Saturday, September 29, 2007

Mark it down, 8:18 PM PST



The Launch of a Career: Stanford Preview

On October 22, 2005, it all began.

And 23 months later, it's a much different situation for Rudy Carpenter going into Stanford Stadium to take on the Cardinal.

On that dreary Saturday in the farm, Carpenter entered a game in which the overrated Sun Devils were getting thrashed by an inferior Stanford team and nearly led Arizona State all the way back from down 45-7 to win. The Devils lost the game 45-35, but in the 4th, Carpenter came in and went 19/25 for three scores and a two-point conversion.

Rudy, who replaced Sam Keller in that game due to injury (no word on whether or not Keller was at a Bobby Reid-style chicken feed), went on to be the nation's most efficient passer in 2005 and led the Sun Devils to a spirited final stretch and win over Rutgers in the Insight Bowl.

It's now 2007, Carpenter is a junior, and the Devils are on the brink of possibly doing something very special by starting the season 5-0. That chance comes at the same stadium, albeit renovated, where he got the ball rolling as just a freshman.

Stanford, despite a coaching change and stumbling to a 1-2 start, is still not a team to be taken lightly. The Cardinal scored 28 straight 2nd-quarter points against a high-powered Oregon team last week and held a 10 point lead at halftime. They, of course, did go on to give up 34 unanswered ponts after the break and lose 55-31, but that performance in the first half shows the kind of resiliency that Jim Harbaugh is bringing to Palo Alto.

The Cardinal have weapons. Anthony Kimble is an agile and speedy running back who Oregon, a defensive pain, struggled to contain for a while. T.C. Ostrander should be a name familiar to Sun Devil fans, but he's still unproven. Stanford has a dynamic receiver combination in Mark Bradford and Richard Sherman; they're by no means among the elite in receiving in the Pac-10, but they're a serviceable pair that will consistently catch the ball. Granted, they suffer due to Ostrander's inconsistency and inaccuracy.

Stanford doesn't pose much of a defensive threat. Don't let their 37-0 shutout of patsy San Jose State fool you; this team can't play much D. Before the SJSU game, Stanford gave up 45 to a UCLA team that has since not been able to post any significant offense, and then they gave up the aforementioned 55-spot to the Ducks.

ASU will be able to score on Stanford, but of course, that's what we all thought about the 2005 team on their trip to the Farm. However, ASU carries a more dyanmic, balanced offense into this match-up and should be able to roll on to Washington State still without a blemish.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sun Devil Quick Links

Scott Bordow, East Valley Tribune - Kajikawa is the patriarch of Sun Devil Sports Sports

Sam Good, The State Press - Barrett Battling Back - Erickson's Thursday Post-Practice Quotes

When the football team takes the field against Stanford on Saturday, the opponent might be missing a key part to their offense. Senior Wide Receiver Mark Bradford returned home to Los Angeles on Tuesday after the death of his father. His status is unkown for Saturday's game.

ASU volleyball, without the suspended Sydney Donahue, loses a heartbreaker to #21 Oregon on Thursday night 3 games to 1. They face Oregon State at home tomorrow night.

If you're showing up to watch the Soccer team take on San Diego State tomorrow night, remember to wear pink.

ASU Rugby takes on Embry Riddle in Prescott on Saturday at 1 PM.

ASU Athletics Recognized by Phoenix New Times for the right reasons

The Best of Phoenix 2007 hit newsstands today, and some members of the ASU athletic program were recognized:

First Baseman Brett Wallace was named the top male college athlete. Wallace was arguably the best player on the U.S. National team this summer, even though the article by the New Times lists him as a pitcher.

Softball pitcher Katie Burkhart was named top female college athlete, while Pat Murphy was named top collegiate coach. No real surprise that Dennis Erickson didn't take the top spot after the New Times ripped the decision by Arizona State to hire Erickson a few weeks ago.

Oregon's players have it rough

And somehow people still make the argument that college football is considered amateur athletics. The Sun Devils visit the Autzen Genetic Engineering Facility, I mean Autzen Stadium, on November 3rd.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

90% percent of you think Cal is the biggest challenge in the next 4 games.

No real surprise, but the poll conducted over the last few days had Cal listed as the #1 threat to ASU going 8-0. Wazzou got the majority of the rest of the votes, while not a single one of you thinks Stanford will stand in the Devils way. Hopefully this guy will get the majority of the second half snaps at Stanford because the Devils are blowing the Cardinal out, not because the starter has a jacked up thumb like last time they played there.

