Thursday, August 28, 2008
On campus trees have fallen on cars and in the roads and along with power lines are down all across campus.
The campus saw 1.5 inches of rain in less than 30 minutes as two storm cells hit suddenly. Another two cells are on their way in what is the storm of the year at least, possibly the decade, as lightning has filled the sky constantly for 3+ hours and 75+ mph winds have caused chaos throughout Tempe.
According to a Phoenix fire captain, "Tempe got hit the hardest. Tempe looks like a war zone right now."
More news when it becomes available and an ASU Athletic Department representative is on site to comment.
According to our reporter on site, the Dome has been shredded to pieces. "It looks like a marshmallow that was put in the microwave. It's beyond believable." He says that there are trees uprooted and thrown about and there is at least one car that has been crushed by a tree. Streets are still flooded around campus, as Tempe (especially the ASU area) got the brunt of the storm.
ASU Assistant AD Mark Brand has stated that no one was injured when the bubble deflated and was damaged.
More information will be posted as soon as we get it.
This is a video taken by a student on campus during last night's storm. Winds were clocked at over 100 mph in the ASU/Tempe area to go with hail, 15 lightning strikes a minute, and torrential rain.
-- Possibly sitting out the NAU game will be RB Keegan Herring. Herring has been nursing a sore hamstring and has missed the past two days of practice. Coach Erickson has said that he would not risk playing Keegan if it would potentially keep him out for a longer period of time down the road. If Herring does in fact sit against the 'Jacks, Dimitri Nance would get the majority of the carries with Jarrell Woods and Ryan Bass also seeing action. Shaun DeWitty is unlikely to play in the NAU game, also because of a hamstring injury.
-- Oregon QB Nate Costa, who injured his knee last week in practice, will miss his second consecutive season. While repairing a partially torn meniscus, surgeons found a torn ACL. Costa missed last season due to an injury on the same knee. Justin Roper will start for the Ducks when they host Washington on Saturday.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
-- ESPN's Ivan Maisel predicted that the 2008-09 season would be a far less chaotic one than last year's season of upsets. While discussing Georgia and their 17 returning starters and USC's eight returning starters on defense, he had this to say about the wealth of experience and continuity that will favor the top teams this year...
"It's as if college football took a page from Major League Baseball before free agency, when you knew who played for which team. Al Kaline played right field for the Tigers. Willie Mays played center field for the Giants. And Rudy Carpenter played quarterback for the Sun Devils.
Oh, check that. Carpenter plays for No. 15 Arizona State now, and this is only his fourth season as starter. It just seems as if he's been around since the '60s."
Isn't it nice to have one of those players who never seems to graduate? Back in the day, Rich Alexis of Washington was one of those players who never seemed to leave, partially because they find ways to make your annual game miserable. Jesse Ainsworth might be able to be considered for that role, although how much so by opposing fans is a question. In an era of college sports where the top players hardly stay four years, it's an unusual feeling, so let's enjoy it.
-- A very interesting note from ESPN's Ted Miller regarding Pat Tillman and his still continued legacy at ASU...
"Pat Tillman, American war hero and former Arizona State All-American, will be one of eight former Sun Devils inducted into the school's Hall of Fame this year.
Tillman's life was an extraordinary one, and the woman who raised him, Mary Tillman, has intrepidly led a campaign to force the government to tell the truth about her son's friendly fire death in Afghanistan. She then wrote a book about him and her experience, "Boots on the Ground by Dusk."
So it figures that she would have wisdom to share with ASU's incoming student-athletes, which she did during an orientation seminar last week.
As for the Hall of Fame class, Tillman will be joined by his former coach, Bruce Snyder. The other inductees are Eric Allen (football), Jacinta Bartholomew (track and field), Brandie Burton (golf), Lisa Dacquisto (softball), Markus Mollica (wrestling) and Jeremy Veal (basketball).
