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Sept. 21, 1997

Arizona State Opens Pac-10 Play at Oregon State

  • #25 Arizona State Sun Devils (2-1, 0-0) at Oregon State Beavers (1-1, 0-1)
  • Sept. 27, Parker Stadium, 1:00 p.m.

    Arizona State begins defending its 1996 Pac-10 championship with its first conference game of the season at Oregon State this Saturday, Sept. 27 at Parker Stadium in Corallis, Ore. The Sun Devils suffered their first regular-season defeat since 1995 at the hands of BYU to fall to 2-1 heading into the Pac-10 season. Oregon State opened its conference schedule last week with a narrow 27-24 loss to Stanford in Corvallis. The Beavers are 1-1 overall with a win at home against North Texas to begin the season.

    Jeremy Staat
    Rush Tackle Jeremy Staat

    Series Summary: Arizona State leads the all-time series 16-7-1. The Sun Devils have won three straight and 17 of the last 19 contests between the two schools. In Corvallis, ASU holds a 5-3-1 edge and won in the Pacific Northwest last year, 29-14. As a conference foe since 1978, ASU is 14-1-1 against the Beavers. ASU head coach Bruce Snyder is 5-3 against OSU (4-1 with ASU) and 2-2 in Corvallis (1-1 with ASU).

    Over the Air: KTVK-TV Channel 3 will televise the game on a delayed basis at 10:35 p.m. back to Arizona. Time Healey and Dan Manucci will be on the call. KMVP (860 AM) is the flagship station for the Sun Devil radio network. Tom Dillon, the Arizona Sportscaster-of-the-Year 16 years running (1981-96), and the voice of the Sun Devils since 1979, once again will handle the play-by-play duties. Former Sun Devil QB and 1987 Rose Bowl MVP Jeff Van Raaphorst (1983-86) returns for his second season as the color analyst. KMVP has teamed with AudioNet to provide all Sun Devil radio broadcasts on the internet. Each broadcast can be accessed at www.audionet.com/schools/asu.

    The Polls: ASU is ranked 25th in the latest AP poll and 23rd in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll. The Sun Devils fell 11 spots with the media and six in the coaches poll after the BYU loss. Oregon State is not ranked.

    Defending the Title: 1997 marks the second time Arizona State has defended a Pac-10 championship in the 19 years the Sun Devils have been a member of the league. The Sun Devils captured their first Pac-10 title in 1986 and followed up with a 7-4-1 season in 1987 that included a trip to the Freedom Bowl, ASU's last bowl appearance before last year. ASU has totaled 16 conference championships, picking up seven each as a member of the Border Conference and WAC. In its 15 previous title defenses, ASU has repeated as champion five times - winning back-to-back Border crowns in 1939-40 and picking up five straight trophies from 1969-73 in the WAC. On average, ASU has won 7.4 games the year after a conference crown.

    Defensive Stand: ASU's defense has given up a total of 29 points and two touchdowns in 1997. After reserves gave up one late touchdown to New Mexico State, ASU held Miami's offense to two field goals and no TDs (Miami's lone touchdown came from its defense). That was the first time Miami's offense had been held without an offensive touchdown in the Orange Bowl since 1984. While giving up yardage against BYU, ASU stiffened when it came to points, limiting the Cougars to two field goals and a touchdown. BYU's 13 points was the fewest it has scored in 25 games. Defending the run is priority one as ASU has given up only 91.3 rushing yards per game. Only three ASU defenses since 1946 have allowed less than 100 yards per game: 1968 (57.0 ypg), 1967 (79.8 ypg) and 1978 (97.6).

        ASU's Defense Game-by-Game
        Opp.           Rush Yds. Pass Yds. Total   Pts.
        New Mexico St.   107        91      198     10
        at Miami          68       220      288     *6
        BYU               99       328      427     13
        Totals           274       639      913     29 
         (PG)          (91.3)    (213.0)  (304.3)  (9.7)
        *Miami's defense scored 6 points

    The Year After: Four of the 10 previous Pac-10 champions went on to repeat the following year. USC and Washington each won or shared three consecutive titles, the Trojans from 1987-89 and the Huskies from 1990-92. A look back at how the champion(s) have fared the following year:

        Year    Champion    Next Year
        1986    ASU         7-4-1, 4th
        1987    USC         10-2, 1st
                UCLA        10-2, 2nd
        1988    USC         9-2-1, 1st
        1989    USC         8-4-1, 2nd
        1990    Washington  12-0, 1st
        1991    Washington  9-3, 1st
        1992    Washington  7-4, ineligible
                Stanford    4-7, 7th
        1993    UCLA        5-6, 5th
                Arizona     8-4, 2nd
                USC         8-3-1, 2nd
        1994    Oregon      9-3, 3rd
        1995    USC         6-6, 5th
                Washington  9-3, 2nd

    Big Wins: In the past two seasons, ASU has defeated some of the most storied football programs in college football. In their last 14 games, the Sun Devils have defeated Washington, Nebraska, USC and Miami. Those four programs have combined for 2,385 wins, 118 bowl appearances and 17 national championships, having won or shared 11 national titles since 1970. Heading into this season, the ASU football program ranked 17th on the all-time winning percentage list, winning 62.9 percent of their games in 85 seasons.