(Photo courtesy of Sun Devil Gridiron, the single best site in the universe.)


Pac-10 Quick Links

Stanford fans saw a glimmer of hope in new head coach Jim Harbaugh on Saturday when they we're actually beating Oregon at halftime.

A breakdown of the Washington State-Arizona game this weekend. The reporters of the article take U of A by 4.

Washington is having difficulties executing on special teams.
Better get that fixed if they think they have a shot at USC this weekend.

Oregon was playing well going into the Cal game last year as well, only to get trounced 45-24.

UCLA running back Kahlil Bell details the attitude that the Bruins need to have to succeed up in Corvallis this weekend against Oregon State. Take advice from the Sun Devils; don't give up safeties, work out of the no-huddle as much as possible, and tell your secondary that you're going up there to play a game of 'three flies up.' OSU QB Sean Canfield really likes to pass to players on the other team.

Major Injury Sidelines Stanford O-Line

Darren Sabedra, the Stanford beat writer for the San Jose Mercury News, reported today that left tackle Allen Smith, who without a doubt has been the most effective player on the Cardinal line, had surgery on Monday to repair a torn patella tendon in his left knee. Needless to say, he's done for the year, starting with this weekend's home match-up with our Sun Devils.

Ben Muth will fill in for Stanford in his place, and if you watch the game film, it's right about when Muth came in when Oregon started to really get pressure on T.C. Ostrander, who flourished in the 2nd quarter and led the Cardinal to a short-lived 31-21 halftime lead.

This is good news for the Devils, who's D-Line has struggled to get consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks throughout their first four games. With Michael Marquardt coming back and Luis Vasquez under some pressure to live up to the expectations placed on him after transferring to ASU, look for the Devils to blitz often to rattle the Stanford QB.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Justin Tryon being targeted by gay blogs

If you remember back in May, and how could you forget, Allison Stokke was all the rage on the sports blogosphere and probably led to a decrease in productivity in most cubicles around America. Well, it looks like Sun Devil cornerback Justin Tryon is getting the same type of attention as Stokke, and it's also from men. That's right, a couple of gay men's blogs located here and here have targeted Tryon as eye candy. If anything, read some of the comments from the first link for a good laugh. And if you ask how I found this stuff, I will use the Carpenter defense and say "I don't f***ing know." The blogs failed to note that Justin Tryon is having a great season so far for the Devils, with 16 tackles and a pick which he returned for 44 yards. My opinion is, I'm just glad Justin Tryon is running track so maybe this year he can keep up with Cal's receiving corps unlike last year:

After all of that, I'll treat the loyal Sun Devil faithful to a healthy dose of Stokke. By the way, I'm in Hayden library on the ASU campus right now, and right when I was uploading the picture of Stokke a female security guard came up behind me asking me for my ID. Little awkward.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Offense Shines for 3 quarters Saturday

Rudy Carpenter: This guy gave one of the gutsiest performances I've ever seen. He had zip on his passes, he was scrambling out of the pocket very well to find receivers, and even when he fumbled, he picked the ball up and hit Tyrice Thompson for a big gain. It was a Playstation type know on NCAA '08 where our offensive line gives Rudy no time so you have to use the fact that he's got decent speed on the game to get out of the pocket and find Mike Jones open. 25 for 36, 361 yards, 4 td's, 1 pick early on. Can be more efficient in the next few weeks, but pretty amazing stats for a guy who had to do too much work outside of the pocket. I haven't been this impressed with him since he torched the scout team defense in the scrimmage the day before Kellergate. Oh, and he said "Fuck" live on KTAR during his postgame interview. As a former technical director at a sports radio station, that just makes me chuckle. Good for Rudy, I'm officially a fan of our QB.

Ryan Torain: How in the world did Dirk pick you out of Shawnee Mission, Kansas, and convince you to play for Arizona State. 3 touchdowns, 2 of those receiving. Where can I find a #26 jersey?

Michael Jones: 4 receptions for 124 yards and 2 TD's. Gives him 5 TD's through 4 games. And he's not our only weapon.

And on a side note, I hope I never have to mention this name again: JASON PERKINS. Please do your job, I don't want to waste any more effort covering the long snapper position.

Game is at Stanford on Saturday. I predict a -18 line for the Devils on the road.