The inductees will be honored at the Hall of Fame football game on Oct. 25 vs. Oregon at Sun Devil Stadium/Frank Kush Field. "
Monday, August 25, 2008
-- # 6 Best WR -- Mike Thomas, Arizona. Although talented, Thomas is definately not a top six WR. Enough said here.
-- # 2 Best TE -- Rob Gronkowski, Arizona. Gronkowski belongs on the list, perhaps not at #2, but close enough.
-- # 5 Best Old School QB -- Willie "My Head Hurts" Tuitama. Uhhh...huh? Tuitama is not even a top QB in the Pac. I'd rank him probably third or fourth, maybe if I wasn't feeling too well second. Where's the love for Rudy, Kirk? Almost the consensus pick for top QB in the conference, Rudy Carpenter gets looked over by Herbstreit and his Kitty lovin' rankings.
-- # 1 Going Bowling for First Time in A While -- Arizona. One of the ten worst schedules in the nation will get you to a bowl. It's amazing that the UofA hasn't been to a bowl game in 10+ years in an age where all you have to do is go .500.
-- # 3 Movin' On Up -- Arizona. Not a whole lot of places to go but up for them, but ahead of teams like Miami and Ole Miss? I think not.
-- # 4 Coach Who Will Exceed Expectations -- Mike Stoops. There ARE no expectations. I'm not sure a coach on the hotseat can really exeed expectations anyways.
-- Pac-10 Champion Sleeper -- Arizona. I'll wait for you to also nudge your jaw back into place. This one takes the cake my friends. USC is obviously the consensus favorite, but then to call UofA the sleeper? Maybe he misunderstood, after all the UofA has been asleep when it comes to football championships (last winning a title in 1993, it being a co-championship at that, and NEVER representing the Pac-10 in the Rose Bowl, the only school in the Big Ten or Pac Ten not to ever go).
Well those are his UofA picks, now for his ASU ones...
Well those are his ASU picks.
Notable snubs for the Devils would be Rudy Carpenter for Best Old School QB, Kyle Williams for Best Returner, Keegan Herring in the Best Veteran Running Backs, Our D-Line for Sack Masters or Run Stuffers, and Omar Bolden for CB, those to just name a few.
-- ESPN's Games to Watch
Sept. 20: Georgia at Arizona State (8 p.m., ABC)
The Bulldogs make a rare trip west of the Mississippi River -- they haven't played beyond Baton Rouge, La., since 1967. The Sun Devils won 10 games in coach Dennis Erickson's first season, but they'll have to do a better job protecting quarterback Rudy Carpenter against Georgia's defense.
Oct. 11: Arizona State at USC (TBA)
The Sun Devils were no match for the Trojans in 2007, losing 44-24. Arizona State might be USC's best competition in the Pac-10 this season.
And the Week 15 Upset Alert: Arizona over Arizona State.
-- ESPN's Most Intriguing Games of the Season
Dec. 6: Arizona State at Arizona (8 p.m. ET)
After being outrecruited by the Sun Devils, Wildcats coach Mike Stoops suggested Arizona State was turning into a junior college. If Arizona keeps playing football like a JC, Stoops will be looking for a job in 2009.
-- Regarding Sun Devil injuries, Coach Erickson said that WR Chris McGaha is expected to start against NAU this weekend after missing some practice for an injury. On other injuries, Coach Erickson stated that the Devils should have most of their players available, RB Shaun DeWitty is still a question mark however.
-- Looks like Keegan Herring and Dimitri Nance will see the majority of the playing time at running back. Jarrell Woods could see action in the short yardage situations because of his size. Coach Erickson has said that true freshman Ryan Bass will also see some action in the NAU game.
-- The Sun Devils will see about eight or nine true freshmen play this season. On defense: Josh Jordan, Clint Floyd, Shelly Lyons, Brandon Magee, and Lawrence Guy. Offensively look for Zach Schlink, Ryan Bass, and Gerell Robinson.
