Monday, September 3, 2007

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.

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