Tuesday, September 26, 2006


New to the Lexicon: "The JoePa's"

What, pray tell, do I mean? I'll use it in a sentence. This is only hypothetical, of course.

I went out and got drunk with my girlfriend last night, and on the way home we stopped at 7-11 and got some nachos, complete with chili and jalapenos. While they probably saved me from a hangover, I sure had a wicked case of the JoePa's when I got to work.
Like I said, strictly hypothetical. That is all.

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Friday, September 22, 2006


Boulder Trip Recap

I realize I didn't recap last week's defensively dominating victory against Colorado. First of all, I'm sorry. It is my blogospheric duty to rep ASU in all arenas(85281, mofo's!), and I have failed- but not as bad as the CU offense. Man, do they suck. Rumor has it the TBS game of the week got a 10-share, a ludicrious TV rating considering that it had to go up against the Bowden Bowl, UF-UT, and USC-Nebraska in the schedule. For those of you who watched more competitive games, the sea of maroon and gold in the northwest corner of Folsom Field was most impressive. I've heard estimates of anywhere between 5,000 and 10,000 Sun Devils in attendance, which is some serious Sparky muscle for a school that is 952 miles away from home.

As for the actual game, things are a bit fuzzy thanks to some tailgating and those shots at breakfast. Quarterback Rudy Carpenter was less than impressive throwing the ball but we're Sun Devils, and we're spoiled. The top two excuses listed are 1) a minor thumb injury (oh God, not another last year) and 2) the wind. I can't speak about Carp's digit, but the wind was mighty enough to bat down every pass I threw in the parking lot, even though I was still making Heapish/Milleresque one-handed catches with a brewsky in my other hand. Games of flip-cup and beer pong were cancelled due to conditions, and it takes nothing short of the breath of God to cancel a drinking game at an ASU party. WR's Mike Jones, Nate Kimbrough, and Chris McGaha were everything advertised; even though nobody had outstanding stats, the ball was spread around really well and they made good catches with minimal (if any) drops. Zach Miller made a great TD catch right in front of the ASU sections that made everyone think NFL draft with a heap (no pun intended) of melancholy. But the running game-oh, the running game- made me a believer. Colorado fans concurred (before the game) that their team's strength was in their run defense- this showed, especially from stud LB Thaddeus Washington, but the 1-2 punch of Keegan Herring and Ryan Torain wore them down. I'll repeat that, as I feel it bears repeating. ASU wore another team down. The backs were running between the tackles, around the ends, and catching passes in the flats and over the middle. Yay! The Devils aren't one dimensional anymore! Speaking of added dimensions...

DEFENSE!!!! D at last, D at last, thank God almighty, we have D at last! I'm giddy with excitement (obviously) as if Terrell Suggs had eleven clones with five years of eligibility apiece. The secondary was winning one-on-one battles against receivers, the linebackers were making plays, everyone was blitzing effectively, and there were a ton of run stopping plays by the d-line that rotated NINE players throughout the night with no noticible drop-off in play. I was really excited before the game to finally see Tranell Morant play along the line for the first time, but defensive coordinator Bill Miller was rotating players so much that I never saw him on the field (photographic evidence proved he played).

It had to be expected for Rudy Carpenter to have a bad game sooner or later. In many years passed, the Devils would have found a way to lose this game considering the poor QB play, but the running game and the D bailed the passing game out for a change. Hopefully Cqrp can learn from his mistakes and rebound with a solid day at Berkeley this Saturday, because we'll need the offense running on all cylinders to comete with Marshawn Lynch and company. Here are a few more unrelated thoughts on last wek's game.

Terry Richardson has pulled his head out of his ass nicely to be a major contributor on special teams, both as a kick and punt returner. He truly is one of the best in the nation.

Mobile quarterbacks haven't proved to be much of a problem for the Devil D. There is definitely improved speed on the ends with a healthy Kyle Caldwell and Dexter Davis, a freshman who is ahead of the learning curve.

Koetter has been using he roll-out in many situations, and I think it fits the personnel ASU has on offense. Carp is definitely mobile enough to add this threat, but I'm specifically talking about the Hell Hogs. Most of them are of the sleek, mobile lineman mold, so pulling lends itself to their collective agility and quikness. I'm still not so sre about being able to run it up the middle on 4th and one, though.

