Sept. 14, 1997
Arizona State Hosts Brigham Young
Arizona State returns home for its final nonconference game of the season against Brigham Young on Saturday, September 20 at Sun Devil Stadium/Frank Kush Field. The Sun Devils extended their regular-season winning streak to 13 with a 23-12 over Miami in the Orange Bowl last week. The Cougars have had a week off after losing their season-opener, 42-20 to Washington in Provo.
Series Summary: ASU holds a 20-5 edge in the series that dates back to 1935. The Sun Devils have won four in a row and 13 of the last 15 meetings between the two schools. Both BYU wins during that 15-game stretch have come in Provo as ASU has won eight straight against BYU in Sun Devil Stadium/Frank Kush Field. The last meeting came in 1995, when ASU scored 16 unanswered fourth-quarter points to overcome a 21-13 deficit and defeat BYU 29-21, a win that began ASU's current string of 17 victories in its past 19 games.
Over the Air: Fox Sports Net, with Bill Macdonald and David Norrie on the call, will televise the game to over 45 million homes nationwide. Airspace Communications will also broadcast the game to a national radio audience. Geoff Nathanson and Brad Cesmat will handle the announcing duties. 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 vaulted in both major polls, jumping 10 spots in the AP poll to No. 14 and making its first appearance in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll at No. 17. BYU is not in either poll, but would be ranked 29th in the AP poll and 28th in the coaches poll.
On a Roll: Here's a look at the records of each of those teams ranked in this week's AP poll over their past 19 games:
TEAM (AP) RECORD AVERAGE NEXT OPPONENT ASU (14) 17-2 .895 9/20 vs. BYU Penn State (1) 17-2 .895 9/20 vs. Louisville U of Florida (3) 17-2 .895 9/20 vs. Tennessee Tennessee (4) 17-2 .895 9/20 @ Florida Nebraska (7) 17-2 .895 9/20 @ Washington Virginia Tech (18) 17-2 .895 9/20 @ Temple Florida State (5) 16-3 .842 9/20 @ Clemson Ohio State (9) 16-3 .842 9/20 vs. Arizona LSU (10) 16-3 .842 9/20 vs. Auburn North Carolina (6) 15-4 .789 9/20 @ Maryland Alabama (11) 15-4 .789 9/20 vs. Arkansas Colorado (15) 15-4 .789 9/27 vs. Wyoming Kansas State (20) 15-4 .789 9/27 vs. Bowl. Green Miami (22) 15-4 .789 9/27 vs. West Virginia Auburn (12) 14-5 .737 9/20 @ LSU Iowa (13) 14-5 .737 9/20 @ Iowa State Washington (2) 13-5-1 .684 9/20 vs. Nebraska Clemson (16) 13-6 .684 9/20 vs. Florida State Michigan (8) 12-7 .631 9/20 vs. Baylor Colorado State (23) 12-7 .631 9/20 vs. Air Force Stanford (21) 11-8 .579 9/20 @ Oregon State Michigan State (17) 10-9 .526 9/20 @ Notre Dame Georgia (25) 10-9 .526 9/20 vs. NE Louisiana UCLA (24) 8-11 .421 9/27 vs. Arizona Washington State (19) 7-12 .368 9/20 vs. Illinois
#11 Hangs Forever: Danny White will join his father, Wilford "Whizzer" White, and Bobby Mulgado as the only Sun Devils to have their jersey retired during halftime of this week's BYU game. Danny played at ASU from 1971-73 and was the Sun Devils starting QB each year. He compiled a three-year record of 31-4 leading his team to three straight WAC titles and three Fiesta Bowl wins. White's best year came in 1973 when he was named a first-team All-American, first-team All-WAC and ASU's most valuable player. 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. White's father Whizzer, No. 33, played for the Sun Devils from 1947 to 1950, leading the nation in rushing and all-purpose running in '50. Mulgado, No. 27, was a four-time letterman from 1954-57 and led the nation in punt returning and extra points while finishing second in scoring.
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.
WAC Info: ASU was a member of the Western Athletic Conference from 1962-78. ASU won seven WAC titles (1969-70-71-72-73-75-77) in its 17 seasons in the WAC. The Sun Devils were 11-3 against BYU during that stretch. Against teams currently in the WAC, ASU has compiled an all-time record of 150-50-3 (.746).
Last Time Out: ASU toppled 13th-ranked Miami 23-12 in the Hurricanes 400th game in the Orange Bowl. J.R. Redmond (105) and Michael Martin (103) each eclipsed 100 yards rushing, the first time a Miami opponent has had two backs over 100 yards since 1979. It was also Miami's first loss in a home-opener since 1985. Redmond amassed 254 all-purpose yards as he led the team not only in rushing, but receptions (5-46), punt returns (2-53) and kickoff returns (2-50). Ryan Kealy, in his second start at ASU, completed 18 of 26 passes for 239 yards with one TD and one interception. ASU's defense allowed only two field goals to Miami, as the Hurricanes lone touchdown came from their defense. It was the first time Miami had been held without an offensive touchdown since its 1994 Fiesta Bowl loss to Arizona and the first time in a regular season contest since a 38-3 defeat at the hands of Florida State in 1984. Miami ran for only 68 yards and starting quarterback Ryan Clement was limited to 175 yards passing on 14 of 28 passing.On Deck: ASU begins defending its Pac-10 championship with its first conference game of the season. The Sun Devils travel to Oregon State for a contest set for 1 p.m. ASU will bring an eight-game conference winning streak and a seven-game road win string into Corvallis.