-- No News is Not Good News in regards to Oregon's projected starting quarterback Nate Costa. You figured with all of the sealed lips around Oregon's fall practices over the weekend that the injury to Costa was more than a mere stinger and according to reports that were published Monday, the Ducks QB will be out a minimum 8-10 weeks after reinjuring his surgically repaired knee five days ago. Justin Roper will start the season opener against Washington on Saturday at Autzen Stadium. Back-up QBs will be Jeremiah Masoli, a transfer from City College of San Francisco (JUCO National Champion) and true freshman Chris Harper. Roper filled in for Dennis Dixon last season after Dixon was lost due to an injury suffered during the Arizona State game. Roper led the Ducks to a 56-21 Sun Bowl win over South Florida.
Friday, August 22, 2008
According to the East Valley Tribune here is a list of freshmen who likely will play: wide receiver Gerell Robinson, running back Ryan Bass, guard Zach Schlink, defensive end Lawrence Guy, linebackers Shelly Lyons and Brandon Magee, cornerback Josh Jordan, safety Clint Floyd.
Arizona State is ranked 16th in the Football Writers Association of America poll. USC is in first in the preseason poll, Georgia is three points behind the Trojans in second. Both the Trojans and the Bulldogs have five first place votes each.
The Pac-10 has released its first official release. They had this to say about ASU: Dennis Erickson begins his 20th year as a college head coach. His 158 career victories places him 10th among currently active head coaches. . . . Sun Devils were Pac-10 co-champs with USC last year at 7-2 in league, 10-3 overall. . . . QB Rudy Carpenter has started 31 consecutive games, posting a 21-10 record in those starts. . . . PK Thomas Weber won the Lou Groza Award by connecting on 24 of 25 field goal attempts last year. Pretty good for a freshman. . . . ASU allowed only 12 fourth-quarter points in 12 regular season games last year and returns seven starters on defense.
Some notes from the around the Pac-10:
-- California has named sophomore Kevin Riley as their starting quarterback over senior Nate Longshore. Riley is more the fan favorite, as Longshore has disappointed over the years, yet it is a somewhat surprising move to bench the senior and experienced quarterback. You can expect to see them both in action during the Bears opener versus Michigan State.
-- Oregon QB Nate Costa is the latest Pac-10 quarterback to get bit by the injury bug. Costa was the frontrunner for the starting job when he injured his knee. Reports say it was a non-contact injury to his already-surgically repaired left knee. The backup, Justin Roper, has been coming on strong lately so don't be surprised to see Roper start their season opener versus Washington. More will be known about Costa's knee injury on Monday when the team's orthopedic surgeon returns to town.
-- USC quarterback Mark Sanchez has returned from his earlier injury and appears to be ready to go for the Trojans opener against Virginia. Aaron Corp and Mitch Mustain will be competing for the back-up job. Running back CJ Gable is nursing ankle and hip injuries he suffered on Tuesday. The injuries may knock him out for a couple of weeks, or he may be ready to go next weekend. No one knows with USC and their "crying wolf" injury reports.
-- Washington QB Jake Locker returned to practice this week and will be good to go when the Huskies take on Oregon in both team's season opener.
All signs point to Tavita Pritchard starting for Stanford against Oregon State next Thursday night.
-- UCLA named Kevin Craft as their starting quarterback. The Bruins open against Tennessee in game one of their brutal schedule. Chris Forcier will fill the back-up role.
And finally on a very exciting note, the Sun Devils are expecting to eclipse 50,000 season ticket sales, the most in at least two decades. That number of season ticket holders would almost fill up Arizona's Stadium (55,000).