The running back situation seems to have shaken itself out, with Keegan Herring and Ryan Torain getting the bulk of the snaps. I don't think anyone in the ASU camp has any problems with this decision, nor would they if Dmitri Nance and Shaun DeWitty been the go-to guys. The Devils have some serious depth at tailback (finally), and have seemingly recovered from the truckload of injuries/thuggery that plagued the team just a few years ago.

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Friday Night Lights

Not that crappy high school football drama-oh no- I'm enjoying an evening of college football courtesy of the deuce and the way they tarnish shabbas by making whores of underrecognized college football programs who scratch and claw for a morsel of national media attention and achieve these small crumbs by playing on nights that aren't spelled S-a-t-u-r-d-a-y. This will be all I'll get this week since I'll be in a drunken, music filled Alcatraz tomorrow, not that I'm complaining or anything. I didn't think ASU would be able to play defense again this year, so I wasn't woried about missing a supposedly sure loss at Cal and their John Holmes-sized preseason expectations when I decided to go. I ordered a pizza and cracked a Keystone Light, and here we are. Hail Sa- I mean Friday! A few random thought's on tonight's matchup between Northwestern and Nevada.

* ASU beat both of these teams 52-21 (each) over the last year or so.

* I'd like to root for UNR (not to be confused with UNRB- university of NO Rose Bowls) specifically because it would help Arizona State's strength of schedule, but one can't arbitrarily cheer or the opponents of a team that lost their coach to a heart attack weeks before the season started; that's just fucked up, not to mention a whalloping amount of bad karma. I have a feeling that ASU is going to need all of the karma they can get for tomorrow's tilt against Cal.

* Rod Glmore winked at the camera the moment he got on screen for the first time. My girlfriend would think that's ultra-cute, but thankfully she's in the other room working on her MBA, otherwise my mini-Saturday might be tainted by conversations like "who was he winking at?...I bet it was his wife...does he have kids?...where did he go to college?" I love her to death, but that has nothing to do with what second half adjustments Northwestern is going to make against the pistol offense.

* Speaking of the woman, I flipped through the channels during a commercial break and came across the replay of the Grey's Anatomy season premiere. Even though we watched it last night and I really like the show, the remote would have gone to the dark side of network programming had she noticed because I'm weak and whipped. Whew, that was close.

* Former Sun Devil Garrick McGee is on Nevada's coaching staff. Funny how out of all of the Arizona media that absorb during football season, I didn't read that tidbit once during the week that ASU played Nevada. Another thumbs down, valley media. I'd like to be more lyrical in my media bashing, but Brian takes the cake with this post. Actually that's my bad, apparently he's on Northwestern's staff. Dan Bickley's incompetence s rubbing of on me! Egads!

*On a study break, my girlfriend showed me this. Wooooo!

* Northwestern's quarterback didn't play under center until his senior year of high school and he runs like a gazelle. Did somebody say Matt Jones?

* With roughly 7 minutes to play in the first half, there is finally a mention of Nevada's ass-whipping at the hands of ASU. God forbid they actually show a few clips from that gem, but then the four-letter network would have to thank Fox for the footage. Oh, the horror!

* I consider myself to be one of those idiotic superfans that bleeds maroon and gold and believes that Team Sparky can do no wrong. Having said that, I would never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever buy one of those heat pumps with the official NCAA team logos all over it. That's white-trashy bush league crap. I bet they're really popular in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Texas.

* Girlfriend's done with homework early, and we're going out for a nightcap. No time for a Cal preview, other than to say they scare the crap out of me. I see this game being tougher than USC at the Coliseum, and I'm not kidding. I think this is ASU's best chance for a loss, but with the ball control and defense being shown so far, it could come down to a game winning field goal by whoever has the ball last. ASU's not known for these types of victories, are they? Oh yeah there's that one... best of luck ASU, we may need it!

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Monday, September 18, 2006


We Return, Victorious!

