroonand gold. Carpenter has started three bowl games (2005 Insight, 2006 Hawai'i and2007 Holiday), only the second quarterback in school history to accomplish thatfeat. Danny White is the only other, starting the Fiesta Bowl in 1971, 1972 and1973. Rudy also joins Jeff Van Raaphorst (1986) and Jake Plummer (1996) as ASUquarterbacks to lead the Sun Devils to a Pac-10 title.

Carpenter isn't just highly ranked in the Pac-10, but in the nation as well. Thesenior signal caller ranks in the top five among active FBS quarterbacks in bothpassing yards and passing touchdowns. He is fifth in yards, 337 yards behind NewMexico State's Chase Holbrook for fourth. He is third in touchdown passes,trailing Texas Tech's Graham Harrell and Missouri's Chase Daniel.

Carpenter's345 yards against Stanford was his 11th career 300-yard game and secondstraight, tops among active Pac-10 quarterbacks. The Sun Devils are 8-3 whenRudy throws for over 300 yards, including a 6-0 mark at home. He has thrown forover 300 yards against nine different teams, including Northern Arizona onAugust 30. Washington State and Stanford are the only schools he has done itagainst twice.

Carpenter went 22-28 against NAU on August 30, a completion percentage of .786.It marked his second-highest career completion percentage in a game he had atleast 20 passing attempts. His career best was in 2005 against Washington at SunDevil Stadium, when he completed 27 of 34 passes for a .794 completionpercentage. In that game he threw for 401 yards and three touchdowns in a 44-20victory. Against Stanford, Carpenter went 27-36, a 75% completion rate.

Carpenter's 388 yards against the Lumberjacks set a new school record for mostpassing yards in the first game of a season. Joe Spagnola held the previousrecord of 369 on Sept. 20, 1969 vs. Minnesota.

Entering his final season, Carpenter finds himself a candidate for several majorawards. He is on the Watch List for the Maxwell Award, presented to the topplayer in college football, the Davey O'Brien Award, awarded to the bestquarterback in the country, the Unitas Golden Arm Award and the Walter CampFoundation Player of the Year award.

Four Sun Devils made their debuts in the starting lineup against the GoldenBears, including two true freshmen. Junior Tom Njunge got the start at righttackle, freshman Clint Floyd started at safety, freshman Lawrence Guy started atdefensive tackle and junior Stanley Malamala started at tight end. LB Mike Nixonalso recorded his first career interception against the Golden Bears.

Arizona State traveled theNCAA limit 64 players to Cal last week, with 26 of them making their first evercollegiate road trip. That's 41% of the travel roster that had never played onthe road in college before.

When OL Zach Schlink took the field against Georgia on September 20, he set anew school record by becoming the 10th true freshman to play this year. Theprevious record was held by the 1994 team, which saw nine true freshmen see gameaction. The 10 who have played this year are: OL Zach Schlink, WR GerellRobinson, S Clint Floyd, RB Ryan Bass, CB Josh Jordan, LB Shelly Lyons, LBBrandon Magee, DL Lawrence Guy, SN Thomas Ohmart and DE Jamaar Jarrett. Sevenredshirt freshmen have also played this year: OL Adam Tello, LB Oliver Aaron, DEJames Brooks, TE Dan Knapp, WR T.J. Simpson, LB Colin Parker and OL GarthGerhart. Florida State is the national leader, with 22 true freshmen having seenaction. The 10 for ASU ties the Devils for 14th most in the nation, tied withfour other teams.

38letterwinners return from the 2007 Pac-10 championship squad, including sevenstarters on both sides of the ball. Rudy Carpenter returns for his fourth seasonas the signal caller for the Devils. Carpenter will have an experienced andtalented receiving corps, led by Mike Jones and Chris McGaha. The two combinedfor 107 catches, 1,599 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2007. Keegan Herring returnsto lead the running attack, and he will be teamed with Dimitri Nance and ShaunDeWitty in the backfield. Herring enters 2008 as the 10th-leading rusher inschool history, gaining 2,234 yards in his career. Dexter Davis will lead astout defense that finished as the third ranked unit in the Pac-10 last year.Davis has totaled 18.5 sacks in his two plus seasons in maroon and gold. TravisGoethel and Mike Nixon will anchor the group of linebackers, after the twocombined for 129 tackles a season ago. Troy Nolan is the leader of the defensivebackfield after intercepting six passes in 2007, returning two of them fortouchdowns. 2007 Lou Groza Award Winner Thomas Weber returns on special teams,looking to improve on a 2007 campaign that saw him go 24-25 on field goals andhandle the punting duties.