    On the Road Again: Arizona State has won seven straight road games with its last loss on the road coming in 1995 at Southern California. Under Bruce Snyder, the Sun Devils are 12-13 away from home. Four of ASU's first seven games are on the road this season where as last year the Sun Devils didn't venture away from Tempe until the sixth game of the season. ASU's seven-game road winning streak is the third-longest string in school history:

        Streak  Years     Streak  Years
          10    1955-57      7    1995-present
           8    1969-71      6    1972-73

    Last Time Out: ASU stumbled in its final nonconference game of the year, losing 13-10 to BYU. The loss broke the Sun Devils 13-game regular-season winning streak and stopped an eight-game string of home wins. BYU broke a 10-10 tie with the game's only second-half points, a 32-yard field goal by Owen Pochman. The Cougars were led by the 112 yards rushing of Brian McKenzie, the 328 yards passing of Kevin Feterik and the 219 yards receiving of Ben Cahoon. The Sun Devils couldn't find a consistent offensive attack that wasn't interupted by critical penalties. ASU, who was averaging 253.5 yards rushing coming into the game, managed only 92 yards on the ground and 245 yards of total offense. It was the fewest points allowed by ASU in a loss since a 13-6 defeat against USC in 1990.

    On Deck: ASU travels to Seattle to face 10th-ranked and Pac-10 favorite Washington in the Huskies Pac-10 opener. The 3:30 p.m. game will be televised by Fox Sports Net.

    Triple Threat: Arizona State has three quality tailbacks and along with fullback Jeff Paulk may have one of the most dangerous backfields in the nation. Starter Michael Martin and backup J.R. Redmond each rushed for over 100 yards against Miami, equaling Terry Battle and Jeff Paulk's feat last year. ASU's tailbacks go three deep with Marlon Farlow who rushed for 64 yards in ASU's season opener, including a career-high 36-yard run, and is averaging 7.2 yards per carry.

    Michael Martin
    Michael Martin

    Martin Returns: Senior tailback Michael Martin has returned from a season-ending neck injury he suffered in the UCLA game (6th of the year) last season. He took his place in the Sun Devil starting lineup against New Mexico State and rushed for 64 yards and one touchdown on 15 carries and followed that up with his second career 100-yard game against Miami. Martin in the starting lineup is a good sign for ASU as the Sun Devils are 11-1 with Martin in the starting lineup. A preseason Doak Walker Award nominee, Martin has rushed for over 889 yards in 11 starts during his Sun Devil career and is averaging 77.6 yards per start.

        Martin Game-By-Game When Starting
        Team              Att. Yds. Avg. TD
        BYU ('95)          24   78  3.3   0
        Oregon ('95)       21   79  3.8   2
        UCLA ('95)         25   90  3.6   1
        Washington ('96)   20   92  4.6   1
        N. Texas ('96)     14   62  4.4   0
        Nebraska ('96)     26   77  3.0   0
        Oregon ('96)       23  161  6.4   0
        Boise State ('96)   8   79  9.9   0
        UCLA ('96)          2    4  2.0   0 (injured)
        New Mexico St.     15   64  4.3   1
        Miami              26  103  4.0   0
        BYU                16   43  2.7   1
        Total             220  932  4.2   6

    J.R.: Three games into the 1997 season, J.R. Redmond is turning heads both on and off the field. The sophomore tailback is 15th in the nation with 115.7 yards rushing per game and first in the nation with 233.0 all-purpose yards per game. He leads the team in rushing, punt returns, kickoff returns and is fourth on the team with six catches. Redmond's big-play ability has been evident as he has already reeled off runs of 50 and 93 yards. His 93-yard touchdown against New Mexico State tied the fifth-longest run from scrimmage in ASU history and earned Redmond the AT&T Long Distance Run of the Week award. Redmond is also leaving defenders behind on special teams as he is averaging 13.9 yards per punt return and 21.8 yards per kick return.