Gotta take care of the personal stuff first. A hundred thanks to Dan for hosting Avalanche FUBAR, a group of six on a conquest of copious amounts of alcohol. Really glad Garrett and Pat could make it, especially since Pat and I now have our own fight song. Drinky drinky drinky drinky drinky drinky FIGHT! Drinky drinky drinky drinky drinky drinky FIGHT! Kudos to Garrett for spending the night with a bachelorette party, f'in slut. Steph and Kim were troopers and should gain sainthood for tolerating the other four of us for the entire weekend. Great to see some old fraternity brothers, including Poop, Kersh, Happy, Papa Smurf, Big E, Sky, Plumber, plus old friend Rummell. You guys rock, and seeing you brought back a swath of great memories. Good to make new friends too, like Dabo and the other Hell Hogs, Denver Devil, and DD emperor Hod. If you've been forgotten, blame the booze. There was a'plenty. I woke up still blacked out on Sunday morning, and don't remember going to the airport. Wheeeee!

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006


All My Bags Are Packed, I'm Ready To Go...

"That John Denver's full of shit."

Heading out for Denver on Friday, and I'm finally really stoked about it! It's been in the works for so long now it has seemed surreal that I am actually leaving in 38 hours. The girlfriend and I will arrive in the Mile High City just before noon and can be found at any LoDo watering hole shortly thereafter. Garrett and Pat will be getting in four hours later, and it will be a race to see who's drunker by the time we meet up. My money is on Pat and Garrett based on past experiences, but altitude and microbrews have proven to be tricky things. Joining this year's edition of Hurricane FUBAR is Kim from Florida, one of my girlfriends' college buddies. (Man, I love those redheads.)My friends are really bipolar when it comes to women; they're either loved or loathed. My prediction is that alcohol will prove its unifying properties once again, especially with Dan playing host. Speaking of predictions...

ASU Offense vs. Colorado Defense
Are you serious? Even without Jamaal Lewis and (possibly) R.F.B., the Sun Devil passing game will be as difficult to contain as Magneto in X-Men, and I don't think Coach Hawkins has one of those plastic cells ready for Rudy Carpenter just yet(I'm a total dork). Mike Jones and Nate Kimbrough proved their hyped abilities Saturday against Nevada (even if I couldn't see it), and Chris McGaha is showing why he shouldn't garner the "posession reciever" moniker. Zach Miller has been as steady as a locomotive and tailback screen passes have worked well each of the last two games with all of the backs, especially Ryan "the train" Torain. It has been refreshing to see a few roll-outs and bootlegs after five years of concrete-footed Andrew Walter and Sam Keller(miss ya buddy). I'm not reminiscing over Jeff "chickenlegs" Krohn by any stretch of the imagination, just saying it's nice to have that option in the playbook.

Colorado's run defense is for real, holding the likes of Colorado State and Montana State *gasp* to a combined 148 total yards. Even though both of these games were losses for the Buffs (tee-hee) they weren't blowouts and they certainly weren't shootouts with respective scores of 14-10 and 19-10. Run blocking hasn't exactly been ASU's specialty of late, and the strong defensive front led by Linebacker Thaddeus Washington may be a tall order. As Coach Koetter said in a Monday presser, "this is the most athletic and talented team we have faced so far." If the Hell Hogs can't push around inferior athletes, what's to happen when they face peers or worse yet superiors? The good news is that the pass protection has been excellent, and hopefully the Hogs can keep Carp's shirt nice and white throughout the game.

Colorado's Offense vs. ASU's Defense
Dirk Koetter's playbook is a bitch to learn, and Dan Hawkins' can't be much different if a team has played eight quarters and has only tallied 20 points. They're eventually going to snap out of it, but hopefully that won't happen until at least September 17. The Buffs' quarterback situation has taken over ASU's spot atop the most talked about QB situation chart as one has left the team, the top two have flip-flopped (no John Kerry joke per my girlfriend's request), and the third-stringer is the coach's kid. Bernard Jackson scored Colorado's only touchdown on Saturday on a bootleg scramble, but ASU has already faced two gritty mobile QB's in NAU's Jason Murietta and Jeff Rowe of Nevada. James Cox (hehe, Cox) is more of a pocket passer but hasn't exactly set the world on fire this season.

