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Sept. 14, 1997

Arizona State Hosts Brigham Young

  • Brigham Young Cougars (0-1) at #14 Arizona State Sun Devils (2-0)
  • Sept. 20, Sun Devil Stadium/Frank Kush Field, 7:15 p.m.

    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.

    Ryan Kealy
    Ryan Kealy

    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

    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:

    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).

    J.R. Redmond
    J.R. Redmond

    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:

  • ASU has won 17 of its last 19 games, including 13 straight regular-season contests. Its last regular season loss: Nov. 24, 1995, 31-28 vs. Arizona.
  • ASU has won eight straight and 10 of its last 11 home games. Its last home loss: Nov. 24, 1995, 31-28 vs. Arizona.
  • ASU has won seven straight road games. It's last road loss: Sept. 30, 1995, 31-0 at USC.
  • ASU has won eight straight and 11 of its last 12 Pac-10 games. It last conference loss: Nov. 24, 1995, 31-28 vs. Arizona.
  • Bruce Snyder
    Bruce Snyder

    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 mention
    Rules Changes: As usual, 1997 brought a number of changes to the college football rule book. Some notable changes are:
  • After two overtime periods, a team scoring a touchdown must attempt a two-point try.
  • A player who violates the two-yard restriction surrounding a punt returner can be penalized 15 yards if any hit is deemed rough. A five-yard penalty is still an option if any hit in conjunction with interference is not rough.
  • Fouls occurring during a scoring play will not be carried over to a succeeding kick off or succeeding extra period.
  • 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
        4. Florida State    7
           Ohio State
        6. Colorado State   6

    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

    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

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