Depth Chart |
Oh sure, the last few seasons under head coach Dirk Koetter have
been explosive with times of unbelievable offense and enough
excitement to think the corner is about to be turned, and then WHAM.
Something happens to ruin all the fun.
Last season's team was a brilliant disappointment with the talent to
push the two most athletic teams in America, LSU and USC, up until
the last minute, but it lost both games. After all the fireworks and
all the big numbers, the 2005 Sun Devils' best win was over ...
Northwestern? Rutgers? The be elite you have to beat the elite, and
this year's team has the makeup to beat the best of the best. At
least it does on offense.
Head coach: Dirk Koetter
6th year: 33-28
8th year: 59-38
Off. 27, Def. 21 ST 3
Lettermen Lost: 19
Best ASU Players
1. TE Zach Miller, Jr.
2. QB Sam Keller, Sr.
3. QB Rudy Carpenter, Soph.
4. WR/CB Rudy Burgess, Jr.
5. SS Zach Catanese, Sr.
6. OT Andrew Carnahan, Sr.
7. DE Loren Howard, Sr.
8. WR/TE Jamaal Lewis, Sr.
9. DT Jordan Hill, Sr.
10. RB Keegan Herring, Soph.
at Oregon State
2005 Results: 7-5
2005 predicted wins
LSU L 35-31
at Oregon St
USC L 38-28
at Wash State W 27-24
Rutgers W 45-40
You know your situation is
good when college football's best passer is second string. Rudy
Carpenter, who led the nation in passing efficiency, was magnificent
over the second half of last year with starter Sam Keller out with a
thumb injury, and now the Sun Devils have two All-America caliber signal
callers to run a frightening attack that should put up 35 points a game
before leaving the locker room.
On both sides of the ball, Koetter has
assembled a team that can run, hit, throw, and catch as well as anyone
in the nation. The special teams will be tremendous with Terry
Richardson back returning punts and kicks, and the defense should see
some improvement with the addition of several good JUCO prospects along
with Northwestern transfer Loren Howard and BYU transfer Michael
Marquardt on the line.
So what's missing?
The confidence is certainly there, players like Keller will make
sure of that. The talent is there. The coaching, despite what some Sun
Devil fans think, is there. It's just a matter of putting everything
together and finally coming up with big Pac 10 wins.
In the Koetter era, the best Pac 10 victory came in 2003 beating a decent
Oregon team 59-14. The second best, arguably, was a 27-14 win in
2004 over an Oregon State team that finished 7-5. Yeah, zzzzzzz. Where
are the upsets over USC? How about a win over a mighty Cal team?
To get where ASU needs to go, it has to become a living,
breathing player in in the Pac 10 race. Otherwise, next year we'll be
talking about how the 2007 Sun Devils really, truly have what it takes to
be a national power.
The Schedule: It's
not all that bad outside of road trips to Cal and USC, which could
kill any dreams of a Pac 10 title. The road trip to Colorado will
have the storyline of two former Boise State head coaches squaring
off, but the Sun Devils had better not look past Nevada the week
before. It'll be hard to get into too much of a groove with five
road dates in seven games hurt by the imbalance of the Pac 10
schedule; some have to play five conference road games.
Offensive Player: Junior TE Zach Miller. He likely would've been a
first round NFL pick had he been able to come out as a sophomore
and would've been the most complete prospect in this year's tight
end rich draft. Most of the world knows him for his highlight-reel
catches, but the scouts have taken particular note of how good a
blocker he has become.
Defensive Player: Senior SS Zach Catanese. One of the Pac 10's
biggest hitters and the new leader of the defensive back seven,
Catanese should start to get more notoriety this season. He needs to
make more big plays against the pass, but his main job is helping
make tone-setting stops against the run.
player to a successful season: Senior CB Keno Walter-White. The
ASU secondary struggled last season even by Pac 10 standards. The
safeties will be strong with the return of Zach Catanese and Josh
Barnett, so the corners have to shine. Walter-White has the best
combination of talent and experience, and hopefully players like
Justin Tryon, Chad Green and Chris Baloney can help boost the
season will be a success if ... Arizona State wins the Pac 10
title. Enough is enough. There's more than enough experience,
talent, and athleticism to win the title and get to the BCS. There
are some killer league road games to deal with, but there will
always be landmines. A great team has to find a way to get the job
done, and this, flaws and all, has the potential to be a great team.
game: September 23 at California. The Sun Devils and Bears didn't
play last year, but they do now in the new everyone plays everyone
Pac 10 world. The conference opener could be a stepping stone game
for ASU with a chance, for all intents and purposes, to put the Pac
10 title away over the following two games against Oregon and at USC.
A loss wouldn't be a killer, but it would mean there'd be no more
margin for error.
- Penalties: Arizona State 114 for 982 yards - Opponents 80 for 666
- Average yards per catch: Arizona State 14.4 - Opponents 14.1
- Sacks: Opponents 36 for 222 yards - Arizona State 22 for 147 yards
The Last Time Arizona State…
…played in a bowl game…2005 (Insight Bowl vs. Rutgers)
…missed a bowl game…2003
…pitched a shutout…1996 (Nebraska)
…was shutout…2004 (Cal)
…scored 50 points…2005 (Northwestern)
…won a conference title…1996 (Pac-10)
…had a 3,000-yard passer…2004 (Andrew Walter)
…had a 1,000-yard rusher…2001 (Delvon Flowers)
…had a 1,000-yard receiver…2005 (Derek Hagan)
…had a first-round draft choice…2003 (DE Terrell Suggs)