Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Preview of the Almighty Offense

On my signal, unleash hell.

Ok quarterback, singular. Rudy Carpenter returns as the nation's defending leader in passing efficiency and touchdown to interception ratio. He'll make the offense tick as long as he's under center, but the Sun Devils went from one of the deepest in all of college football at quarterback to one that is frighteningly shallow. No knock on Danny Sullivan, who is said to be ahead of where Carpenter was in terms of learning the playbook, but having a true freshman as your number two QB puts a big target on the number one. Everyone in Tempe has been talking about/anticipating/hoping to God for a really big hit on Willie Tuitama, but now we're all hoping karma doesn't jump up to bite us in the ass.

We've said it before, but ASU has a great stable of running backs. Hopefully the diseases of thuggery and injury don't destroy this year's crop the way they did in 2003. Keegan Herring and his ridiculous biceps return in the starting role and they should have plenty of room to run considering the respect our passing game should command. Shaun DeWitty was the surprise of spring practice but has been a little slow out of the gates, something which Coach Koetter dismisses as Shaun being "very calculating." He has little room for error with the arrival of JuCo transfer Ryan Torain, a 220 lb load that hits the hole at full speed and pushes piles- something the fullback-free Koetter offense has lacked since the departure of Mike Karney. As if all of this wasn't enough, Coach K already pulled freshman Dmitri Nance's redshirt, citing that"he's just too good of a player." Nance will get to tote the rock a few times each game, but most of his meaningful playing time will come on special teams.

Tight End/H-Back
All-American Zach Miller leads this unit and is looking to rebound from a subpar 2005, oe where he was riddled with injury thus a slip in production. While known for his circus-type catching ability, he acually an amazing blocker, just like predecessor Todd Heap. If he has the 2006 we're all expecting, Zach will have the option of leaving early for the NFL. His bigger slower older brother Brent will line up at the starting H-Back slot where he will have ample opportunities to block and a few cracks at recieving passes. 17 year-old freak of nature Lance Evboumwan will redshirt and Jamaal Lewis will see some time at TE, but will primarily be used at wideout. Gator transfer Dane Guthrie has shown flashes of brilliance among some overall inconsistency, but he should see some reps.

Wide Receiver
Not even the injury bug can hold this group back (*knock on wood); there is simply too much talent waiting in the wings. This is the WR crop that should be waiting in line to attend such a pass happy school, and Koetter's hatred of the run has finally paid off. Terry Richardson and Jamaal Lewis/Mike Jones will start, and they will have the backup of gazelle-like sprinter Nate Kimbrough, full-of-promise Brandon Smith, and former Arizona big school POY Chris McGaha, a white receiver who breaks the possession reciever mold. T-Rich has shaken off a spring practice suspension to excel in the classroom and on the practice field, as he has grown from a stuck-up talent to one of the team's leaders and hardest workers. Speaking of suspensions, J-Lew will be out for the NAU game, but if the Devil-O misses him at all, 2006 will be an excruciatingly long year.

Offensive Line
ASU returns a seasoned group thanks to a flood of injuries last year. The Hell Hogs are led by senior captain Andrew Carnahan, a native Texan (we won't hold that against him) who has played in all four years during his tenure in Tempe. He'll be at left guard watching Rudy Carpenter's back, and his mates along the line include Brandon Rodd, Robert Gustavis, Stephen Berg, and Paul Faniakia. Hellish beast Zach Krula is still out with complications from an ankle injury sustained during last year's Northwestern game (week 3!) but may come back before season's end if needed. The two-deep is filled with guys who have game experience, now it's just a matter of five of them gelling into a cohesive, punishing unit.

The X-Factor
RUDY. FUCKING. BURGESS. You'll see him at wideout, running back, hell, he even threw a touchdown pass last year. He'll be on end-arounds, reverses, and if we're lucky a flea-flicker or halfback option. THe guy can and will do it all for the Sun Devils.

You can't stop us, you can only hope to contain us. G'head and try.

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