Sun Devils in the NFL: Week 3

Jamar Williams had 8 tackles to lead the Bears defense, while Adam Archuleta had 6 tackles and an interception, but football is a team effort and their standout play wasn't enough for the Bears as they were embarrassed by the Cowboys 34-10. U of A's Nick Folk missed a field goal, at least that's good news.

I'm not sure if any of you have noticed, but Shaun McDonald is having a career year. He had 5 receptions for 76 yards and a touchdown against the Eagles yesterday. Too bad it made no difference for the Lions, because their asses got torched on Sunday, 56-21.

Zach Miller caught a ball for 13 a rare Raiders win! Thank God for the Cleveland Browns.

Todd Heap had 4 receptions for 60 yards in a solid effort for the Ravens and my fantasy squad. Terrell Suggs had a subpar game with only 3 tackles. He had no excuse not to get a sack since Kurt Warner took a majority of the snaps today for the Cardinals.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Sports That Aren't Football Update

Time for another update of ASU sports that don't involve a pigskin...

Photo courtesy Robert Kline/Cactus Ranch (who does some amazing work out there for our Devils)

The Sun Devils took on #1-ranked Santa Clara last night at the Soccer Stadium and, despite a strong first half effort, dropped the game 1-0 on a goal in the 45th minute. Broncos sophomore Kiki Vosio picked up the game's lone tally less than a minute into the second half.

Goaltender Briana Silvestri came though with a solid effort in the box while Alissa Oldenkamp and Lauren Niblett kept constant pressure on the Santa Clara defense, keeping them on their heels for the majority of the first 45 minutes. However, the momentum definitely shifted toward Santa Clara throughout the 2nd 45, as they barely let the Devils onto their offensive side of the pitch.

You can't dispute this program's propensity to take on the top programs in the nation...ASU has already taken on #3 Texas this year, and in previous seasons they've brought other top five programs to the Valley, such as Notre Dame and Florida State. They've always played each of those teams extremely tough as well, including forcing the #1 Seminoles to overtime last year and holding them scoreless in regulation.

Also to be recognized was the crowd last night; 1,060 were in attendance and were rowdy and loud for the majority of the game. The Devils take off for a rare mid-week game at New Mexico this Tuesday before returning to Tempe for games with San Diego State and Creighton on Friday and Sunday.

Friday, September 21, 2007

One man in, another man out

The injury bug has hit Arizona State again.

It looked as if ASU was going to be at near full strength for tomorrow's Pac-10 opener with Oregon State, with Ryan Torain expected to return from knee and ankle problems and Brent Miller inching back toward being 100%.

Today though, the Sun Devils ruled starting defensive tackle Michael Marquardt out for tomorrow's game. He's been wearing a boot on his foot this week, but originally was expected to play against the Beavers. The injury is a major blow to the ASU defense, especially against Oregon State's experienced offensive line and the rushing skills of Yvenson Bernard.

Look for more of Jon Hargis and Tashaka Merriweather tomorrow night in Marquardt's place.

I'm Back Too..with my picks!

Sorry for my absence folks, like takes a ton of time away from posting time.'s my input for the Pick'em Game for this a comment with your picks and see if you can beat the Pitchfork Nation experts.

Arizona State covers the 12 1/2
Cal EASILY covers the 16 1/2
USC covers the 25...and Alex Brink might end up crying by the 4th quarter
Oregon takes 17 over Stanford...the Cardinal might not even score
UCLA will cover the 7...because if they don't...Bruin alumni will burn the Rose Bowl down
Alabama's climb continues...covers the 3 1/2
Michigan sucks. Penn State by at least 14.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Hedake Smith Pick'em Game

It's very easy. Just leave a comment with the 7 teams you think will cover in each game (my picks are italicized.)

Oregon State at Arizona State(-12 1/2)

Arizona at Cal(-16 1/2)

Washington State at USC(-25)

Oregon(-17) at Stanford

Washington at UCLA(-7)

Georgia at Alabama(-3 1/2)

Penn State(-3) at Michigan

First post in 5 days:

Hey everyone, sorry this blog hasn't been updated in a few days. School is doing a number on me. Anyways, sat in the student section until about halfway through the 4th quarter for the San Diego State game. These first three games in the student section have just felt like we're watching an exhibition. The opposing teams have been so awful that it looks like we're just playing our scout team in the pre season scrimmage. When penalties occur, Erickson steps out on to the field acting mad at the world, and its a lot of theater. I just wonder if we're taking these home games way too lightly and that we're going to be in for a surprise against Oregon State and other Pac-10 squads.

