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Sept. 28, 1997

Sun Devils and Huskies Square Off in Seattle

  • #25 Arizona State Sun Devils (3-1, 1-0) at #10 Washington Huskies (2-1, 0-0)
  • Oct. 4, Husky Stadium, 3:30 p.m., Fox Sports Net

Arizona State takes to the road for its second consecutive Pac-10 game in the Pacific Northwest. The Sun Devils face Washington this Saturday, October 4 in Husky Stadium at 3:30 p.m. ASU will look for its 10th straight conference win and ninth straight road win. ASU started its conference season last week with a 13-10 win at Oregon State to run its overall record to 3-1. The Huskies, who finished second in the Pac-10 to ASU a year ago, had an idle week following a 27-13 loss to Nebraska.

J'Juan Cherry
Defensive Back J'Juan Cherry

Series Summary: Arizona State trails in the all-time series, 7-11. Washington has won seven of the last 10 meetings and three straight in Seattle. ASU's last win in the Emerald City came in 1989 as ASU is 2-6 in its visits to Husky Stadium. ASU head coach Bruce Snyder is 2-7 lifetime against the Huskies, 2-3 with ASU. Snyder has never won in four trips to Seattle. In the last two meetings, the combined score is 65-65 with each team earning a win.

Championship Tilt: It may have been the first game of the season, but ASU's 45-42 win over Washington last year proved to be the deciding game for a trip to the Rose Bowl. ASU went on to an undefeated regular season while UW didn't lose another conference game in 1996, finishing second to the Sun Devils. A wild second half saw ASU trailing 21-14 early in the third quarter. Foreshadowing a miraculous season, ASU scored 28 unanswered points to take a 42-21 lead. However, Washington came back behind the arm of Brock Huard to tie the score at 42. After 84 points and 760 yards of offense, Robert Nycz drilled a 38-yard field goal with two seconds remaining to give ASU the win and eventually a Rose Bowl berth.

Over the Air: Fox Sports Net will televise the game to a national television audience. Barry Tompkins and Tom Ramsay will handle the call with Carol Lewis on the sidelines. 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 22nd in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll. The Sun Devils have been ranked as high as 14 in the AP and 17 in the coaches poll this year. Washington is currently ranked 10th in the AP poll and 11th in the coaches poll.

Defensive Stand: ASU's defense has given up a total of 32 points and two touchdowns after four games in 1997. Only New Mexico State and BYU scored offensive touchdowns against the Sun Devil defense (both Miami and Oregon State's defenses scored TDs). ASU's defense ranks 10th in the nation against the run, 11th against the pass and ninth in giving up points. ASU's starting defensive unit has allowed just one TD, against BYU. Miami's offensive drought was the first time the Hurricanes had been held without an offensive touchdown in the Orange Bowl since 1984. 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 73.5 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
    at Oregon St.    20         193     213     *3
    Totals          294         832    1126     *32 
    (PG)          (73.5)      (208.0)  (281.5)  (8.0)   
    *does not include points scored by opponents defenses 
    (13 total: 6 vs. Miami, 7 vs. Oregon State)

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.

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.

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

On the Road Again: Arizona State has won eight straight road games with its last loss on the road coming in 1995 at Southern California. Under Bruce Snyder, the Sun Devils are 13-13 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 eight-game road winning streak matches the second-longest string in school history:

    Streak  Years   
      10    1955-57 
       8    1995-present
       8    1969-71

Last Time Out: Arizona State overcame 14 penalties totaling 116 yards and four turnovers to defeat Oregon State in Corvallis, 13-10. ASU's defense turned in yet another stellar performance, limiting the Beavers to 213 yards of total offense: 20 on the ground. After a 10-play, 75-yard opening drive that led to seven points, ASU's offense dried up the rest of the first half. In fact, ASU's offense gave up a touchdown and set up a field goal with turnovers, enabling Oregon State to lead at halftime, 10-7. Two Robert Nycz field goals in the second half gave ASU the lead and its defense earned the win, the Sun Devils eighth straight on the road and ninth consecutive Pac-10 victory.

On Deck: ASU returns home for its only home game of the month of October, against USC. Game time is set for 3:30, but is subject to change.

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 is averaging 69 yards rushing per game while backup J.R. Redmond is 23rd in the nation with 106 rushing yards per game. ASU's tailbacks go three deep with Marlon Farlow, who rushed for 64 yards in ASU's season opener and is averaging 5.8 yards per carry.

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 12-1 with Martin in the starting lineup. A preseason Doak Walker Award nominee, Martin has rushed for 998 yards in 13 starts during his Sun Devil career and is averaging 76.7 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, broken neck)
    New Mexico St.      15   64   4.3   1
    Miami               26  103   4.0   0
    BYU                 16   43   2.7   1
    at Oregon St.       14   66   4.7   0   (injured, pinched nerve)
    Total              234  998   4.3   6

J.R.: Four games into the 1997 season, J.R. Redmond is turning heads both on and off the field. The sophomore tailback is 23rd in the nation with 106.0 yards rushing per game and seventh in the nation with 204.0 all-purpose yards per game. He leads the team in rushing, punt returns, kickoff returns and is fourth on the team with seven 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 10.9 yards per punt return and 21.7 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   5.1   0
    at Oregon St.       18   77   4.3   0
    Totals              53  424   8.0   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             13-66   0-0     2-26    4-90    19-182  9.6
    at Oregon St.   18-77   1-18    2-1     1-21    22-117  5.3
    Totals          53-424  7-77    9-98    10-217  79-816  10.3    204.0
    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 four games, Kealy has posted a 119.50 efficiency rating, completed 56.1 percent of his passes for 693 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions.