Colorado's success will be defined by their running game, but ASU has shown surprising improvement in their front seven. Kyle Caldwell is back on track "bending and breaking people" as Dirk Koetter is fond of saying, and there is a nine man rotation along the defensive line, with other standouts Jordan Hill, Mike Marquardt, and Dexter Davis. Tranell Morant saw his first live action since transferring from Florida, but from others' accounts looked unimpressive and rusty. Hopefully he can live up to his athletic potential, as everyone in maroon and gold is hoping for Loren Howard. Jeez, is that guy huge. His quad tear is healing well and he should be ready to go for Cal, but no one is expecting him to play this week.

ASU's linebackers will charge the gaps created by the d-line, and Derron "every" Ware should have another great day on defense, along with safeties Josh Barrett, Zach "don't call me 'cat'" Catanese, and Ryan "fuck Troy" McFoy. Hopefully the corners won't get too much of a test, even though Chris Baloney has two picks in two games. Linebacker Robert James has played himself back in to the lineup after dealing with personal issues during camp, and he looks improved from a 2005 season highlighted by his vicious hit on soon-to-be baby's daddy Matt Leinart. Former Dodger Mike Nixon is learning defensive schemes and has improved over his first two games, and youngsters Garrett Judah and Travis Goethel haven't looked terrible.

With Rudy. Fucking. Burgess. questionable for Saturday's tilt, the x-factor could be weather. It's expected to be a high of roughly 60 degrees on Saturday with winds up to 20 mph, something that could have an effect on a fair weather passing team like ASU. Hopefully it doesn't come down to kicking, because Colorado PK Mason Crosby is apparently the best in the nation. ASU's kickoff coverage has been far less than stellar thus far, so watch out for a big one to get broken, either by Colorado or ASU's Terry Richardson. There are an expected 7,000 ASU fans to be at Folsom Field on Saturday, and we plan on being loud and leaving 3-0. Final Score prediction: ASU 34, Colorado 17.

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Saturday, September 09, 2006


Chuck Amato Looking Worse and Worse

For those of you who were watching the Notre Dame pregame strokefest on NBC, you kloosers missed a hell of a finish in Raleigh. NC State scored with roughly one minute remaining in the game to give the Pack a three point lead. The Zips charged down the field, largely in part due to a 60-yard completion. A qb sneak situated the Zips on the one yard line with three seconds left and the clock stopped. Rather than kick the field goal and go to overtime (when Akron clearly had momentum), head coach Big Balls McGee elected to go for the win and did so by running the ball over the left tackle and in to the paint. Man Boobs Amato ran off the field without his team, holding one finger aloft(not the middle, I looked). What exactly was he doing? It could be:

1) He was setting the special teams unit to defend the one point try.

2) Assuring the red and white fans that hey! We're still #1, dadgummit!

3) He thought NC State actually won the game.

Sad, sad, sad. It's going to be tough for Amato to show his face around Raleigh after this one, and this video isn't helping matters. NO, Wolfpack faithful, ASU doesn't need another one of your coaches. Well, let's put that on old until tomorrow morning.

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Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Message Board Quote of the Week

Apparently the Vegas oddsmakers went clubbing early on Saturday and didn't witness the lamefest that occurred Saturday night in Tucson between BYU and Arizona. They have U of A as only a 14 point underdog and must have succumbed to the delusional kitty fans who are playing the "quality opponent" card as the reason they are among the nation's elite- you know, since BYU is legendary for their stout defense and all.

From "ocdevil" on CactusRanch.com...
Oh yeah, some rat fans think that they will lose, but barely, and that they will score anywhere from 21 to 29 points. Now that's a gooooooood juan.

They score 13 at home against BYU, but they are going to stroll on into Death Valley and hang a cool 3 to 4 TDs on LSU.

I've heard of idiots. I've heard of myopia. But I've never seen or heard of such moronic football fans in my life.

You can read the entire thread here.

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Koetter Works on Labor Day; sticks foot in mouth

The guy has his own statue, I suggest you leave him be.

