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The Arizona State Sun Devils will go on the road for the first time this season as they head to Columbia, Mo., to take on the Missouri Tigers. The meeting will mark just the seventh time these two teams have played and is the third game in the Todd Graham era as head coach at ASU. ASU is 563-356-24 (.610) all-time on the gridiron.
ON THE AIR: The MidFirst Bank Sun Devil-IMG Sports Network will carry all 12 of ASU's football games live on their 10-station radio network, including flagship station Sports 620 KTAR AM. Tim Healey (play-by-play) and former Sun Devil quarterback Jeff Van Raaphorst (color analyst) will call the action with Doug Franz reporting from the sidelines. This week's game will be broadcast on KTAR 92.3 FM.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION: This week's matchup will be broadcast on ESPN2. Joe Tessitore will provide the play-by-play with Matt Millen serving as the game analyst. Shelley Smith will provide the sideline reports. This is the second of five games currently schedule to be broadcast on the ESPN Networks for Arizona State. ASU's games against Colorado (Oct. 11), Oregon (Oct. 18) and Arizona (Nov. 23) are all slated for ESPN broadcasts as well.
SUN DEVILS vs. TIGERS: Arizona State and Missouri have faced each other six times before but had not met since 1990 prior to last year's tilt in Tempe. The all-time series is split 3-3 after ASU evened things up with a 37-30 overtime victory at Sun Devil Stadium last September. ASU is 0-2 when travelling to Columbia, last falling in a 30-9 decision in 1990. The Tigers and Sun Devils also met in the 1972 Fiesta Bowl, with ASU coming out on top 49-35.
SUN DEVILS VS. SEC: Arizona State holds an 0-5 all-time mark against SEC schools. ASU is 0-2 against Georgia, 0-1 against LSU and 0-2 against Arkansas. This season will mark the third time the Sun Devils have traveled to what is now an SEC school when they take on Missouri on Sept. 15. The Sun Devils last travelled to an SEC school in 2009 as the team fell to Georgia in Athens, 21-20. In 1951, ASU played the Razorbacks in Arkansas (who were then a member of the SWC). They also played Arkansas in the 1985 Holiday Bowl.
RECAP - ARIZONA STATE VS. ILLINOIS: Taylor Kelly completed 18 of 23 passes for 249 yards and a touchdown, and Arizona State rolled past Illinois 45-14 on Saturday night to improve to 2-0 under new coach Todd Graham. Kelly's backup, Michael Eubank, was 5 of 6 passing for 69 yards and two touchdowns and ran 7 yards for a score. Chris Coyle matched a school record for tight ends with 10 catches, totaling 131 yards and two scores. He caught six passes for 73 yards all of last season. Illinois (1-1) was without quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase because of an ankle injury, but the Illini's biggest problem was on defense, especially against the pass. Arizona State (2-0) could have won even bigger but fumbled the ball away twice inside the Illinois 10. Freshman Carlos Mendoza had two interceptions for Arizona State, which was without linebacker Brandon Magee because of a concussion. Both of Scheelhaase's replacements, Reilly O'Toole and Miles Osei, had their struggles, but neither plays defense, where the lion's share of the blame rests. The Sun Devils scored touchdowns on four of their six first-half possessions. It was almost five TDs, but Cameron Marshall lost a fumble at the Illinois 1.
OTHER NOTES FROM ILLINOIS:
-- The Sun Devils played 68 snaps from the line of scrimmage against Illinois. Coach Graham has noted that he would like ASU to play 80 snaps per game.
-- Jamal Miles now has 1,564 kickoff return yards in his career after the 31-yard return to start the game and one other kick return, passing Randy Burgess (2004-07) for the top spot in Sun Devil history. Chris Hopkins (1992-95) is third with 1,225 yards.
-- On scoring drives against Illinois, ASU spent 14 minutes and 12 seconds putting the ball in the end zone and through the up-rights. D.J. Foster carried the ball across the plane for the fifth Sun Devil touch down of the game, closing the drive out at just 26 seconds, the quickest on the 2012 season to date.
-- ASU played 71 offensive snaps from the line of scrimage. The Sun Devils have set a target of 80 snaps per game.
