Sept. 18, 2004
By Nate Policar
ASU Sports Information
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -Looking to make last year's 21-2 loss in Iowa City a distant memory, the Arizona State Sun Devils took to their home field on a wet and stormy night expecting a 60-minute hard-fought battle against a highly-touted and nationally-ranked Iowa Hawkeye team.
Weathering heavy showers and a 40-minute kickoff delay due to lightning, the Sun Devils took the field and cast aside all doubts about the abilities of their squad, dominating the Hawkeyes in every aspect of the game and coming away with a 44-7 victory in front of the first capacity crowd in Tempe since they hosted Notre Dame on October 10,1998.
"The crowd did a great job. For all the talk we heard this week of all the
With a wet, but loud, crowd on their side, the Sun Devil defense took the field following the late kickoff and owned
Andrew Walter entered the game for the Sun Devils and began what would prove to be a record-setting night for the senior signal caller. Finding junior receiver Matt Miller on the sideline for a 41-yard completion, Walter found Moey Mutz in the end zone three plays later on a 14-yard pass for his first touchdown of the night. With just under 10 minutes remaining in the first quarter, the Sun Devils were off to a 7-0 lead.
Starting from their own 31-yard line with possession again, the Sun Devils picked up right where their last drive left off. Walter found receivers Zach Miller and Derek Hagan on 9-yard pickups as well as receiver Terry Richardson for a 10-yard gain. The 12-play, 58-yard drive by the Sun Devils brought the ball down to the
The Hawkeyes once again punted after just three plays, unable to gain more than five yards rushing against the ASU defense and the Sun Devils took over on their own 36-yard line following the punt as the first quarter came to an end. However, the second quarter opened with fireworks from Walter, as he found his tailback, Loren Wade, on an 18-yard screen pass before airing it out long to Derek Hagan for a 45-yard reception which set up a second catch by Hagan for a 7-yard touchdown. Hitting them quickly, the Sun Devils had jumped out to a 17-0 lead with over 12 minute still remaining in the first half.
Continuing their woes, the Hawkeyes were forced into their third consecutive three-and-out, giving the Sun Devils a new possession on their own 29-yard line. With a promising start to the drive, junior tailback Hakim Hill rushed over 25 yards for the Sun Devils before Andrew Walter made his only miscue of the game, a pass intended for Derek Hagan that was intercepted by Iowa's Antwan Allen at the Iowa 21-yard line. However, the ASU defense gained atonement, as Jamar Williams intercepted a Tate pass on the
With incredible field position to start the drive, the Sun Devils lit up the scoreboard again in just three plays as Walter connected with freshman receiver Zach Miller for a six-yard pass in the corner of the end zone, building upon the ASU lead at 24-0 and tying Walter with College Hall of Fame quarterback Danny White on the school's career touchdown pass list.
The ensuing kickoff yielded more of the same results for the Hawkeyes as they punted the ball away after gaining just two yards in three plays. With only remaining in the half, the Sun Devils took possession on their own 36-yard line with intentions of running out the rest of the clock. However, a timeout by
Not missing a beat, the Sun Devils came out of the locker room and took it straight at the Hawkeyes. Bringing the ball into the
After forcing two more three-and-outs due to the play of Ishmael Thrower and Dale Robinson, the Devils took possession on the
Starting from the ASU 25-yard line, Walter took the first snap of the drive and bombed it long to receiver Matt Miller, who caught the 65-yard reception and brought the Sun Devils to the
"Today was a great win. I will sing the praises of the offensive lines all night. They did really great. I hardly got touched. That is how they do it. They do a four-man rush and try to get a rush on the quarterback that way and they were not able to do it tonight., " said Walter. "I have been thinking about today's game since the plane ride back from
As both teams attempted to run out the rest of the game clock on the ground, the Sun Devils punted away to the Hawkeyes just 18 seconds shy of their first shutout since a 19-0 victory over No. 1 ebraska in 1996. However,
"There's no question you begin with the defense. All we heard about all week was we are not physical enough to hold up and our defense took that personally. I think we did an awesome job of playing physical," said Koetter. "We were able to shut down their run game. We were able to get pressure on (Drew) Tate and keep him contained. I can't say enough about the job our defense did tonight."