The following is a passage from yesterday's press conference where head coach Dirk Koetter addressed the local hacks regarding this weekend's matchup against Nevada and their long-time head coach Chris Ault.
"Coach Ault would be the equivalent to Nevada of what Frank Kush is to the ASU program. I think he was been there for 31 years. He was there when I was a player. They dominated the Big Sky conference for years and then they moved up to Division 1-A and be became the athletic director for several years. I think this is his third stint back at head coach. I've known Coach Ault for a long time. we were in the same league when I was a player. He built that program, their stadium and their facilities. It would be very much the same as if Coach Kush was still coaching at Arizona State.

No. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. NO!

Where are Ault's undefeated seasons? Does he have a winning streak of 22 games? Has he been screwed out of a D-1 National Championship by east coast biased media mambers? (this is legit, we went undefeated in 1974 and a 1-loss Penn State won the NC outright) This is by no means an attack on Coach Ault. I am sure he is a fine man and a good/great coach, but he has done nothing to be compared to former ASU coaching legend Frank Kush. With these utterly boneheaded satements, Coach Koetter has done the following:

1.) Insult/tarnish the legend of Frank Kush.
2.) Insult the knowledge of all Sun Devil fans.
3.) Make yourself look like a moron, thus reflecting poorly on the team. It's like you're already making excuses for a loss and scaring the collective shit out of the Sun Devil faithful.

Don't be surprised if Koetter is wearing head bandages at practice today. Kush was fired for hiting a punter, and don't think he'll hesitate to do the same to a sissy former backup quarterback.

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Monday, September 04, 2006


Those pigfuckers have gone too far this time

The one on the left is espn, and the one on the right is college football as we knew it.
The vile beast that is espn has alienated an important market segment: me. Ok, so that happened awhile ago, but the fact that one of the biggest college football rivalry games is not on network tv has sent me into a whole other stratosphere of espn-hating. The four letter network (TFLN) is televising the FSU-Miami game on THREE of their networks, but ABC is airing back to back episodes of "Wifeswap" tonight. I don't have cable because I really don't enjoy watching tv (college sports excluded), but I figured I could still get most of the good games on network and go to bars when necessary, particularly for ASU games. In a conversation with my two-time Seminole alum and marketing major girlfriend (who is equally pissed), we figured out where this once noble ship was blown off course.

TFLN was founded by sports lovers in the infancy of cable television. The original crew was taking a risk by working at a fledgling company when no one really knew what kind of success, if any, would occur. These risks were taken because they were doing what they loved- they were watching sports. Even though they are now washed-up caricature versions of their former selves, the passion for sports is still visible in the tenured on-air personalities that are still with the network, Dick Vitale and Chris Berman. That passion has been locked out of the boardroom for years now, and network founder/my fraternity brother William F. Rasmussen is long gone.

TFLN grew beyond anyone's expectations, spawning TFLN2 and acquiring The Classic Sports Network, which was promptly bastardized/Christened as TFLN Classic. Great idea, but now they only show games that originally aired on ABC or TFLN. When TFLN2 began, it announced its presence with Death Star fashion by airing #1 UNC vs. #2 Duke when nobody could even get the deuce because cable companies weren't carrying it yet. In the glory days of sports broadcasting JP/Raycom would have bumped lame sitcoms like Major Dad and aired the game in primetime directly over top of any network programming. Here in the mid-atlantic, that game is treated like state of the union addresses- airing on multple channels, programming be damned.

TFLN grew at such an alarming rate that they partnered with ABC in the late 1990's and began going after different market segments. It wasn't enough to have every red-blooded American male wrapped around their collective johnson, now they had to go after our women and children, something that (I thought) was strictly forbidden by the Geneva Convention of 1949. They used a battle plan known as Sportstainment!, the brainchild of then TFLN head Mark Shapiro. Rather than show sports, they starting showing shows about sports. You may remember Playmakers, A Season On the Brink, etcetera and their sucktastic qualities. During those dark days, I longed for tape-delayed arena football, ping-pong tournaments, and world's strongest man competitions(Magnus ver Magnusson is the shizznit). By seeking out the other gender, they alienated those of us who got them to where they were. We are the true sports fans, and we are no longer a priority.