        Redmond Game-by-Game Rushing
        Game                No. Yds.  Avg  TD
        New Mexico State    10  176  17.6   1
        at Miami            12  105   8.8   1
        BYU                 17   66   3.9   0
        Totals              35  347   9.9   2
        Redmond Game-by-Game All Purpose             Per    Per
        Game         Rush   Rec.    Punts    KO     Total   Touch  Game
        NMSU        10-176  1-13    3-18    2-57    16-264  16.5
        at Miami    12-105  5-46    2-53    3-49    22-253  12.1
        BYU         17-66   0-0     2-26    4-90    23-182   7.9
        Totals      35-347  6-59    7-97    9-196   61-699  11.5   233.0
        Top Five Runs in ASU history
        1. 99 yds., Max Anderson, vs. Wyoming, 1967 (TD)
        2. 98 yds., Mark Malone, vs. Utah State, 1979 (TD)
        3. 97 yds., Art Malone, vs. Utah, 1968 (TD)
        4. 94 yds.  Hascall Henshaw, vs. Case Western Reserve, 1940 (TD)
        5. 93 yds., J.R. Redmond, vs. New Mexico St. , 1997 (TD)
                    Tom Dekellis, vs. Whittier, 1938 (TD)

    Kealy at the Helm: Redshirt freshman Ryan Kealy won a battle with junior Steve Campbell for the starting QB job in fall camp. Since taking the reigns of ASU's offense, Kealy has showed the poise and promise that earned him the job. After three games, Kealy has posted a 118.26 efficiency rating, completed 55.4 percent of his passes for 499 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.

        Kealy Game-by-Game Passing
        Opp.                Att. Comp. Int. Pct.  Yds. TD   Lg.
        New Mexico State    19    11    0   57.9  107   1   23
        at Miami            26    18    1   69.2  239   1   40
        BYU                 29    12    0   41.4  153   0   36
        Totals              74    41    1   55.4  499   2   40

    First-Year QBs: As Ryan Kealy takes the helm of the Sun Devil offense, here's a look at how the last four regular ASU QBs did their first year in a starting role:

        Name, Year           G/GS  Att. Comp. Yds. TD Int. Pct.
        Jake Plummer, 1993   9/6   199  102  1,650  9  7  .513
        Grady Benton, 1992  10/8   225  149  1,707  8  9  .662
        Brett Powers, 1991   8/8   234  127  1,500  8 11  .543
        Paul Justin, 1988    8/5   150   84  1,063  5  2  .560

    High School Connection: When freshmen Ryan Kealy and Tariq McDonald hooked up for a four-yard touchdown pass in ASU's season-opener, it was the first TD both were involved in as Sun Devils. However, it wasn't the first time the two produced six points. As seniors at Phoenix's St. Mary's High School, Kealy hit McDonald for touchdowns 22 times en route to a state championship. Kealy passed for 2,682 yards and 41 TDs his senior season while McDonald was his favorite target, catching 75 balls for 1,192 yards.

    Tillman for Butkus: Senior outside linebacker Pat Tillman is one of 52 collegiate linebacker's to be named to the Butkus Award watch list. The list will be trimmed to 10 semifinalists on October 16 and three finalists November 13. The winner will be announced Saturday, December 13. Tillman, a second-team All-Pac-10 performer in 1996, was second on the team in tackles last year with 91. He leads the team with 23 stops in ASU's first three games including one sack and three tackles for loss.

        Tillman Game-by-Game Tackles
        Opp.               UA   AT  Total TFL-Yds.
        New Mexico State    1    3    4     1-2
        at Miami            3    4    7     0-0
        BYU                 5    7   12     2-12
        Totals              9   14   23     3-14

    Streaks: ASU has been on a roll of late. The Sun Devils won four of their final five games in 1995, put together an 11-1 record in '96 and have come out of the gate with two wins in three games for 1997.

  • ASU has won 17 of its last 20 games, including 13 of 14 regular-season contests.
  • ASU has won eight of nine and 10 of its last 12 home games.
  • ASU has won seven straight road games. Its last road loss: Sept. 30, 1995, 31-0 at USC.
  • ASU has won eight straight and 11 of its last 12 Pac-10 games. Its last conference loss: Nov. 24, 1995, 31-28 vs. Arizona.
  • Snyder Climbs ASU Coaching Charts: Head coach Bruce Snyder is in his sixth season at ASU and he needs four wins to become the second-winningest coach in ASU history. Snyder would overtake Darryl Rogers, who won 37 games in five seasons during the early '80's. With 11 victories in 1996, Snyder surpassed Larry Marmie, Dixie Howell, Aaron McCreary, Ed Doherty, John Cooper and Dan Devine on ASU's all-time win chart. Snyder's sixth year of service makes him only the fourth coach at ASU to have a tenure of more than five seasons. Frank Kush's 22 seasons and 176 wins are the most in Sun Devil history while McCreary (7 seasons, 1923-29) and ASU's first football coach, Fred Irish (8 seasons), each stayed longer than a half-decade.