So now for some observations.

Most impressed by:

1. Robert James, if he keeps it up he could be invited to The Home Depot Awards. True story.
2. Jones, Williams and McGaha. Better than advertised.
3. Troy Nolan 2 picks, 1 for SIX.
4. Ryan and Keegan, taking a lot of pressure off of Rudy
5. The Offensive Line

Indifferent About:

1. Rudy. Throws some pinpoint passes that take 7 seconds to get to a receiver 30 yards away.
2. Personal Fouls. It's practically preseason, stop having a damn tizzy every time a penalty is called DE.
3. Nate Kimbrough. You always hear that it takes 18 months to fully recover from an ACL tear. Well, it's been less than a year for Nate, so hopefully he can impress by the end of Pac-10 play.
4. Justin Tryon. Looking good early with 12 tackles, but can he cover DeSean Jackson when we need him?

Least impressed by:

1. Josh Barrett...3 tackles in 3 games. 14 players on the team have more tackles than him. We've all heard he's got NFL speed and will dominate at the combine, but you've gotta get invited first, and 1 tackle a game just isn't going to do it.
2. The student section. Freaking step it up.
3. Brent Miller; the Ozzie Canseco of ASU football.
4. Tempe Beer Nazis, I mean Police. Stop harassing fans at the tailgates. Stick to what you're good making black dudes rap to get out of littering tickets:

Friday, September 14, 2007

Baseball Fall Practice: 29 intrasquad scrimmages

The Sun Devil baseball squad is playing 29 intrasquad scrimmages, starting tomorrow, September 15th. A full list of dates can be found here. All games will be played at 5 PM, except Saturday games, which are played at 4 PM. So if you need to get away from your tailgate for a few minutes, head over to Packard Stadium and watch the team play a few innings. There is going to be great competition for infield positions, with Eric Sogard, Andrew Romine, CJ Retherford and Joe Persichina heading to the minor leagues, and Matt Hall transferring to Auburn. It'll be interesting which pitchers step up to help out Josh Satow and Mike Leake, with Brian Flores now playing in the Devil Rays system.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Oregon State vs. ASU wont be shown on TV, but many other games will be.

Oregon State vs. ASU, September 22nd, and the only place you can see it is at Sun Devil Stadium. Our first Pac-10 contest, Dennis Erickson facing his old team, and its not being broadcast anywhere. You'll be lucky to hear it on The Blaze at this point. Here's a list of games that are deemed more worthy to be shown on ESPN than a Pac-10 game with an actual storyline:

Temple at Bowling Green
Kent State at Akron
Wyoming at Ohio
Alabama A&M at Grambling State
San Jose State at Utah State reports on ASU transfer situation

Kipnis will now be rivals with another Wildcat team.

From, via Brian Foley of The College Baseball Blog:

Arizona State lost two quality infielders as Matt Hall transferred to Auburn and former Alabama player Cale Iorg picked ASU but signed with Detroit. They made out pretty well however as they landed a weekend starter in former Winthrop pitcher Jason Franzblau (8-4/3.13). They also added some power in former Kentucky outfielder Jason Kipnis. Both are impact players on a team that already had plenty of talent and one of the best coaches in the game in Pat Murphy. The Sun Devil program has reclaimed its place as one of the best ten in the country. - Mark Etheridge

Brent Miller Injury Update

Dan Zeiger of the East Valley Tribune is reporting that tight end Brent Miller's knee might be healed enough to play on Saturday. No word on if Miller's hands have healed enough to the point that he might actually hold on to the football this week against San Diego State.

Baseball Alumni Update: 3 Class of '07 players showcased in Pioneer League finals

The rookie level Pioneer League finals get underway tonight in Orem, Utah. Shortstop Andrew Romine leads the Orem Owlz (Angels) against the heavily favored Great Falls White Sox, who boast the talents of team MVP C.J. Retherford and Joe Persichina. The White Sox won 6 of 7 meetings during the regular season and are heavily favored to take down the Owlz in this best of 3 series. Game 2 will be played Friday night back in Great Falls.

Colin Curtis played a key role for the Trenton Thunder (Yankees-AA) in the team's game 1 victory in the Eastern League Finals against the Akron Aeros. Curtis had a two-RBI double during a 7th inning rally by the Thunder. Game 2 of the Eastern League Finals 5-game series gets underway tonight.