When ABC and TFLN merged a few years ago, what were once merely sports became seen as commodities to be bought and sold. A game of this magnitude, especially on a holiday, will get a huge ratings share no matter where it is hosted. Because the game is on cable, you have segmented the market to those who are truly watching the game and alienated those who are simply flipping channels. By having this viewership lock down, each brand becomes more potent, and therefore more valuable to advertisers. Even though the overall number of viewers is lower on TFLN than it would be on ABC, the segment that will watch is more likely to buy cars, insurance, and beer, so the cockgobbling network executives can charge more per brand and therefore make more cash. This is why I will not be watching the FSU-Miami bloodbath in my underwear.

Can it possibly get any worse than it already is? Of course it can. Eventually they're going to go 100% Hi-Def, so you better have a plasma screen or you'll be as out of the loop as I am. The next feat by this rising monopoly will be to contract with conferences and teams, something that is already done to a certain extent (see Michigan). It is gravely important that CBS and NBC retain their respective rights to the SEC and Notre Dame, because if TFLN gets a hold of them we may see an abomination of American rights: college football pay-per-view. The Gameplan package is already bad enough, but at least some of those games are still broadcast in their home market segments without a monumental fee.

For those of you that have cable, HD tv's, and all the other cool stuff that leave you saying "shell out the $75 per month you brokeass," below are a few links that should help you see the light of how bad your viewing evperience has become. Enjoy the game tonight, I hope I can get it on the radio. Somewhere Howard Cossell is giving all of those bastards a big middle finger.

EDSBS' list of why TFLN sucks.

Brian's continuation of the above list.

Pretty much says it all right there. This one has daily updates on the loathsome and heinous acts committed by TFLN.

More of the same, just someone else saying it.

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Sunday, September 03, 2006


The Dust Has Settled: my rational analysis of game #1

ASU's lackluster Thursday night victory raised a hefty amount of questions and even answered a few. I'll address as many as I can think of.

The field and stadium looked great. A raging student section and midfield Sparky were the highlights, and it's great to have absolutely no affiliation with the Arizona Cardinals. While students hate the wristband policies implemented by the red-tape machine that is ASU, it looks a hell of a lot better without everyone crowding into the best sections and leaving the other ones looking sparse and sometimes empty. Bravo, kids. I'm only going on hearsay, but apparently the band sounds leagues better with their new director. The Richmond area alumni association consists of myself and no one else, so it proved too difficult to get sound on the game. Overall it looked like a great gameday atmosphere.

Derron Ware
That kid looked great, and a year of offseason workouts has been beneficial to his game. He led the team with eight tackles on the night, including three sacks and another for a loss. This Michigan State transfer should have switched to linebacker years ago, as he looked completely comfortable and competent on the field. I can't really say that about any of the other LB's, but more on that in a moment.

The Defensive Line
Considering two of the top athletes of this unit weren't in pads on Thursday, these guys looked outstanding. There was constant pressure in NAU's backfield all night which is something that couldn't be said last year, even in our cupcake opener against Temple when the Devil D recorded ZERO sacks against arguably the worst team in division 1-A. Kyle Caldwell is back to the promising form he showed in 2004 before injuries limited him to mere mortal status, and Dexter Davis has lived up to the talk that occurred during fall camp. Mike Marquardt demands attention at DT and is a rather quick fella for a 300 pounder, and his production means that Jordan Hill won't be double teamed on every down. It's been a long time since I haven't had anything bad to say regarding the defensive line.

Rudy. Fucking. Burgess.
What can't this guy do? Seriously?! His value at tailback has been proven, and he returns to his natural wide receiver position by leading the team with seven catches for 112 yards. The only other wide receiver to even catch a pass was Terry Richardson, who had only one. Rudy was also the gunner on special teams and he made one of the best hits of the evening with a high-flying early smack on the Lumberjack return man. It was totally worth the 15 yards to see that play. While he had a fumble, it was a helmet-on-ball contact from behind, and those are the toughest ones to hang on to. All is forgiven since Burgess is the fucking man, and I'd be willing to bet this was his last fumble on the season.