        Coach           Years           Record
        Frank Kush      1958-79        176-54-1
        Darryl Rogers   1980-84         37-18-1
        Bruce Snyder    1992-Present    34-25-0
        Dan Devine      1955-57          27-3-1

    Maroon Zone: Here's the numbers on how ASU's offense and defense have done inside the 20-yard line.

                        ASU  Pct.   Opponents    Pct.
        Inside 20        10  ---        8        ---
        Scored            9 .900        5       .625
        TD                6 .600        1       .125
        FG                3 .300        4       .500
        Turnover          1             1   
        Blocked FG        0             1   
        End of half/game  0             1

    Special Teams: Here's some numbers pertaining to ASU's special teams:

             Kickoffs   Ret.  Avg. Against  TB  Avg. Opp. Starting Point
        ASU     17      10      17.4         6      23.6
        Opp.    11      10      20.5         1      26.4
             Punts  Ret  Avg. Against  FC  Downed  *-20  *-10 TB
        ASU     19  14       0.9        1    2       1    0    2
        Opp.    19   7      13.9        5    5       5    1    2
        *fair caught or downed (includes kicked out of bounds) inside 20/10

    Automatic: Senior placekicker Robert Nycz has connected on 73 straight extra points and 99 of 100 in his career. Only a blocked attempt at California in 1995 has prevented him from being perfect. Nycz is also reliable when kicking for three points as he has split the uprights on seven straight field goal attempts (including the 1997 Rose Bowl). He has connected on 28 of 38 (.737) career field goal attempts. He is 19 of 22 from inside 40 yards and 9 of 14 beyond 40. Nycz, a Lou Groza Award semifinalist a year ago and once again a candidate this year, is perfect this year, hitting 6 of 6 field goal attempts and all eight PATs.

    Nycz Career Stats
    Yr.     FGA  FGM  Pct. Long XPA XPM  Pct.  Pts.
    1995    16   11  .690   48   32  31  .969   64  
    1996    16   11  .690   46   60  60 1.000   93
    1997     6    6 1.000   44    8   8 1.000   26
    Career  38   28  .737   48  100  99  .990  183
    Yr.      G  20-29  30-39  40-49   50+  Long
    1995    11   4/4    3/4    4/6    0/2   48
    1996    11   5/5    3/5    3/6    0/0   46
    1997     3   2/2    2/2    2/2    0/0   42
    Career  25  11/11  8/11    9/14   0/2   48

    Block That Kick: Arizona State has showed a knack for putting a paw on opposing kicks. The Sun Devils have blocked a kick (punt, FG or PAT) in four of their last five games dating back to last year. ASU has blocked a field goal and extra point this season after blocking six kicks a year ago.

    Turnover Edge: In its last 20 games (dating back to 1995), ASU has a turnover ratio of +23 (48-25). In that span, ASU has accumulated 18 INTs and 30 fumble recoveries while opponents have registered 14 interceptions and 11 recoveries. ASU is 17-3 during the stretch.

    Sure Hands: A big reason for ASU's turnover advantage over the last 20 games has been the sure-handed play of its running backs. Sun Devil running backs have lost only two fumbles on a rushing play since the start of the 1995 season, a span of 26 games. That's two fumbles lost in 1,218 rushing attempts.

    Capitalizing: ASU holds a 6-5 turnover edge in 1997. ASU has converted turnovers into points 50 percent of the time while its opponents have scored off of turnovers three times:

        Turnovers Resulting In ...
        ASU                 Opponents
         6  Opp. Turnovers     5
        17      Points        12
         2      TD             1
         1      FG             2    
         3      Punt           1
         0      MFG            1

    ASU in the Polls: Here's a look at ASU's path in both major polls in 1997:

        Date        AP  ESPN/USA Today
        Preseason   --      --
        Aug. 31     --      --
        Sept. 7     24      --
        Sept. 14    14      17
        Sept. 21    25      23

    Youth is Served: Thirteen of ASU's 22 opening day starters were underclassmen (juniors or younger) including nine on offense. Three starters, QB Ryan Kealy, RG Victor Leyva and LB Stephen Trejo, were redshirt freshmen.