    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
    at Oregon St.       24    14    2   58.3  194   1   38
    Totals              98    55    3   56.1  693   3   40

First-Year QBs: With Ryan Kealy at 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

Lenzie Jackson
Wide Receiver Lenzie Jackson

Looking for Lenzie: Lenzie Jackson has become Ryan Kealy's favorite target as the junior wide receiver leads the team with 18 catches for 227 yards in four games. Jackson gathered six receptions in both the New Mexico State and Oregon State games. Including the Rose Bowl, Jackson has a catch in 17 straight games.

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 29 stops in ASU's first four games including two sacks and five tackles for loss. Tillman also leads the team in interceptions with two. Both came against Oregon State and gives Tillman six in his career.

    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
    at Oregon St.       5    1     6     2-15
    Totals             14   15    29     5-20

Damien on D: Senior Damien Richardson was a member of the Jim Thorpe Award "watch list" as one of the best defensive backs in college football. The safety has started 26 straight games for ASU and is one of five Sun Devils with over 20 tackles on the season. Richardson has totaled 22 tackles while breaking up one pass and forcing a fumble this season.

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 three wins in four games for 1997.

  • ASU has won 18 of its last 21 games, including 14 of 15 regular-season contests.
  • ASU has won eight of nine and 10 of its last 12 home games.
  • ASU has won eight straight road games. Its last road loss: Sept. 30, 1995, 31-0 at USC.
  • ASU has won nine straight and 12 of its last 13 Pac-10 games. Its last conference loss: Nov. 24, 1995, 31-28 vs. Arizona.
Head Coach Bruce Snyder
Head Coach Bruce Snyder

Head Coach Bruce Snyder: In his sixth season at the helm of ASU's football program ... has led the Sun Devils to 18 wins in their last 21 games ... in 1996, guided the Sun Devils to their second Pac-10 championship, fourth undefeated regular season and second Rose Bowl ... the consensus National Coach of the Year in 1996 as well as Pac-10 Coach of the Year ... compiled 6-5 records in his first, second and fourth seasons in Tempe (1992, 1993, 1995) and a 3-8 mark in 1994 ... prior to posting a 35-25 record in six years at ASU, he was 39-37-1 at Utah State (1976-81) and 29-24-4 at California (1987-91) ... guided Cal to a 10-2 mark and No. 8 ranking in 1991 as the Bears defeated ACC champ Clemson in the Citrus Bowl ... Cal had been to just one bowl since 1958 prior to Snyder guiding the Bears to two consecutive bowl wins in '90 & '91 ... led Utah State to a pair of conference titles in his seven years ... was L.A. Rams running back coach for four years (1983-86), during which he tutored Eric Dickerson as he set the NFL single-season rushing record ... served as an assistant at Oregon, New Mexico State, Utah State and USC ... Snyder earned his 100th career win in ASU's 56-14 win at Arizona last year ... prior to the Rose Bowl, signed a new contract with ASU through the year 2002.

Snyder Climbs ASU Coaching Charts: Head coach Bruce Snyder is in his sixth season at ASU and he needs three 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  35-25-0
    Dan Devine      1955-57        27-3-1

Fast Start: Arizona State has developed a habit of starting fast after it comes out of the lockeroom in 1997. ASU has outscored its opponents 20-0 in the first quarter and 31-3 in the third quarter. ASU has made its halftime adjustments well in each of the last two years as the Sun Devils outscored opponents 113-23 in the third quarter in 1996. The 113 points was the most by any Pac-10 team in the third quarter while the 23 points given up was the fewest by any Pac-10 team in any quarter.

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          14   ---         9       ---
    Scored             12   .857        6       .667
    TD                  7   .500        1       .111
    FG                  5   .214        5       .556
    Turnover            2               1   
    Blocked FG          0               1       
    End of half/game    0               1

Third Downs: Converting third downs is often dependent on how far you have to go. A look inside the numbers on ASU's and its opponents third-down efficiency:

    3rd & ...   1-5 yds.        6-10 yds.       Above 10        Total
    ASU         16/27 (.593)    6/21 (.286)     2/17 (.118)     24/65 (.369)
    Opp.         7/13 (.538)    3/24 (.125)     3/21 (.143)     13/58 (.224)

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

         Kickoffs   Ret.  Avg. Against  TB  Avg. Opp. Starting Point
    ASU     21      14        18.1       6      22.9
    Opp.    14      13        20.8       1      27.2
           Punts    Ret   Avg. Against  FC  Downed  *-20  *-10  TB
    ASU     26      16         1.9       5     3      1     0    2
    Opp.    27      10        10.6       5     9      7     2    3
    *fair caught or downed (includes kicked out of bounds)  inside 20/10

Automatic: Robert Nycz was a Lou Groza Award semifinalist a year ago and is once again a candidate this year. The senior placekicker has connected on 74 straight extra points and 100 of 101 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 eight of nine attempts this season with his only miss coming from 56 yards. He has connected on 30 of 41 (.732) career field goal attempts. He is 21 of 24 from inside 40 yards and 9 of 15 beyond 40 in his career. This year, Nycz is 8 of 9, including a perfect 8 of 8 inside 40 yards. He was named Pac-10 Special Teams Player of the Week Sept. 15 for his career-high three field goals at Miami.