Senior WR Michael Jones has been a two-sport athlete at ASU for three years,spending his springs with the Sun Devil baseball team. But this summer wasdifferent for Jones, who was drafted in the 29th round of the 2008 MLB Draft bythe New York Yankees. Jones spent his summer in Tampa, Florida as a member ofthe Gulf Coast Yankees in the Rookie League. He appeared in 15 games, collectingnine hits, including five doubles. Jones showed no rust from his summer ofbaseball, hauling in a team-leading 26 receptions for 376 yards and a touchdown.He had 162 yards against NAU on Aug. 30, his fourth career 100-yard game.

Arizona Stateboasts one of the top returning wide receiving corps in the Pac-10. Mike Jones,Chris McGaha and Kyle Williams all return for the Sun Devils, giving RudyCarpenter and ASU a dangerous arsenal. Kerry Taylor has added himself to thatarsenal, grabbing 11 balls for 204 yards and two scores so far this year. Taylorhad 53 receiving yards all of last season. The four wide receivers have combinedfor 217 receptions, 3,130 yards and 23 touchdowns dating back to last season.McGaha led the 2007 team with 61 catches for 830 yards, while Jones was thescoring leader, finding the end zone 10 times. He had 46 receptions for 769yards to go along with the 10 TDs. Williams caught 29 passes for 360 yards andsix scores.

Sophomorekicker Thomas Weber returns in 2008, hoping to duplicate one of the greatestseasons by a kicker in Arizona State history. The winner of the 2007 Lou GrozaAward, presented annually to the nation's top placekicker, a First-TeamAll-American by the Associated Press and a First-Team All-Pac-10 honoree, Weberwas sensationally consistent during his freshman season, connecting on 24-of-25field goals (96.0 pct.), with a long of 53 yards. A three-time Pac-10 ConferenceSpecial Teams Player of the Week in 2007, Weber set numerous Sun Devil recordsin only his first college season, including a record streak of 17 made fieldgoal attempts to begin the year (also a nation-leading streak for the season)and a nation-high accuracy rating.  The Downey, Calif., product ranked first inthe Pac-10, fifth in the nation and tied the Sun Devil single-season record forpoints by kicking (118) set by Mike Barth as a senior in 2002, while alsoplacing sixth in the country with 1.85 made field goals per game. A sharpshooteroff the kicking tee and in the classroom, Weber added First-Team Pac-10All-Academic honors to his list of accomplishments as a rookie in 2007. Inaddition to his near-perfect kicking reputation, Weber took on the addedchallenge of taking over punting duties midway through the season and averaged39.3 yards on 47 punts for the year. He has not missed a beat so far in 2008, ashe is 8-10 thus far on field goal attempts, including a long of 49. He hasscored 37 points and has also punted 23 times for an average of 42.6 yards akick. He is on the Ray Guy Award Watch List for punting, as well as the LouGroza Award Watch List for placekicking.

Juniordefensive end Dexter Davis has wasted no time this season establishing himselfas one of the best pass rushers in the Pac-10. So far in 2008, Davis has 4.0 QBsacks, six tackles for loss and 13 total tackles. He has started all 31 games inhis Sun Devil career and has already totaled 20.5 sacks, 30 tackles for loss and86 tackles. Davis enjoyed one of the most sensational freshman seasons by a SunDevil defender in school history in 2006, earning Pac-10 All-Freshman honors andhonorable mention freshman All-America recognition by The Sporting News.  ThePhoenix, Ariz., native recorded a team-best and Pac-10 freshman season-high 6.0quarterback sacks, the third-most by a Sun Devil rookie in school history. Hewas just as impressive during his sophomore campaign, posting a team-leading10.5 sacks, third most in the Pac-10. He was a Second Team All-Pac-10 selectionafter recording 33 total tackles, including 13.5 for loss. He also forced threefumbles and recovered another. Davis is on the preseason watch list for the TedHendricks Award, the Nagurski Trophy and the Lombardi Award. His 20.5 sacks puthim sixth in school history. Terrell Suggs is ASU's all-time sack leader,recording 44 from 2000 to 2002.

Seven members of the 2008 Sun Devil football team have already earned theirdegrees from Arizona State University. Rudy Carpenter, Mike Jones, Wes Evans,Angelo Fobbs-Valentino, Nate Kimbrough, Troy Nolan and David Smith have allgraduated from Arizona State University. The seven graduates is tied for8th-most in the nation.