    A Game of Firsts: After losing 12 starters off of last year's squad, ASU's season-opener against New Mexico State saw a lot of firsts for many of those trying to replace them. Twenty-four players saw their first action, and 10 started for the first time. A look at who did what for the first time:

        First Appearance    First Start
        Ryan Kealy          Ryan Kealy, QB
        Victor Leyva        Victory Leyva, RG
        Stepehen Trejo      Troy Davis, RT
        Darrin Ransom       Darrin Ransom, FB
        J'Juan Cherry       Kenny Mitchell, WR
        Brian Forth         Jeremy Staat, RDT
        Jamel Ready         Hamilton Mee, RE
        Chad Brown          Stephen Trejo, ILB
        Christon Rance      Paul Reynolds, ILB
        Adam Archuleta      Phillip Brown, FS
        Mark Polchow    
        Jeff Boyer          First Touchdown
        Joe Cesta           Darrin Ransom
        Terrelle Smith      Tariq McDonald
        Korey Ramsay    
        Marvel Smith        First TD Pass
        Jeff Johannesen     Ryan Kealy
        Tariq McDonald      Steve Campbell
        Brian Jennings  
        Matt Cercone        First Reception
        Jason Moore         Tariq McDonald (TD)
        Che Britton 
        Quincy Yancy

    Pac-10 Poll: Arizona State has been picked to finish fifth in the Pac-10 in a pre-season poll of West Coast media members that regularly cover the league. Washington received 28 of 31 first-place votes to be tabbed as the favorite for 1997. The complete poll:

        1. Washington (28)  306      6. Arizona 151
        2. Stanford (3) 263          7. Washington St.  142
        3. USC  228                  8. Oregon  114
        4. UCLA 217                  9. California  74
        5. Arizona St. 175          10. Oregon St.  35

    Sizing up the Schedule: ASU's 1997 schedule was ranked the 10th-toughest in the nation in an NCAA preseason survey. In addition to the always tough Pac-10 slate, the Sun Devils have added nonconference foes Miami, BYU and New Mexico State. Five of the Sun Devil opponents went to bowls a year ago: Miami (Carquest), BYU (Cotton), Washington (Holiday), Stanford (Sun) and California (Aloha). The Sun Devils face all but BYU on the road. ASU's 11 opponents combined for a 70-60 mark last season while only two won less than five games. Four of ASU's first seven games are on the road this season which is in stark contrast to a year ago when the Sun Devils' first five games were in Tempe. On the flip side, ASU finishes up with three of its final four games at home.

    Preseason Pundits: As ASU heads into the 1997 season, the preseason college football annuals rank the Sun Devils anywhere from 12th to 35th in the nation while selecting ASU to finish somewhere between third and sixth in defense of its Pac-10 title. Below is a list of various preseason magazine and internet predictions for ASU:

                        ASU in Nation   ASU in Pac-10   
        Lindy's             20th            3rd 
        Preview Sports      18th            6th
        Athlon              35th            5th
        The Sporting News   33rd            5th
        Street & Smith's    17th            3rd 
        Blitz               26th    
        College Sports News 12th    
        Fans Only           25th

    Pac-10 All-Academic History: Arizona State ranks among the top four football programs in the conference in terms of receiving All-Academic recognition each season. Over the last eight years, only Stanford, Oregon and Washington have had more football players honored for their performance on and off the field. Below is a chart of the number of Pac-10 All-Academic players for each school from 1989-96.

        School          *Pac-10 All-Academic Players
        Stanford                73
        Oregon                  49
        Washington              43
        Arizona State           36
        Oregon State            36
        USC                     30
        Washington State        29
        UCLA                    28
        California              25
        Arizona                 24
        *since 1989

    Academic All-America: The College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) has been selecting Academic All-Americans for more than 30 years in all sports. In the Pac-10, Arizona State has been among the all-time leaders in student-athletes honored academically on a national scale, maintaining a 3.2 GPA or higher. Here's how ASU ranks in the Pac-10:

        School      CoSIDA All-Americans
        UCLA                70
        Stanford            59
        Arizona             46
        Arizona State       34
        USC                 33
        Oregon              31
        Oregon State        26
        California          21
        Washington          21
        Washington State    21

    Home Field Advantage: Sun Devil Stadium has provided ASU with a significant home field edge since its inception in 1958. Arizona State is 194-63-3 (.752) all-time in Sun Devil Stadium and 6-1 since the playing surface was dedicated as Frank Kush Field. ASU was undefeated at home in 1996 and drew four of the six largest crowds in ASU history, including a record 74,963 to the Rose Bowl-clinching win over California. ASU drew an average of 63,884 to seven home games in 1996, a jump of 15,003 from the previous season - the largest increase in the nation.

    Mirror Image: A comparison of Bruce Snyder's five seasons at Cal and his first five seasons at ASU reveals striking similarities. Snyder's record during his five years (1987-91) at California was 29-24-4 (.544) while his record after five years at ASU stood at 32-24 (.571).