Steve Garrabants struck out to end the game last night for the Lancaster Jethawks (Red Sox-A) in the California League semi-finals, marking the end of their season.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Sun Devils in the NFL: Week 1


Shaun McDonald: 5 receptions, 90 yards, and a touchdown for the Lions against the Raiders in Oakland.

Todd Heap: 4 receptions, 29 yards.

Zach Miller: 3 receptions, 23 yards, and a lost fumble in a losing effort to the Lions.

Andrew Walter: 1 clipboard held, could be traded or cut this week with the Raiders signing Jamarcus Russell.


Adam Archuleta: 7 tackles for the Bears against the Chargers

Derek Smith: 8 tackles for the captain in a winning effort against the dreadful looking Arizona Cardinals.

Terrell Suggs: 3 tackles in a Monday Night loss to the Bengals.

Jason Simmons: Done for the year after suffering a tendon tear in his left knee.

(photos: Greg Trott and Paul Spinelli, Getty Images)

Monday, September 10, 2007

Opponents News and Notes

SDSU has 17 straight losses against Pac-10 opponents, including a 45-17 loss this past weekend against Washington State. Expect some inflated stats on Saturday; the Aztecs are the worst in D-I in Total Defense AND Pass Efficiency Defense. Early game prediction: 52-14, Sun Devils, easily covering the 27 1/2 point spread.

Oregon State couldn't handle Cincinatti's speed defense last Saturday resulting in 7 turnovers, including 6 interceptions. The Beavers face Idaho State this weekend, tuning up for the September 22nd showdown at Sun Devil Stadium.

Stanford was idle this past weekend, but will face San Jose State this Saturday. Last year, San Jose State came back from a 34-14 halftime deficit to beat Stanford 35-34. This year's contest will be dedicated to Bill Walsh, who coached both teams. Stanford is favored by 7. With the game dedicated to Bill Walsh and with revenge on their minds, my prediction is that Stanford will cover.

Washington State quarterback Alex Brink is a one-man wrecking crew.

It's not going to get easier for freshman phenom quarterback Jake Locker. Washington has to face Ohio State, UCLA, and USC all in the next 3 weeks. The Huskies are 4 point dogs this week at home against the Buckeyes, and I have no prediction as of yet. If the Huskies play smart with limited mental mistakes, anything is possible.

A lot of unexpected excitement in the Cal-CSU game this weekend, but Cal hung on for the 34-28 victory with the help of reserve running back James Montgomery. Cal returns home on Saturday to face Louisiana Tech, and are 33 1/2 point favorites.

Not only did Michigan get beat on the field by Oregon, but they lost off of it as well. 3 prized recruits that Michigan brought in this weekend decided that they now want to go play for the Ducks. Oregon is favored by 15 1/2 this weekend at home against Fresno State, a team that lost to top-25 ranked Texas A&M in triple overtime last weekend.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Colorado Game Recap

First of all, before I go on with my thoughts on the ASU/Colorado game last night, I can't help but post this:

TUCSON, Ariz. - Police used a stun gun twice on a University of Arizona student who became combative after he was turned away from the first home football game of the season.UA officials said they oversold the student section of Saturday night's game between the Wildcats and Northern Arizona University by 1,000 seats. About 400 students who had been turned away had gathered near the student entrance.

Fantastic. Way to stay classy, Tucson. Read the rest of the article here.

Back to reality though, and that reality is a 33-14 win by the Sun Devils riddled with dumb penalties. I walked away from the stadium last night happy with the victory but pretty subdued compared to the usual good feelings surrounding a Sun Devil victory.

Maybe it was the pick-six on the third play of the game. Maybe it was the offenses inability to move the football throughout the first quarter. Maybe it was the turnover that led to Colorado going up 14-0 and sending the 58,417 at Sun Devil Stadium into a state of nervousness.
Or maybe it was the fact that Arizona State fell back into their old doldrums of taking stupid and unnecessary penalties.

After the pick-six by Terrence Wheatley, Tyrice Thompson took a personal foul (late hit) penalty. A few minutes later, after a poor offensive drive by ASU, punter Jonathan Johnson came in for a hit on the return man about five seconds late, taking a late hit penalty of his own. Rudy Burgess, of the "play 'till the whistle philosophy," once again played 'till the whistle and clocked a Colorado punt returner late in the 4th quarter. And it repeated four other times. The Devils ended the game with 12 penalties for 136 yards lost, seven of them being personal fouls.

