Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Here Come The Huskies...

Now rip off their heads and shit down their necks!
This weekend's matchup in Seattle between the Sun Devils and the Huskies appears to be a must-win for both teams. U-Dub is no longer the pushover they have been since slick Rick Neuheisel left town several years ago, and ASU will have their hands full. Most of the rest of us figured all hope for the Huskies was lost when starting senior quarterback and athletic freak Isiah Stanback was injured and deemed unavailable for the remainder of the year, but young gun Carl Bonnell stepped in to his place admirably to give a serious challenge to Cal last week, barely falling in overtime. Remember the Bears? Yeah, I think they just scored against ASU again. While his poise was admirable, remember that Bonnell threw 5 interceptions, including the forced pass that was returned for the game-winning TD in overtime. Heads up, Devil D.

Rudy Carpenter had probably his most efficient game as a Sun Devil last week, even if it was against Stanford. He completed 14 of 15 passes, and surely could have done more had the need arisen. Nitpickers wll attest that he missed (as in never saw) many an open receiver downfield that could have been completed for big gains, particularly when he tucked the ball and scrambled. Carp and Dirk are both towing the company line when being grilled by the media. The first quote comes from Koetter during a Monday presser after being asked about opening up the offense:
“This isn’t last year. We just have a different make up of our team right now. I have always been comfortable opening up the offense, but I also think that we have to be smart. Opening our offense can also lead to turnovers and the best thing we did (against Stanford) is not turn the ball over."

Wow, our coach has really regressed this season. He used to be regarded as an arrogant, righteous prick, and now he's a backpedaling softie: first the QB flip-flop thing, and now he's afraid to throw the ball. He's making the most critical error in competitive sports, which is playing not to lose rather than playing to win. This does not bode well for the rest of the season or Koetter's job security. Carpenter echoed his sentiments, and for some reason I feel a lot better when he says it.
"...if I miss some open guys I miss some open guys. I’m going to try to make sure every play is a positive play and we're not losing yards and sometimes I make it up so quick by running it and it’s been effective, so I’m going to keep on doing it.”

Works for me. The fact is, however, that this year's squad is now a running team that will only go as far as Ryan Torain can carry the rest of them. Unfortunately the receivers haven't been all that up to snuff, which has probably caused Carp some undue flack from hacks like me (don't forget this one, too) over the past few weeks. Not saying he was innocent by any stretch of the imagination, but Rudy B's injuries, Jamaal Lewis' suspension/ineffectiveness, Terry Richardson's sucktacular year, and the youthful/inexperienced play of Mike Jones, Nate Kimbrough, and Chris McGaha haven't helped Carpenter's play or confidence. Carp can't put the ball on the spot if the spot isn't where it' supposed to be.

In the good news department, the defense really has been holding their own since having their doors blown off by Oregon. The bye week did just as it was supposed to, which was to renew the legs and refresh the spirit of the players. This was obviously the case after giving up 21 to USC (remember that the other 7 were T-Rich's fault) and holding the Cardinal to 3. I know it was Stanford, but NAU scored 14 in our house. Zach Catanese will not miss any playing time after suffering a mild concussion against Stanford, and he will be counted on to fly around and knock the bejeezus out of any U-Dub ball carriers. With the exception of the Cal-Oregon hiccup, the overall defense really has been improving each week, which is all one can ask from such a young group. They have a chance to make a statement this Saturday in the Devils' first road trip to Seattle since 1999, and should be up to the challenge.

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