        At California               At Arizona State
        Year    Record  Bowl        Year    Record  Bowl
        1987     3-6-2              1992     6-5
        1988     5-5-1              1993     6-5
        1989     4-7-0              1994     3-8
        1990     7-4-1  Copper      1995     6-5
        1991    10-2-0  Citrus      1996    11-1    Rose
        Totals  29-24-4             Totals  32-24

    1996 in Review: ASU finished last season ranked fourth in both major polls after going 11-1 and 8-0 in the Pac-10, winning its second Pac-10 title. The Sun Devils completed an undefeated regular season, the fourth in ASU history, before falling to Ohio State in the Rose Bowl. Sun Devil QB Jake Plummer, OT Juan Roque, TB Terry Battle and DE Derrick Rodgers each received All-America recognition as Roque was a consensus pick and Plummer finished third in the Heisman Trophy balloting. Head coach Bruce Snyder was the consensus choice for National Coach of the Year, winning 14 of a possible 16 awards, and earned his second Pac-10 Coach of the Year honor.

    #11 Hangs Forever: Danny White's joined his father, Wilford "Whizzer" White, and Bobby Mulgado as the only Sun Devils to have their jersey retired during halftime of the BYU game. Danny played at ASU from 1971-73 and was the Sun Devils starting QB each year, compiling a three-year record of 31-4 leading his team to three straight WAC titles and three Fiesta Bowl wins. A charter member of ASU's Hall of Fame, White played 13 seasons for the Dallas Cowboys and was a member of their Super Bowl XII Championship team. White is currently head coach and general manager of the Arizona Rattlers where he has won two Arena Bowl titles, including the 1997 crown.

    Hall of Fame Year: Former Sun Devils Danny White and Mike Haynes each are receiving Hall of Fame recognition in 1997. White, ASU's starting QB from 1971-73, was elected into the College Football Hall of Fame in January, becoming the first Sun Devil player to ever receive that honor. Haynes, a Sun Devil from 1972-75, became the third (John Henry Johnson, Charley Taylor) ASU player inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame during a July ceremony.

    Returning Honorees: Five Sun Devils return from seasons that earned them All-Pac-10 recognition a year ago (listed below). However, ASU will have to attempt to fill the shoes of 11 others who earned Pac-10 accolades, including five first-team performers.

        Name, Pos.          1996 Pac-10 Honor
        Kyle Murphy, LG     2nd team
        Pat Tillman, OLB    2nd team
        Robert Nycz, PK     honorable mention
        Grey Ruegamer, RT   honorable mention
        Jason Simmons, CB   honorable mention

    Leader of the Pac: Arizona State's undefeated march to the Pac-10 championship a year ago was dominating, as evidenced by the fact ASU led the conference in all but one major statistical category. The Sun Devils' rushing offense, total offense, scoring offense, rushing defense, pass efficiency defense, total defense and scoring defense were each ranked No.1 in the Pac-10. Only ASU's passing offense failed to lead the league, ranking fifth. Here's a look inside the numbers:

        Category                Score (Rank in Pac-10, margin)
        Rushing Offense         248.5 ypg (1st, + 18.5)
        Passing Offense         243.9 ypg (5th)
        Total Offense           492.5 ypg (1st, + 34.9)
        Scoring Offense          42.8 ppg (1st, + 8.4)
        Rushing Defense          98.0 ypg (1st, + 5.0)
        Pass Efficiency Defense 104.15 rating (1st, + 2.66)
        Total Defense           304.7 ypg (1st, + 16.1 ypg)
        Scoring Defense         17.8 ppg (1st, + 2.3 ppg)

    Worst-to-First: After ranking last in the Pac-10 in defense in 1995, ASU's climb to the top of the conference chart was the first time in Pac-10 history a school has gone from worst-to-first in one season. ASU's top-notch defense marked the fourth time ASU has paced the league, but the first time since 1983.

    Draft Success: Arizona State had eight football players selected in the 1997 NFL Draft, tied for the most in the nation with Miami and Nebraska (see chart below). In addition, ASU had six other players sign free agent contracts, giving it 14 players in NFL camps in 1997 from its 1996 squad. To break it down, of ASU's 22 starters on New Year's Day in the Rose Bowl, 11 (6 defensive, 5 offensive) are now in the NFL with the Sun Devils first string punter and two reserves joining them in the professional ranks.