Mike Nixon will be writing a weekly diary for The Sporting News about the 2008season. He is one of 22 FBS student-athletes who will write the weekly column,and one of only two from the Pac-10. It can be read at

Arizona State has one of the smallest senior classes in the nation. ASU has 15seniors on their roster, one of five teams with that amount.  The others areColorado, Nevada, Notre Dame and Oklahoma State. Only 12 teams in the countryhave fewer seniors. Nine of the 15 on the roster began their careers at ASU.

From the moment he set foot on ASU's campus, senior Keegan Herring has had asmile on his face and a hunger for yards. Over his three seasons with theDevils, Herring has been one of the most dependable backs in the Pac-10. Heleads all Pac-10 returners with 2,330 career yards, good for 10th most in schoolhistory. One of the quickest athletes in the conference and a home run threat onevery carry, Herring has scored 19 times and has had at least one carry for over65 yards in each of his three seasons. Arizona State's leading rusher a seasonago, Herring totaled 815 yards on 154 carries, the third straight he has gainedover 500 yards.

Withhis 2,330 career rushing yards, Herring finds himself 10th on Arizona State'sall-time rushing list. He is 144 yards short of Ben Malone (1971-73) for 9th onthe list. Herring also has six career 100-yard games, including three in 2007.His career high for yards in a game is 197 against Northwestern in 2005.

Forthe second straight season, Arizona State began the year by playing its firstfour games at Sun Devil Stadium. Last season, ASU went 7-1 at home, winning itsfirst six. ASU was the only team in the Pac-10 to open with four straight athome, and one of only five teams in the nation to play their first four games ontheir home field. Duke, Louisville, Indiana and Nebraska are the others.Nebraska opened the season with five straight home games.

Several SunDevils are on preseason watch lists for national awards. Senior Safety TroyNolan, who led the team with six interceptions a year ago, is on the watch listsfor the Bednarik Award, the Nagurski Trophy, the Thorpe Award and the LottTrophy. He is also a candidate for the senior CLASS Award. Seniors RudyCarpenter and Keegan Herring are both on the Maxwell Award watch list, whilejunior Dexter Davis joins Nolan on the Nagurski Trophy watch list. Davis is alsoon the Lombardi Award list and the Hendricks Award list. Carpenter is also onthe Davey O'Brien Watch List, given to the nation's top QB and the Walter CampPlayer of the Year Award Watch List. 2007 Lou Groza Award winner Thomas Weber ison the watch list for the 2008 award as well as for the Ray Guy Award. Herringis also on the Doak Walker Award list. LB Anthony Reyes has been named asemifinalist for the Draddy Trophy. Keegan Herring was named to the AFCA GoodWorks Team.

Kicker Thomas Weber has found his name on a number of preseason All-Americanteams. Weber is a First Team selection by The Sporting News, Athlon Sports andPlayboy, while Phil Steele has him on the Third Team.

Seniorquarterback Rudy Carpenter and senior safety Troy Nolan were named team captainsafter a vote by the team. Head coach Dennis Erickson will designate twoadditional game captains on a weekly basis. Morris Wooten and Keegan Herringwere the game captains at Cal.

Seniorquarterback Rudy Carpenter is one of only five four-year starters at thequarterback position in the Bowl Subdivision. Curtis Painter of Purdue, MikeTeel of Rutgers, Willie Tuitama of Arizona, Pat White of West Virginia and DrewWilly of Buffalo are the others.

RudyCarpenter has now completed a pass to 32 different receivers in his four yearsat Arizona State. All but two of those were completed to a wide receiver, tightend or running back. The other two? OL Brandon Rodd and himself.
The following players havecaught a pass from Rudy Carpenter:Gerell,Robinson, Mike Jones, Kerry Taylor, Kyle Williams, Chris McGaha, Jovon Williams,Shaun DeWitty, Dimitri Nance, T.J. Simpson, Dan Knapp, Rudy Burgess, BrentMiller, Tyrice Thompson, Keegan Herring, Ryan Torain, Brady Conrad, AndrewPettes, Nate Kimbrough, Zach Miller, Jamaal Lewis, Brandon Smith, TerryRichardson, Derek Hagan, Matt Miller, Moey Mutz, Chad Christensen, Jeff Gray,Stephen Bisnett, Cornell Canidate, Preston Jones, Brandon Rodd and RudyCarpenter.

Arizona Statewill take a week off before returning to Sun Devil Stadium for a match-up withthe Oregon Ducks on October 25.

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