There were many bright spots, however; Arizona State did win the game, you see. From the 2nd quarter on, Rudy Carpenter looked sharp (for more on Carpenter's performance, look out for this week's Karp on Carp column later this week).

Of course, his receivers made him look awesome. Mike Jones made a few great catches, including two more touchdowns. Kyle Williams made what could turn out to be the catch of the year to give the Sun Devils a lead they would not relinquish right before halftime. With Chris McGaha open on the left side of the end zone, Carpenter let fly a pass into triple coverage. At that point, it looked like not if the pass would be picked off, but which white shirt would end up with the interception. Out of nowhere though, Williams stuck his hands out and snagged a great ball to give the Devils 19-14 lead.

Written on an eye-black patch under Jones' left eye was the word "respect," but after the game he mentioned that he'll wait until ASU is "13-0" before accepting any due respect. I'll say, however, that Jones game has stepped up tremendously during the first two games of the 2007 season and has become the offense's most consistent and reliable receiver.

Cody Hawkins looked demoralized after seeing his receivers drop passes all night; clearly something he wasn't used to during that 60-game personal winning streak. His first play from scrimmage was a dropped pass that was sure to be a touchdown. Later on, with a chance to regain the lead before going into the half, a receiver dropped another sure score. The Buffaloes offense looked inept, the running game looked stagnant without Hugh Charles and the receiving corps didn't go out of their way to make Hawkins look especially solid in the team's first true road test of the season.

In the end, the Sun Devils swept this home-and-home with their Big 12 opponent, outscoring the Buffaloes 54-17 over the two games and limiting them to just over 400 yards of offense. This team cannot come out with the false confidence against San Diego State next weekend, however, or Devil fans might be facing another early deficit to sweat out.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Opponents Notebook 9/7

It doesn't look like Colorado linebacker Michael Sipili is going to get his suspension lifted in time to get down to Tempe, as he pled guilty to misdemeanor assault yesterday. Probably a good idea to keep this guy as far away from Mill Avenue as possible.

Oregon State couldn't get anything going against Cincinnati last night, getting embarrassed 34-3.

Even with the blowout loss to UCLA, it's still way too soon to predict how Stanford will fare under the tutelage of Jim Harbaugh.

Wazzou Safety Terry Mixon has left the team.
The Cougars face San Diego State this weekend, which will be a good test as to whether the team goes 1-11 or 0-12.

Washington's Jake Locker has vowed to pull a Babe Ruth on Saturday, promising a boy with an inoperable brain tumor that he'll point to him when he scores his first touchdown. The Huskies face Boise State this weekend, so Locker should get the chance to make a score.

Cal Tailback Justin Forsett is looking forward to showing off his skills at 5,000 feet when the Bears travel to Colorado State this weekend.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

SJSU Highlights

At long want highlights? You've got highlights.

If that doesn't get you pumped up, I don't know what will

Ryan Torain scores the first touchdown of the season for Arizona State.

David Richmond, meet Robert James. Leave the helmet at home.

Before They Were Stars: Colorado Head Coach Dan Hawkins

I would post the Dan Hawkins "go play intramurals" rant, but the only YouTube video I could find was from The Best Damn Sports Show Period, and there's no way Best Damn host/assclown Chris Rose will ever get his face shown on this site. John Salley is quite enjoyable, though, and is welcome here anytime.

Water Cooler Talk: The Colorado Game

The Sun Devils are a little banged up, but nothing to be too worried about.

If you're late to the party, here's a little profile on Sun Devil linebacker Travis Goethel.

Preston Jones will face his brother, Colorado linebacker Brad Jones, on Saturday.

Colorado Quarterback Cody Hawkins is 60-0 lifetime as a starter dating back to Pop Warner.

Buffaloes Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks coach Mark Helfrich recruited Rudy Carpenter to Arizona State.

Dan Hawkins has prepared his D-Line
all off season to face the veteran Sun Devil O-Line.

Hugh Charles, the only Buffalo besides Ralphie to show up last season with 109 yards on 20 carries, will not play in Tempe because of a hamstring injury.

Last year's Freshman All-American Linebacker Michael Sipili could play on Saturday for Colorado depending on whether charges get dropped related to a street brawl he participated in back in June.