Thursday, August 14, 2008
My proposal to help celebrate the season and the tradition of Sun Devil football would be to replicate previous field and endzone designs. For example, one game would be a design from say the 10-1 Border Conference champions from 1959. Another game would feature a neat endzone design from the 1960s, etc, etc. Looking through the old Sun Devil football pictures, one can see the many unique endzone designs that ASU used throughout the 50 year time period. Some being rather plain but others being creative and cool, like one design which features a script-like ASU, placed in between two older Sparky logos, where Sparky is positioned inside a gold sun. For the '80s and '90s you could pick endzone designs that honor the Rose Bowl years. For the '70s there is the endzone made famous from "The Catch", a script ASU filled in with the American flag (similar to what Major League Baseball did this year for the Fourth). I believe this would be a fantastic way to celebrate the heritage and tradition of Sun Devil Stadium and Arizona State football and would be a neat "old-school" crowd pleaser.
Later I will add my selections for what endzones I think would be neat to replicate this season.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
The ASU ticket office has announced that single-game tickets for the ASU-Georgia game on Sept. 20 are sold out, and that the only seats left for the Georgia game - about 3,000 of them - are available on a season-ticket basis.
Season tickets are sold out in the upper level endzone sections. Those are areas for which many Georgia fans were purchasing season ticket packages for $99 throughout the summer in anticipation that the single-game seats would not be available.
Single-game tickets for the Georgia game were to be priced at $65.
If any remaining season tickets are not sold by Sept. 9, ASU will then make those tickets available on a single-game basis.
Single game tickets for the rest of the 2008 ASU football schedule go on sale Thursday morning at 9 a.m. In addition, fans can buy tickets to four of ASU's road games: at California (Oct. 4), at Oregon State (Nov. 1), at Washington (Nov. 8) and at Arizona (Dec. 6).
A Couple Notes from around the Pac-10:
Arizona ticket sales are down 13.7% from last year, as currently they have only sold about 22,000 season tickets. Last year the Wildcats averaged 52,000 fans with about 25,000 of them being season ticket holders. On the flip side, ASU has sold more season tickets already than they did last season, and that's without about 5,000 Student Tickets that have yet to be sold. The Sun Devils will most likely end up with a whopping 50,000 season ticket holders this season (out of 71,706 seats at Sun Devil Stadium), the 50,000 season tickets holders would almost fill the capacity of Arizona's Stadium. The Sun Devils are on pace to sell their most season tickets in 15 years.
ASU is keeping mostly injury free (keep those fingers crossed!). The only injury of concern right now is really just WR Nate Kimbrough's, and the good news there is he won't have to have surgery on a fractured bone under his eye. Originally expected to miss up to a month because of the freak weighlifting accident, Kimbrough is expected to start practicing this week. A couple of other minor Sun Devil injuries are WR's McGaha (foot), Williams (concussion), and Jones (concussion). Tailbacks Herring (Shoulder) and DeWitty (Hamstring) and center Altieri (concussion). All of the injuries are minor and only kept the players out of a scrimmage on Tuesday.
USC QB Mark Sanchez is recovering nicely from his dislocated kneecap. The Trojan QB is on schedule to return prior to the team's season opener at Virginia.
Some News from up North:
With a full week of practices under their belt, the Lumberjacks' coaching staff is pleased with the progress and play. Head Coach Souers is especially pleased with the play of the offensive line and the linebacker unit. Safety Adam Wright and Corner Josh Luck have also stood out during practices. There have been no reported injuries from the 'Jacks camp that would keep anyone out from the opener against ASU.
NAU has one former Sun Devil on their roster, DB Brian Hunter.
The Lumberjacks are organizing a bus for fans to travel down to the Valley for the August 30th game against ASU. Hopefully they plan on some other form of entertainment, unless they are coming for the fireworks show!