STARTING ON THE RIGHT FOOT: Todd Graham is just the seventh Sun Devil coach to start his career 2-0. Before you ask about Frank, Coach Kush beat Hawaii 47-6 on Sept. 20th, 1958, in his opener but fell to Pacific 34-16 on Sept. 27, 1958. Graham is among six coaches in the 2012 season that are undefeated in their first year at the helm. There were 28 FBS coaches entering their first years at their respective schools this year.
COACHES IN FIRST SEASON AT SCHOOL WHO HAVE STARTED 2-0 IN 2012
Todd Graham (ASU) 2-0, Beat Illinois 45-14
Rich Rodriguez (Arizona) 2-0, beat No. 18 Oklahoma State 59-38
Hugh Freeze (Mississippi) 2-0, beat UTEP 28-10
Urban Meyer (Ohio State) 2-0, beat UCF 31-16
Kyle Flood (Rutgers) 2-0, beat Howard 26-0
Jim Mora (UCLA) 2-0, beat #16 Nebraska 36-30
WASTING NO TIME: Jaxon Hood and DJ Foster joined John Jefferson (1974), Terrell Suggs (2000), Zach Miller (2004) and Will Sutton (2009) as true freshmen to start season opener at ASU on offense or defense. The NCAA began allowing freshman to compete in 1972, with the 2012 season marking the 40 year anniversery. In total, 25 Sun Devils saw their first Division I action and seven true freshmen played (Evan Goodman, Laiu Moekiola, Carlos Mendoza, Easton Wahlstrom and Richard Smith in addition to Foster and Hood).
LIGHT `EM UP: With 108 points through two games, Arizona State currently ranks seventh nationally in scoring offense. For what it's worth, that is the highest tally through the first two games of the season in ASU history (now in its 100th season). The prior record was 94 points, set under Dirk Koetter in 2005 as his team put up 63 points in a season opening victory against Temple before adding 31 in a tough loss at LSU the following week.
EARN YOUR KEEP: ASU has had seven players score their first touchdown this season: Taylor Kelly (pass), D.J. Foster (rush), Brandon Magee (INT return), Marion Grice (rush), Michael Eubank (rush) and Richard Smith (reception) - all against NAU. Brandon Magee put his name on the top of that list with a 45-yard interception return for a pick-six against NAU. Chris Coyle added his first career TD grab against Illinois, which also served as Eubank's first career touchdown toss.
STRIKE FIRST...STRIKE FAST: The Sun Devils scored on four of their first five drives against Illinois (and the first drive went all the way to the Illinois one-yard line before a Cameron Marshall fumble) and got on the board first firs the second consecurive game. Arizona State scored on six of its first seven possesions against NAU. The Sun Devils didn't have a scoring drive longer than three minutes against the Fighting Illini, its longest lasting 2:59. In fact, the longest drive of the season thus far actually came when ASU was running clock out in the fourth and lasted a grand total of 3:44.
NOT PLAYING COY: Chris Coyle had a coming out party against Illinois, snagging 10 catches for 131 yards and two touchdowns. Those numbers put the junior in pretty select company at a school with a pretty decent history at the tight end position. His 10 grabs tie for the 15th most ever by a Sun Devil in history and also put him in a tie with Zach Miller as the most single-game snags by a tight end in school history. In addition, his 131 receiving yards are the second most for a tight end in school history behind only Todd Heap's 170 yards against Arizona in 1999. Here's a look at how Coyle's game stacks up against the greats:
Chris Coyle Career Highs
Receptions: 10 vs. Illinois (9/8/12)
Receiving Yards: 131 vs. Illinois (9/8/12)
Longest Reception: 49 vs. NAU (8/30/12)
Touchdowns: 2 vs. Illinois (9/8/12)
Todd Heap Career Highs
Receptions: 8 at Notre Dame (10/9/99).
Receiving Yards: 170 vs. Arizona (11/27/99).
Longest Reception: 50 vs. California (10/7/00).
Touchdowns: 2 vs. Arizona (11/27/98).
Zach Miller Career Highs
Receptions: 10, twice, last at Washington State (11/5/05)
Receiving Yards: 102, at USC (10/16/04)
Receiving Touchdowns: 2, vs. Iowa (9/18/04)
MORE ON COYLE: Coyle's performance did not go unnoticed. Having just posted 73 yards receiving in all of last season, the performance against Illinois garned Coyle honors as the College Football Performance Awards Football Bowl Subdivision Tight End Performer of the Week. As of Sept. 9, Coyle leads the nation's tight ends in receiving yards on the season with 196, a mark that ranks 19th in receiving yards nationally.