Ryan Torain
He's a load at 220 pounds, and he's not really the big bruising type. His rushing numbers aren't really what I was hoping to see from this JuCo transfer, but he had three big catches out of the backfield for 58 yards and a score. Way to pad Carp's stats, buddy. He could be a major contributor as an every-down back should Keegan Harring not be able to perform, but as several have already pointed out his pad level is a bit too high. If he lowers his shoulders just a tad, he probably increases the YPC number substantially and adds a touchdown to his statline.

No blocks, none returned fo big gains. Quick releases and good hang times. You wouldn't think these things are such precious commodities, but after performances in years past this was actually a grand accomplishment.

Other positive notes of interest include Herring's Reggie Bush-like TD scamper, the defense's attitude, Herring's bad-ass block that broke the defender's arm, and I saw my friend Pat on TV yelling at someone. It was a win for the Devils, and I have to keep telling myself that in the face of what looks like a probable 6-6 season due to some of the following reasons.

Pass distribution
As mentioned above, the ASU wide receiving corps excluding R.F.B. totaled 1 catch for ten yards. Coach Koetter has been known in recent years for keeping the play selection very bland when facing weak OOC opponents, but I feel this reflects on Rudy Carpenter more than it does Dirk Koetter. Note I used the term "bland" and NOT "vanilla" as every message board honk and hack journalist has done over the last few days. The offense is most effective when the ball is distributed to many diferent weapons; let's hope Rudy C. isn't locking in on Burgess because most D-1 secondarys can read that and pick off the passes. Mike Jones has been a stud in practices and was one of the offensive MVP's in spring ball, but he was no where to be found on Thursday, even with Jamaal Lewis' suspension. I guess he looked so good because he ws practicing against ASU's corners. Speaking of which...

Ugh. How many years have we gone over this topic in Tempe? NAU's Alex Watson looked like Calvin Johnson going for 12 catches and 206 yards. I'm going to repeat this, as I feel it bears repeating. NAU's Alex Watson went for 12 catches and 206 yards. Watson isn't exactly a household name, he's not even on a division 1-A roster for Chrissakes. Chris Baloney's pick-for-six saved the day, but that was the only highlight for this bunch that wasn't one for NAU. Justin Tryon, whom was described by Koetter as being the most consistent corner in practices, was consistently BAD. Keno Walter-White proved he doesn't belong on a football field, as he left me wishing for the likes of Josh Golden. Yecch.

Offensive Line
They were, in a word, offensive. They looked confused and sloppy, and thanks to the ASU policy of scheduling at least one high school team each season the Devils dodged a bullet. ASU had first and goal at the NAU FOUR YARD LINE and failed to score. I place this squarely on the Hell Hogs. Some will argue that coach K would have passed the ball at least once during a real game, but it would be nice to reach the line to gain on the gound, especialy when te distance is one pace and the opponent is (supposedly) physically overmatched. When ASU has a real opponent and a lead late in the game, they need to be able to run the ball. I guess R.F.B. will have to do this, too. The question is which unit does he rescue- the tailbacks or the o-line? The fatties up front need the most help, that's for sure. Homer apologists will also tell you that NAU's paranormal 3-3-5 defensive alignment is confusing for the players, but they've had eight months to prepare for it. The coaches can be held partially accountable on this one but the play in the trenches was still inexcusable for a group with that level of experience.

NAU's Goal Line Stand
See above, plus this excellent analysis from someone who actually knows something about football.

Barrett played adequately, but everyone else was wretched. Freshman Ryan McFoy was the one that fell on one of Watson's big gains, and Catanese was the one that leaped waaaay too early on Watson's other gamebreaker. Zach Cat was surprisingly absent after a productive 2005, and I really can't say anything more than that because I hardly saw him play.

Young and lost. Mike Nixon needs to go back to the Dodgers and the rest of them look like they could use a reshirt year. Why the quick departure Adam?

Herb Sendek was interviewed at halftime.
This is a bush league tactic done by unnamed villians. When things are going bad, change the topic to another sport. Pure BS, and I'm pissed it happened at Sun Devil Stadium.

Maybe 6-6 is a little harsh, but after watching Oregon and USC this weekend, anything better than 10-2 looks rather daunting.

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