Some News from the Deep South:
Georgia's practice notes are starting to read like a M*A*S*H Prison Report, with a boatload of Bulldog players either injured or suspended. The latest Georgia player to go out was their best offensive lineman, All-Conference LT Trinton Sturdivant, he suffered an injury to his left knee which will recquire reconstructive surgery and will keep him out for the season. Over in the Law & Order Department and the Bulldogs legal troubles, they have had eight players arrested during the offseason, six of which have been suspended or dismissed from the team.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Well after looking over the schedules and re-doing my math a hundred times at least, I am now ready to back up my rankings of the Pac-10 teams. Shockingly, there are some changes! The reason I was somewhat nervous about my initial rankings was mainly because I had Arizona ranked fourth, when in my heart and gut I have them finishing lower than that. But here's a schedule breakdown with my picks. Again, I'm terrible with decision making, so picking each game has been quite a chore.
1) USC -- 11-1 Overall; 9-0 Pac-10
Wins -- @ Virginia, @ Oregon St, Oregon, ASU, @ Wazzu, @ Arizona, Washington, Cal, @ Stanford, Notre Dame, @ UCLA
Losses -- Ohio State
2) Arizona State -- 10-2; 8-1
Wins -- NAU, Stanford, UNLV, @ Cal, Oregon, @ Oregon St, @ Washington, Wazzu, UCLA, @ Arizona
Losses -- Georgia, @ USC
3) California -- 8-4; 5-4
Wins -- Michigan St, @ Wazzu, @ Maryland, Colo St, UCLA, Oregon, Stanford, Washington
Losses -- ASU, @ Arizona, @ USC, @ Oregon State
4) Oregon -- 8-4; 5-4
Wins -- Washington, Utah St, @ Purdue, Boise St, @ Wazzu, UCLA, Stanford, Arizona
Losses -- @ USC, @ ASU, @ Cal, @ Oregon State
5) Arizona -- 6-6; 4-5
Wins -- Idaho, Toledo, @ UCLA, Washington, Cal, Oregon State
Losses -- @ NM, @ Stanford, USC, @ Wazzu, @ Oregon, ASU
6) UCLA -- 4-8; 4-5
Wins -- Wazzu, Stanford, Oregon State, @ Washington
Losses -- Tennessee, @ BYU, Arizona, Fresno State, @ Oregon, @ Cal, @ ASU, USC
7) Oregon State -- 5-7; 4-5
Wins -- @ Stanford, Hawaii, Wazzu, Cal, Oregon
Losses -- @ Penn St, USC, @ Utah, @ Wazzu, ASU, @ UCLA, @ Arizona
8) Washington -- 4-8; 3-6
Wins -- Stanford, Oregon St, Notre Dame, @ Wazzu
Losses -- @ Oregon, BYU, Oklahoma, @ Arizona, @ USC, ASU, UCLA, @ Cal
9) Stanford -- 3-9; 2-7
Wins -- San Jose St, Arizona, Washington State
Losses -- Oregon St, @ ASU, @ TCU, @ Washington, @ Notre Dame, @ UCLA, @ Oregon, USC, @ Cal
10) Washington State -- 4-8; 1-8
Wins -- @ Baylor, Portland State, Arizona, @ Hawaii
Losses -- Oklahoma St, Cal, Oregon, @ UCLA, @ Oregon St, USC, @ Stanford, @ ASU, Washington
So looking at this breakdown, the teams that jump out at me as being out of place are: UCLA at sixth and Oregon State at seventh. I feel that the Beavers could a decent season and finish bowl eligible (six wins) and that UCLA will have a problem finishing 4-5 in the Pac. Also, I could see Stanford winning more than two games in the conference this season and Oregon finishing ahead of Cal for third place.
USC's Mark Sanchez was injured during Friday's practice when he went down with a dislocated kneecap. Sanchez is expecting to be back in time for the season opener against Virginia, but with so much talent behind him at SC (namely Mitch Mustain, a transfer QB from Arkansas who went 8-0 as a Razorback) Sanchez might find himself second on the depth chart when he gets back.