BETTER SUITED FOR HANDERKERCHIEFS: The Sun Devils haven't given the referees much reason to reach for their pockets this season. ASU was penalized just once for five yards against Illinois (on what appeared to be a purposeful delay of game to create some space for a punt). That marked the lowest single-game total since 2006, when ASU was penalized once for five yards against Washington State. On the year, ASU has had just five penalties for 35 yards. The most impressive part about that statistic? Not a single flag has been thrown on the Sun Devils while they have been on defense or special teams. Here's a look at ASU's lowest single game penalties since 2006:
FEWEST SINGLE-GAME PENALTIES SINCE 2006
Pen/Yards -- Opponent (Date)
1-5 -- Vs. Illinois (2012)
1-5 --vs. Washington State (2006)
3-20 --Vs. UCLA (2006)
3-20 -- Vs. USC (2007)
4-30 -- Vs. NAU (2012)
4-35 -- Vs. UNLV (2008)
4-31 -- Vs. Washington (2010)
4-35 -- Vs. USC (2010)
4-40 --Vs. UC Davis (2011)
SECONDARY A PRIMARY: The season is young yet, but ASU's secondary has been a dominant force through two games this year. The unit ranks eighth nationally in pass defense (125.0) and ninth in pass efficiency defense (83.20) and leads the Pac-12 in both. Not a bad start for a group that finished 11th and ninth, respectively, in those categories in the conference last season. In addition, the squad's six interceptions this year (giving some love to the linebackers, who have three of those) leads the nation.
MARSHALL OF THE TOUCHDOWN: With his touchdown against Illinois, Cameron Marshall has rushed for 32 touchdowns in his career with Arizona State. He is one of only 11 Sun Devils all time to score at least 20 touchdowns on the ground and just the fourth to eclipse 30 career rushing touchdowns. Marshall currently tied for third on ASU's all-time rushing TD list with J.R. Redmond behind just Woody Green (39) and Leon Burton (34). Most Career Rushing TDs in ASU History
TDs -- Player, Years
39 -- Woody Green, 1971-73
34 -- Leon Burton, 1955-58
32 -- J.R. Redmond, 1996-99
32 -- Cameron Marshall, 2009-Present
28 -- Art Malone, 1967-69
25 -- Ben Malone, 1971-73
23 -- Nolan Jones, 1958-61
AMONG THE NCAA'S BEST: With his 18 rushing touchdowns in 2011, Marshall returns in 2012 as the nation's fourth-leading returning rushing scorer among NCAA Division I-A student-athletes. Only Wisconsin's Heisman Trophy finalist Monte Ball (33), KSU quarterback Collin Klein (27) and Oklahoma State running back Joseph Randle (24) return having found pay dirt on the ground more than Marshall last season. In addition, Marshall's 32 career rushing touchdowns rank him fifth among active Division I-A student-athletes returning in 2012 that played in 2011. In that category only Ball (55), Klein (33), SMU running back Zach Line (34) and Michigan QB Denard Robinson (35) have more.
TOP RETURNING NCAA DIVISION I-A RUSHING SCORERS (TOTAL TOUCHDOWNS)
Name, School / 2011 / 2012 / Career
Montee Ball, Wisc. / 33 / 1 / 56
Collin Klein, KSU / 27 / 3 / 39
Joseph Randle, OSU / 24 / 2 / 26
Cameron Marshall, ASU / 18 / 3 / 32
Zach Line, SMU / 17 / 2 / 36
Denard Robinson, Mich. / 16 / 3 / 38
OH, HE CAN CATCH ALSO: If you've gotten tired of Cameron Marshall's resume on the ground, he has pretty good hands also. Research done by University of Virginia Assistant Athletics Media Relations Director Vincent Briedis shows that Marshall returned in 2012 with the seventh-highest career receptions among active running backs at an FBS institution with 47. Marshall had two against Illinois for 16 yards and now has 51 in his career.