While ASU is on the field playing Colorado, former Sun Devil Dan Henderson will take on Quinton "Rampage" Jackson in a light heavyweight matchup at UFC 75 in London. The match will be aired on Spike TV at 6 PM.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Sun Devils in the NFL Quick Links

Jason Simmons will start at strong safety in the opener for the Houston Texans. Meanwhile, Drew Hodgdon was cut by the team.

Mike Karney and the Saints kick off the season Thursday night against the defending champion Colts.

Grey Ruegamer survived and made the Giants 53-man roster
, but will start the season on the injured list.

As expected, Zach Miller will start at tight end for the Raiders.

Derek Smith has been named a captain for the 49ers.

Jake Plummer still hasn't filed his retirement papers.

Jamar Williams has won the weak side linebacker job for the Bears, while Adam Archuleta is ready for LT in Week 1.

Baseball Alumni Quick Links

Red Sox pitcher Clay Bucholz couldn't have thrown his no-hitter on Saturday night without the defensive help of Dustin Pedroia

C.J. Retherford was named team MVP of the Great Falls White Sox of the Pioneer League while hitting .317 with 10 homeruns and 41 RBI's. Also in Great Falls White Sox news, Joe Persichina celebrated Labor Day by going 3 for 4 with an RBI in a win over the Missoula Osprey.

Mel Stocker became the 88th Sun Devil to reach the big leagues, making his debut for the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday during a 12-3 win against the Pirates.

Three former Sun Devils, Jeff Larish, Pat Bresnehan, and Zech Zinicola, will be playing in the Arizona Fall League.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Sports That Aren't Football Update

In the interest of making sure that all Arizona State teams get some coverage, Pitchfork Nation brings you the "Sports That Aren't Football" update.

After dropping three straight games to start the season last weekend in Las Vegas, the Sun Devils won three of four games this weekend at the Hilton Phoenix/East Mesa Challenge.

Friday saw the Devils get a weekend opening win in straight sets over Long Island, but followed it up with a close 3-2 loss to New Mexico. The Devils won games 1 and 3 of the match before losing 30-26 and 15-11 in games four and five.

The Devils bounced back over the weekend with a close victory over Iowa State on Saturday and a sweep of Northern Arizona on Sunday. A big time performance by Sarah Reaves did in the Lumberjacks, recording eight kills in game two. ASU now travels to Orem, Utah next weekend to participate in the Utah Valley State tournament against host UVSU, Weber State and San Jose State.

The womens' soccer team now stands at 1-1 after two games this past weekend.

In their season opener on Friday night, the Sun Devils got a 50th minute goal from junior transfer Carla Scanniello to knock off Idaho State 1-0. The win was the first victory at ASU for new head coach Kevin Boyd, who was hired this past summer when Ray Leone left to take the vacant Harvard job.

On Sunday against UNLV, ASU fell behind 2-0 at the half and couldn't recover, dropping a 2-1 decision in Sin City. Freshman Karin Volpe scored the lone goal for the Devils in the 46th minute. Arizona State recorded their first loss of the season despite nearly recording double the number of shots as the Rebels, outshooting UNLV 23-12.

The ladies return to Tempe for their first home weekend of the season, hosting #9 Texas on Friday night at 7:00 PM at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium.

Karp on Carp: Week 1

This is the start of a new weekly feature on Rudy Carpenter's performance on a week by week basis. This week, we'll take a look at how the Devils' starting quarterback fared against WAC foe San Jose State.

Game 1 of 2007 was a transition for Rudy Carpenter, calling his first performance under new head coach Dennis Erickson "average."

In terms of his mechanics and communication with receivers, Rudy was spot on, going 14/20 for 197 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions before being lifted for backup Danny Sullivan midway through the third quarter. Carpenter was unafraid of throwing toward stud SJSU corner Dwight Lowery, whose nine interceptions were tied for first in the nation last season.

The Spartans put Lowery on an island for most of the night, letting him go one-on-one with Kyle Williams and Mike Jones for the majority of the evening. However, Carpenter didn't shy away from throwing to the receiver Lowery was covering, showing poise, skill and confidence throughout his action. It also didn't look as if he let mistakes by himself or other rattle him as he did last year; for instance, despite Brent Miller dropping his first pass attempt of the game, Rudy rattled off five of his next six attempts for solid completions. On a decisive second quarter drive which put the game out of reach for ASU, Rudy went 3/3 for 40 yards.