            Team            Players Drafted
        1.  ASU                 8
            Miami
            Nebraska
        4.  Florida State       7
            Ohio State
        6.  Colorado State      6
            Texas
            Virginia

    In the NFL: Arizona State has 24 former players currently on NFL rosters including nine players from last year's squad. Terry Battle (Lions), Steve Bush (Bengals), Jake Plummer (Cardinals), Keith Poole (Saints), Derrick Rodgers (Dolphins), Juan Roque (Lions), Derek Smith (Redskins) and Scott Von der Ahe (Colts) all played for Snyder a year ago and are now in the NFL ranks.

    Bowl Lineup: The top four finishers in the Pac-10 race are once again guaranteed bowl games following the season. A look at where, when and against whom the Pac-10 will go bowling after the '97 season:

        Bowl    Site        Date        TV      Matchup
        Aloha   Honolulu    Dec. 25     ABC     Pac-10 #4 vs. Big 12 #5
        Holiday San Diego   Dec. 29     ESPN    WAC #1/Pac-10 #2 vs. Big 12 #3
        Sun     El Paso     Dec. 31     CBS     Pac-10 #3 vs. Big Ten #5
        Cotton  Dallas      Jan. 1      CBS     Big 12 #2 vs. WAC #1/ Pac-10 #2
        Rose    Pasadena    Jan. 1      ABC     Pac-10 #1 vs. Big Ten #1

    Three Dot Data: ASU's 10 points against BYU was its fewest since a 31-0 loss to USC on Sept. 30, 1995 and its fewest at home since a 47-10 loss to Miami on Sept. 10, 1994 ... TE Kendrick Bates' team-high five catches against BYU was a career best ... ASU's 92 yards rushing against the Cougars was its fewest since Sept. 2, 1995, when ASU ran for 66 at Washington ... ASU has lost four fumbles this season after losing just five in 1996 ... when Michael Martin and J.R. Redmond each ran for over 100 yards against Miami, it was the first time since 1979 that the Hurricanes had allowed two rushers to do that in the same game ... the 23-12 win at Miami was the Hurricanes first loss in a home-opener since 1985 (Florida) ... the Hurricanes offense was held without a touchdown, the first time that has happened in the Orange Bowl since 1984 (Florida State) ... TB Marlon Farlow established a career high with a 36-yard run against New Mexico State ... TB J.R. Redmond's 176 yards rushing against New Mexico State was a career high ... Michael Martin's 26 carries against Miami is a career high ... prior to Farlow and Redmond each gaining 100 yards against Miami, the last time two backs rushed for 100+ yards each was last year when Terry Battle and Jeff Paulk did it against Oregon State ... Redmond's five catches against Miami was a career high ... TE Kendrick Bates' 28-yard catch vs. Miami was a career high ... WR Kenny Mitchell's 40-yard catch that led to ASU's game-clinching score at Miami was a career high ... PK Robert Nycz's three field goals at Miami tied a career high.

    Bits & Bites: Butkus Award candidate Pat Tillman enjoys rock climbing and snow/water skiing ... OG Kyle Murphy plans on a career in sports journalism ... Lou Groza Award candidate Robert Nycz's father was a linebacker at Dartmouth .... DL Vince Amey hit a grand slam in high school ... former NBA star Sidney Moncreif is a relative of DT Albrey Battle ... the 6-3, 289-pound Battle can slam dunk a basketball ... WR Ricky Boyer's uncle, Tim Boyer, played football at San Diego State and in the WFL ... TB J.R. Redmond ran a 21.9 200-meter dash without practicing ... SS Damien Richardson was nominated and appointed to the U.S. Air Force Academy before choosing ASU ... with a major in bioengineering, Richardson's summer job required him to determine why accidents with appliances happened ... OT Grey Ruegamer's uncle, Bob Frisbee, played football at the University of Minnesota and for the Minnesota Vikings ... OL Mike Barnes aspires to be an athletic trainer ... Barnes' father played football and ran track at Chico State ... S Phillip Brown's uncle, Donald Smith, played for the Green Bay Packers ... QB Steve Campbell's father was a four-time football letterman at Northern Arizona University ... CB J'Juan Cherry has a family lineage that includes his brother, Jerod, who was a defensive back at California; a cousin, Khalid Shabazz, who currently plays in the backfield at Cal; a cousin, Kwame Ellis, who is a defensive back at Stanford; and an uncle, Deron Cherry, played 11 seasons for the Kansas City Chiefs ... CB Kareem Clark's cousin is former Houston Oiler Earl Campbell ... DL Leroy Hawkins is contemplating a career in the FBI ... ... Center Randy Leaphart's brother, Robert, lettered at Washington and played in the 1982 Rose Bowl ... WR Tariq McDonald's father, a semifinalist at the 1980 and 1984 Olympic trials in the 400m and 200m, was a member of the Phoenix Junior College 4x100 and 4x400 national championship team ... DL Hamilton Mee has a twin brother, Harrison, and twin sisters, Kim and Kelly ... RE Terelle Smith has eight brothers/sisters and has a black belt in karate ... FB Kevin Tommasini is one of seven kids ... Tommasini's father played football at Oregon ... LB Stephen Trejo is one of nine kids.