MOST CAREER RECEPTIONS AMONGST RETURNING FBS RUNNING BACKS (ENTERING 2012)
Name, School, Year / Through 2011 / 2012 / CAREER REC
Charles Sims, Houston, JR / 121 / 12 / 133
Perry Jones, Virginia, SR / 80 / 5 / 85
Joseph Randle, OK State, JR / 80 / 8 / 88
James Washington, NC State, SR / 72 / 5 / 77
Ronnie Wingo, Arkansas, JR / 52 / 2 / 55
Trey Watts, Tulsa, JR / 51 / 7 / 58
Cameron Marshall, ASU, SR / 47 / 4 / 51
RETURN RECORD: Jamal Miles now has 1,564 kickoff return yards in his career after the 31-yard return to start the game and one other kick return, passing Randy Burgess (2004-07) for the top spot in Sun Devil history. Chris Hopkins (1992-95) is third with 1,225 yards. In his prior three seasons in Tempe, Miles has returned 64 kickoffs for 1,517 yards and three touchdowns. Miles totaled 788 of those yards last season, the second highest single-season total in ASU history. Miles' total was second only to the 879 yards that Burgess gained in 2007. Miles has 66 career kick returns, giving him an average of 23.7 yards per return. Burgess had 68 returns, with an average of 22.3 yards per return. Miles has three kick return TDs, while Burgess had one.
JUST KICKING IT: Redshirt freshman kicker Alex Garoutte turned in a solid season in his first year as the kicker. Garoutte finished the year with 108 points, tops on the team. He finished the 2011 season 52-53 on PATs, with his only miss a block and closed out the year with 45 straight extra points. Garoutte bumped that streak to 60 against the Lumberjacks, going a perfect 6-for-6 on extra points. He also notched his first field goal of the year from 35 yards out and is now 16-23 in his career.
TAYLOR GANG: For the fourth time in as many years, the Sun Devil season opener featured a new quarterback under center. Redshirt sophomore Taylor Kelly made his first career start against NAU and followed Danny Sullivan (2009), Steven Threet (2010) and Brock Osweiler (2011) as the fourth different quarterback to start on opening day since Rudy Carpenter started three straight from 2006-08. Sullivan and Threet were making their first career starts period, while Osweiler had made a start later in the season in 2009 and 2010. Since 1997, ASU quarterbacks making their first career start are 9-5.
According to research done by Jack Duggan at the University of Southern Mississippi, Arizona State is one of just 13 FBS schools that returned no quarterback with a start for the 2012 season. That list included: Akron, Arizona State, Boise State, East Carolina, Hawai'i, LSU, Memphis, Michigan State, Northern Illinois, Oklahoma State, Southern Miss, Stanford and Texas A&M.
ASU QB FIRST CAREER STARTS SINCE 1997
Taylor Kelly 2012/N. Arizona/W, 63-6 15/19, 247 yards, 1TD, 0 INT
Steven Threet 2010/Portland State, W, 54-9 14/21, 339 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
Brock Osweiler* 2009/Oregon, L, 44-21 5/10, 14 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT
Samson Szakacsy 2009/UCLA, L, 23-13 15/22, 197 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
Danny Sullivan 2009/Idaho State, W, 50-3 13/25, 165 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT
Rudy Carpenter 2005/Washington, W, 44-20 27/34, 401 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT
Sam Keller 2004/Purdue, W, 27-23 25/45, 370 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT
Chad Christensen 2002/Nebraska, L, 48-10 6/16, 77 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT
Andrew Walter 2001/Arizona, L, 34-21 10/22, 132 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
Jeff Krohn 2000/San Diego St., W, 10-7 18/42, 160 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Griffin Goodman 1999/Wake Forest, L, 23-3 10/16, 142 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT
Chad Elliott** 1998/Stanford, W, 44-38 OT 8/17, 92 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
Steve Campbell 1997/Iowa, W, 17-7 5/11, 109 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
Ryan Kealy 1997/New Mexico St., W, 41-10 11/19, 107 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
* -- Osweiler left the game early due to injury
** -- Elliott left the game early and Ryan Kealy led the team to the overtime victory
TWO IS BETTER THAN ONE: It's hard to doubt the benefits of ASU's two quarterback system when you look at the results thus far. Taylor Kelly currently finds himself ranked sixth nationally in passing efficiency with a rating of 193.49 while Michael Eubank has added two touchdowns both by air and on the ground and has missed only one pass this season. Together, the two quarterbacks find themselves 39-for-49 for 567 yards, four touchdowns, zero interceptions and a 203.73 passing efficiency. As if that weren't enough the two have combined for 25 rushes for 141 yards and two touchdowns.