One thing to watch out for against Colorado will be how Rudy improves on the new play calling system. You most likely noticed that the archaic process of running to the sideline to get the next play has gone the way of the dinosaur. He admitted today that he struggled a bit with hand signals and will spend time practicing them this week, as well as wearing a play armband this coming Saturday.

Week 1 Opponent Highlights

Colorado needs second string running back Demetrius Sumler to step up after top running back Hugh Charles went down with a hamstring injury. Sumler answered the call last week in an intense 31-28 rivalry game victory at Invesco Field in Denver. The Buffaloes come to Tempe on Saturday, September 8th:

Sean Canfield appears to be the man in Corvallis. Meanwhile, running back Yvenson Bernard is challenging Ryan Torain as a top running back in the conference:

Cal's Desean Jackson didn't waste any time starting his Heisman campaign:

Jim Harbuagh's debut was less than impressive
against UCLA, losing to the Bruins 45-17. Here's some Bruins highlights from Saturday:

USC paid tribute to former kicker Mario Danelo this weekend after their first score against Idaho. If you haven't seen the clip from the USC game yet, it's worth watching:

U of A has problems against the play action in a 20-7 loss to BYU:

Sunday, September 2, 2007

SJSU Game Recap: Devils Dismantle Spartans

It was a game Frank Kush has got to be happy about.

With a rush-to-pass ratio of 47-32 and San Jose State defenders unable to take down Ryan Torain at the line of scrimmage all night, the Arizona State Sun Devils systematically and efficiently beat the Spartans 45-3 last night.

Torain looked like an absolute beast last night. He hit holes with lightning speed, broke tackles and just plain looked too good for San Jose State to stop him. The senior running back ended the night with 123 yards and three touchdowns, and that doesn't include a fourth TD that was called back due to a holding penalty.

In previous seasons, that kind of penalty would have thrown off the Devils offense for the rest of the drive. However, on the very next play after the Torain touchdown was called back, Rudy Carpenter hit Mike Jones with a touchdown pass.

The words of the night were "resiliency" and "efficiency." The Devils looked much more disciplined, losing only 40 yards to penalties on five flags all night; a refreshing change from the ASU Flag Fiestas of previous years. Sun Devil receivers ran crisp routes, the offensive line was quick to open holes for Torain and Keegan Herring and the ASU defense, as expected, looked quick in coverage and solid in the box.

On the efficiency front, the Devils controlled the clock, holding onto the ball in excess of 37 minutes. Carpenter's passes were on target for the most part, going 14/20 with two touchdowns and no picks. Two of those incomplete passes can be attributed to two dropped passes by Brent Miller and one that was broken up nicely by the SJSU secondary. Carpenter looked unafraid of throwing toward Dwight Lowery, as the Spartans put him on an island for most of the night.

Defensively, the Devils got constant pressure on Spartans quarterback Adam Tafralis and knocked stud running back Yonus Davis out of the game early in the first quarter. Davis could be seen limping to the locker room midway through the first quarter. Tafralis didn't throw anywhere near Josh Barrett on any of his 13 attempts, but Robert James and David Smith picked up that slack, both picking off passes from the Spartans senior QB. For Smith, it was his second consecutive regular season game with an interception, going back to the UA game in 2006.

Video highlights from last night's game will be posted late tomorrow night.

Former ASU QB Watch

Derek Shaw: Suspended indefinitely by Fresno City College. I guess you can't really start over until you actually start.

Max Hall: 26 of 39 for 288 yards, two touchdowns, one lost fumble and no interceptions while beating U of A.

Sam Keller: 14 of 25 for 193 yards, one touchdown and one ugly interception returned for a touchdown. Nebraska was dominating on Saturday, with Keller being the team's only question mark.

Week 1 Gameday Photos

I love this guy's shirt, and I hope that's as far as the conversation goes about Koetter anymore. After last night's dominating showcase, it is obvious the team has moved on from that idiot and the fans should too. It's time to look forward to the next 7 home games, but that also means you have to show up. Last night's attendance was just over 54,000, well below capacity. crew

6th and Forest

On top of structure 5

Front of the line

Structure 7

I probably ran into 8 or 9 cornhole games at various tailgates. These guys had the right idea playing in the shade.

A Big Opening Win

Hopefully you all enjoyed ASU's 45-3 demolition of San Jose State last night (that Mark predicted and that I was quite tentative about). Great win for the Devils, with exceptional performances by Ryan Torain and the Sun Devil defense.

Game observations and exclusive field-level video will be coming in the next day or so!