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.
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.
Martin Returns: Senior tailback Michael Martin returned from a season-ending neck injury he suffered in the UCLA game (6th of the year) last season. He returned to 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 11-0 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 80.8 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 Total 204 889 4.4 5
J.R.: Two games into the 1997 season, J.R. Redmond is turning heads both on and off the field. The sophomore tailback is averaging 140.5 yards rushing and 259.0 all-purpose yards per game. He leads the team in rushing, punt returns, kickoff returns and is second 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 14.2 yards per punt return and 26.8 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 Totals 22 281 12.8 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 Totals 22-281 6-59 5-71 4-107 38-517 13.6 258.5
- 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)
5. 93 yds., Tom Dekellis, vs. Whittier, 1938 (TD)
They Said It: Former Miami Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger on J.R. Redmond: "He runs hard and intelligently. He makes a lot of yards after contact. He's one of the best players I've seen in the Orange Bowl not wearing a Miami uniform."
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 two games, Kealy has posted a 139.25 efficiency rating, completed 64.4 percent of his passes for 346 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Most importantly, ASU is 2-0 under his direction.
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 Totals 45 29 1 64.4 346 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
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 13 stops in ASU's first two games.
Tillman Game-by-Game Tackles Opp. UA AT Total TFL-Yds. New Mexico State 3 3 6 0-0 at Miami 3 4 7 0-0 Totals 6 7 13 0-0
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 1997. Put it together and you have a number of impressive streaks:
Head Coach Bruce Snyder: In his sixth season at the helm of ASU's football program ... has led the Sun Devils to 17 wins in their last 19 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 34-24 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 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 34-24-0 Dan Devine 1955-57 27-3-1
Chewin Up the Yards: ASU's offense is averaging 448.0 yards per game after its first two contests. While early in the season, that mark would be among the top 10 in ASU history:
Top Ten Offensive Teams in ASU History (since 1946) Year YPG Year YPG 1. 1973 554.4 6. 1950 465.0 2. 1972 516.5 7. 1971 464.3 3. 1970 508.5 8. 1949 453.2 4. 1981 498.7 9. 1997 448.0 5. 1996 474.4 10. 1968 447.3
Ground Game: ASU's ground attack in 1997 is one of the most threatening ASU has ever had. ASU has run for an average of 253.5 yards per game behind the likes of OT Grey Ruegamer and OG Kyle Murphy. After two games, it is obviously early, but the 253.5 yards per game would rank as the most by ASU since 1981 and among the top 10 marks in ASU history.
Top Ten Rushing Teams in ASU history (since 1946) Year YPG Year YPG 1. 1972 334.6 7. 1968 290.3 2. 1950 337.3 8. 1971 289.8 3. 1949 329.8 9. 1981 266.6 4. 1970 298.9 10. 1958 253.9 5. 1973 298.0 11. 1997 253.5 6. 1957 292.2
Conversions: ASU has been efficient on third down this season, converting 12 of 29 times on third down (41%) while holding its opponents to just six conversions in 28 attempts (21%).
Ball Control: When running the ball well and converting on third down, you can expect to keep the football. ASU has done just that through two games, averaging 33:27 to its opponents 26:33 in time of possession.
Stop the Run: ASU's defensive unit held Miami to 68 yards rushing and has given up an average of 87.5 yards rushing in its first two games. 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).
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 9 --- 4 --- Scored 8 1.000 3 1.000 TD 5 .750 0 .000 FG 3 .250 3 1.000 Turnover 1 --- 0 --- 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 14 7 14.9 6 23.5 Opp. 7 6 19.1 1 27.7 Punts Ret Avg. Against FC Downed *-20 *-10 TB ASU 10 8 -0.5 1 1 1 0 0 Opp. 14 5 14.2 5 3 4 1 1 *fair caught or downed (includes kicked out of bounds) inside 20/10
Automatic: Senior placekicker Robert Nycz has connected on 72 straight extra points and 98 of 99 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. He has connected on 27 of 37 (.730) career field goal attempts. He is 19 of 22 from inside 40 yards and 8 of 13 beyond 40. Nycz, a Lou Groza Award semifinalist a year ago and once again a candidate this year, is perfect this year, hitting 5 of 5 field goal attempts and all seven 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 5 5 1.000 42 7 7 1.000 22 Career 37 27 .730 48 99 98 .990 179 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 2 2/2 2/2 1/1 0/0 42 Career 24 11/11 8/11 8/13 0/2 48
Turnover Edge: In its last 19 games (dating back to 1995), ASU has a turnover ratio of +22 (45-24). In that span, ASU has accumulated 18 INTs and 28 fumble recoveries while opponents have registered 14 interceptions and 10 recoveries. ASU is 17-2 during the stretch.Sure Hands: A big reason for ASU's turnover advantage 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 25 games. That's two fumbles lost in 1,183 rushing attempts.
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
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
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 Victor 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
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
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.
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
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
Sizing up the Schedule: ASU's 1997 schedule may be one of the toughest in the nation. 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.
Home Field Advantage: Sun Devil Stadium has provided ASU with a significant home field edge since its inception in 1958. Arizona State is 194-62-3 (.755) all-time in Sun Devil Stadium and 6-0 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.
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 mentionRules Changes: As usual, 1997 brought a number of changes to the college football rule book. Some notable changes are:
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 Eff. 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: 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.
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.
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