    National Radio: Three Sun Devil games are slated for national radio broadcasts. Those three games are:

        Date        Game        Radio Network
        Sept. 20    BYU         Airspace Communications
        Oct. 11     USC         Mutual
        Nov. 28     Arizona     Mutual

    On the Tube: Six of ASU's 11 games are already scheduled for live television with the possibility of more games being added to the TV lineup as the season moves along. Games already scheduled this season include:

        Date        Game                TV
        Sept. 6     New Mexico St.      KTVK-TV
        Sept. 13    at Miami            CBS (65% of nation)
        Sept. 20    BYU                 Fox Sports Net (national)
        Oct. 4      at Washington       Fox Sports Net (national)
        Nov. 1      Washington State    Fox Sports Net (national)
        Nov. 28     Arizona             Fox Sports Net (national)

    Home Page: ASU, in partnership with University Netcasting, launched its brand new official home page on the world wide web. The latest news, results and statistics can be found at www.TheSunDevils.com.

    Weekly Press Conference: Bruce Snyder holds a weekly press conference every Monday prior to scheduled football games. The press conference is held at noon in the fifth-floor conference room at the ICA Building. Every effort will be made to arrange a teleconference with the opposing head coach and if possible, players will also be available.

    Faxback: The Pac-10 offers a faxback service for the media to obtain releases, results and statistics. To obtain the faxback phone number, please contact either the Pac-10 office or ASU media relations. ASU Football's codes are:

  • Release 111050
  • Notes/Depth Chart Only 111051
  • Stats Only 111052
  • Latest Game Stats 111053
  • Latest Game Book 111054
  • Schedule/Scoreboard 111055
  • Roster 111056
  • Satellite Feed: The Pac-10 provides a weekly satellite feed featuring interviews with coaches and selected players regarding upcoming games along with highlight footage. The half hour feed airs every Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. PDT through Nov. 26. Coordinates for the feed are Telestar 5, Transponder 23 (C-Band). Trouble numbers: Master Control 310-286-3800 or Erin Heiny at 510-932-4411.

    Pac-10 Teleconference: Every-other Tuesday beginning September 16, each head coach in the Pac-10 conference will be available for 10 minutes in a teleconference. Taped replays of the teleconference will also be available. The schedule is listed below. For the teleconference telephone number please contact the Pac-10 or Arizona State media relations.

        Days                Call Schedule (Pacific Time)
        Tue., Sept. 16      9:30 a.m.   Moderator opens call
        Tue., Sept. 30      9:35 a.m.   Mike Riley - Oregon State
        Tue., Oct. 14       9:45 a.m.   John Robinson - USC
        Tue. Oct. 28        9:55 a.m.   Tyrone Willingham - Stanford
        Tue., Nov. 11       10:05 a.m.  Tom Holmoe - California
                            10:15 a.m.  Dick Tomey -  Arizona
                            10:25 a.m.  Mike Price - Washington St.
                            10:35 a.m.  Bruce Snyder - ASU
                            10:45 a.m.  Mike Bellotti - Oregon
                            10:55 a.m.  Bob Toledo - UCLA
                            11:05 a.m.  Jim Lambright - Washington

    The Bruce Snyder Show: KTVK-TV/NewsChannel 3, the exclusive television station of Arizona State athletics, is also the home of "The Bruce Snyder Show," each Saturday of the ASU football schedule. Snyder will join host Tim Healey to provide in-depth coverage of ASU football. The show airs at noon each Saturday the Sun Devils play.

    Snyder on the Radio: Bruce Snyder joins KMVP host Brad Cesmat for a weekly call-in show on the Sun Devils' flagship radio station. "Talk To The Coach" airs each Tuesday from 6:45 - 7:15 p.m.

    Radio Network: KMVP (860 AM) is the flagship station of the ASU Radio Network which includes:

        Station         City
        KTAR (620 AM)   Phoenix
        KAAA (1230 AM)  Kingman
        KATO (1230 AM)  Safford
        KDJI (1270 AM)  Holbrook
        KIKO (106.1 FM) Globe/Miami
        KTUC (1400 AM)  Tucson
        KVWM (970 AM)   Show Low
        KYBC (1600 AM)  Cottonwood
        KYCA (1490 AM)  Prescott

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