The other Pac-10 starter to go down this week was Washington QB Jake Locker. Locker went out with a strained hamstring on Friday, but isn't expected to miss much time. The Huskies chances are riding on Locker this season, as he is undoubtedly Washington's most talented player and their leader.
With quarterbacks falling left and right in the Pac-10, an impressive feat for Sun Devils' QB Rudy Carpenter is his 31 consecutive starts. Especially because of the injuries he has sustained over the past few seasons.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
2. Arizona St
6. Oregon State
10. Washington St
I'll break down why I have them picked in this order later and will also include my Top Pac-10 Games of the Year. I'll also probably be re-arranging the order :P
Monday, August 4, 2008
Devils lose Offensive and Defensive Linemen
Arizona State offensive tackle Richard Tuitu'u, who finished spring practices No. 1 on the depth chart, has quit the team. The Sun Devils offensive line lost three starters from a unit that gave up 55 sacks a year ago, and the position is a huge concern as preseason practices start Monday. Tuitu'u was the only returning lineman with experience at tackle. He played in 19 games in two seasons, with one start.
Redshirt freshman Adam Tello, listed at 283 pounds, now moves up on the depth chart. Coach Dennis Erickson called Tello a good pass blocker.
Arizona State could use some help on the defensive line, but it's probably not going to come from talented but troubled Eugene Germany. Germany hasn't sufficiently fulfilled requirements set forth by coach Dennis Erickson and the school to join the team, according to an athletic department official. Germany signed with USC in 2004 out of Pomona (Calif.) High School but ended up at Michigan, where he played in eight games as a redshirt freshman in 2006. When things went sour there, he bolted for Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, Calif., where he had 9.5 sacks last season. He joined the Sun Devils recruiting class in the winter, but his status has been in question since the spring.
McGaha was named one of the Pac-10's six current "clutch" performers. Ted Miller of ESPN had this to say about the Devils' receiver.
McGaha is the guy QB Rudy Carpenter turns to when he needs to move the chains. We know this because 48 of McGaha's 61 receptions in 2007 went for first downs. That's a conversion rate of 79 percent.
Jake Plummer was one of the Pac-10's clutch performers of all time, making the list of ten, Jake "The Snake" was the swashbuckling face of the 1996 Sun Devils. He led them to a double-overtime victory over USC and accounted for three TDs in the final eight minutes in a comeback win over UCLA. He nearly led ASU to a perfect season, falling victim to a late Ohio State TD in the Rose Bowl.
In other college football news, Georgia has suspended its fifth player for the first game of the season. The Bulldogs have encountered a plethora of off-season problems with players.
Friday, August 1, 2008
(Team, Points, First-place votes)
1. Georgia 1,438 (22)
2. USC 1,430 (14)
3. Ohio State 1,392 (14)
4. Oklahoma 1,329 (3)
5. Florida 1,293 (5)
6. LSU 1,163 (3)
7. Missouri 1,143
8. West Virginia 1,008
9. Clemson 999
10. Texas 979
11. Auburn 888
12. Wisconsin 747
13. Kansas 714
14. Texas Tech 644
15. Virginia Tech 568
16. ASU 560
17. BYU 547
18. Tennessee 506
19. Illinois 422
20. Oregon 399
21. South Florida 350
22. Penn State 313
23. Wake Forest 203
24. Michigan 112
25. Fresno State 91
Others receiving votes: Alabama 83; South Carolina 64; Utah 60; Florida State 53; Rutgers 53; Boston College 47; California 1; Pittsburgh 34; Boise State 25; Oregon State 23; Nebraska 17; Cincinnati 13; Virginia 12; Connecticut 9; Michigan State 9; Mississippi State 6; Kentucky 5; Notre Dame 5; TCU 5; Maryland 4; North Carolina 3; Texas A&M 3; UCLA 3; Central Florida 2; Georgia Tech 2; Louisville 2; Arizona 1; Colorado 1; Oklahoma State 1; Tulsa 1.