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     8   9  .889    44     9    9  1.000   33
Career  41  30  .732    48   101  100   .991  190
*Nycz was also 2/2 on PATs and 1/1 on FGs (37 yds.) in the 1997 Rose Bowl
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     4   2/2     4/4     2/2    0/1   42
Career  26  11/11   10/13    9/14   0/3   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 five of their last six games (including Rose Bowl) dating back to last year. ASU has blocked two field goals and a extra point this season after blocking six kicks a year ago.

    Blocks in Last Six Games:
    Arizona         FG and punt
    Ohio State      FG
    New Mexico St.  --
    Miami           PAT
    BYU             FG
    Oregon St.      FG

Turnover Edge: In its last 21 games (dating back to 1995), ASU has a turnover ratio of +22 (51-29). In that span, ASU has accumulated 21 INTs and 30 fumble recoveries while opponents have registered 17 interceptions and 12 recoveries. ASU is 18-3 during the stretch.

Sure Hands: A big reason for ASU's turnover advantage over the last 21 games has been the sure-handed play of its running backs. Sun Devil running backs have lost only three fumbles on a rushing play since the start of the 1995 season, a span of 27 games. That's three fumbles lost in 1,270 rushing attempts. However, two of those lost fumbles have come in ASU's last three games.

Capitalizing: ASU is even with opponents in turnovers this year, at 9-9. ASU has converted turnovers into points 33 percent of the time while its opponents have scored off of turnovers five times:

    Turnovers Resulting In ...
    ASU                     Opponents
     9      Opp. Turnovers      9
    17      Points             22
     2      TD                  2
     1      FG                  3   
     3      Punt                1
     1      MFG                 1
     1      Turnover            1
     0      TO on Downs         1
     1      End of Half/Game    0

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
    Sept. 28    25      22

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.

Pac-10 Poll: Arizona State has been picked to finish fifth in the Pac-10 in a preseason 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.

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-two 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
    Stephen 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
    Christon Rance      Stephen Trejo, ILB
    Adam Archuleta      Paul Reynolds, ILB
    Mark Polchow        Phillip Brown, FS
    Jeff Boyer  
    Joe Cesta           First Touchdown
    Terrelle Smith      Darrin Ransom
    Korey Ramsay        Tariq McDonald
    Marvel Smith    
    Jeff Johannesen     First TD Pass
    Tariq McDonald      Ryan Kealy
    Brian Jennings      Steve Campbell
    Matt Cercone    
    Jason Moore         First Reception
    Che Britton         Tariq McDonald (TD)
    Quincy Yancy

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

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.

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       36
    USC                 33
    Oregon              31
    Oregon State        26
    California          21
    Washington          21
    Washington State    21

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        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. Additionally, four bowls (Las Vegas, Motor City, Independence and Humanitarian) have open slots. 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
Kendrick Bates
Tight End Kendrick Bates

Three Dot Data: LB Pat Tillman's two interceptions against Oregon State was a career high and the first time since 1991 that ASU has had a player with two picks. Adam Brass and Darren Woodson both had two INTs a piece against Cal in '91 ... TE Kendrick Bates' 38-yard catch vs. Oregon State was a career high ... 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 ... the 13 points ASU allowed to BYU in the loss was the fewest points allowed by ASU in a loss since a 13-6 defeat against USC in 1990 ... 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 five 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 Martin 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 ... 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

Here's where ASU ranks in the nation:

Individual  
Player          Category        Place   Stat
J.R. Redmond    All-Purpose      7th    204.0 ypg
J.R. Redmond    Rushing         23rd    106.0 ypg
J.R. Redmond    Punt Returns    32nd     10.9 ypr
Robert Nycz     Scoring         39th     8.25 ppg
Robert Nycz     Field Goals     t5th      2.0 fgpg
Team    Category                Place   Stat
ASU     Rushing Offense         29th    185.8 ypg
ASU     Passing Offense         65th    186.8 ypg
ASU     Total Offense           52nd    372.5 ypg
ASU     Scoring Offense         69th     21.8 ppg
ASU     Rushing Defense         10th     73.5 ypg
ASU     Pass Eff. Defense       11th     92.6
ASU     Total Defense           22nd    281.5 ypg
ASU     Scoring Defense          9th     11.3 ppg
ASU     Net Punting             16th     40.9 ypp
ASU     Punt Returns            35th     10.6 ypr
ASU     Turnover Margin         t55th    Even

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