WELCOME BACK, BRANDON: Linebacker Brandon Magee's return to the gridiron was a memorable one as the senior logged 1.5 tackles, but his night was marked by a 45-yard interception return for a touchdown for the first pick-six of his career. Magee missed the entire 2011 season with an Achilles injury.
SENIOR LEADERSHIP: The 2012 Sun Devil roster features 17 seniors at the time of publication, many of which who will play pivotal roles as the season goes on. Senior RB Cameron Marshall, OL Andrew Sampson, LB Brandon Magee and S Keelan Johnson have been named captains for the 2012 season.
PIN `EM DEEP: Redshirt senior punter Josh Hubner was among the best punters in the nation when it came to pinning opponents down the field, finishing the year tied for 17th in the nation with 24 punts inside the 20. He's back at it again in 2012 after posting two punts inside the 20 against NAU on three kicks, averaging 45.3 yards per punt. Quarterback Taylor Kelly also showed off his talents in the category, pooch kicking a ball late in the second quarter 32 yards to pin the Lumberjacks inside their 20 as well.
IF YOU GOT IT, FLAUNT IT: The Sun Devils played seven true freshmen in their season opener against NAU (Evan Goodman, Laiu Moekiola, Carlos Mendoza, Richard Smith, D.J. Foster Jaxon Hood and long snapper Easton Wahlstrom). The school record for true freshmen playing in season is 10, set back in 2008. According to research done by Colorado Dave Plati, the three true freshmen that started at their positions (Foster, Hood and Wahlstrom) ties with Washington for the most in the conference in the first week of action.
ARIZONA STATE vs. THE BIG TEN SUPERLATIVES: The Sun Devils added to a pretty good streak vs. Big Ten teams at Sun Devil Stadium with its victory over Illinois. Actually, a streak that can't be any better. ASU is now 8-0 vs. Big Ten teams in Tempe, including big wins in its past three games against Northwestern (52-21 on Sept. 17, 2005) and then No. 16 Iowa (44-7 on Sept. 18, 2004) and Illinois this year. This list doesn't include one of the biggest wins in school history against a current team in the Big Ten, as Nebraska didn't score a point on Sept. 21, 1996 when they were ranked No. 1. ASU has outscored its past three Big Ten opponents on Frank Kush Field 141-42, and in the eight games ASU has outscored its Big Ten 320-111 (40.0 to 13.9 per game).
SUN DEVILS VS. THE BIG TEN AT SUN DEVIL STADIUM (7-0)
ASU 45, Illinois 14 (Sept. 8, 2012)
ASU 52, Northwestern 21 (Sept. 17, 2005)
ASU 44, No. 16 Iowa 7 (Sept. 18, 2004)
ASU 21, Illinois 16 (Sept. 10, 1988)
ASU 20, Michigan State 17 (Sept. 13, 1988)
ASU 35, Northwestern 3 (Sept. 17, 1977)
ASU 48, Minnesota 26 (Sept. 20, 1969)
ASU 55, Wisconsin 7 (Sept. 21, 1968)
EMERSON HARVEY: Arizona State University football will commemorate a milestone this season by honoring Emerson Harvey, the school's first African-American football student-athlete 75 years ago and played a major role in breaking the color barrier throughout the Southwest. The Sun Devils will recognize Harvey, who joined the roster in 1937, with black-and-white circular helmet stickers with Harvey's jersey number (57).
FIRST IMPRESSION WAS GOOD: ASU's 63 points vs. NAU in the Todd Graham debut is the most by a Sun Devil coach in his opener, topping the 47 scored by Frank Kush's squad in 1958 over Hawaii. Not all openers were great for eventual great coaches though, as ASU's 1996 National Coach of the Year Bruce Snyder scored seven in his first game in a 31-7 loss to second-ranked Washington on Sept. 5, 1992.
Most Points in ASU Coaching Debut
PTS / Coach Year (Result)
63 / Todd Graham vs. NAU 2012 (W)
47 / Frank Kush vs. Hawaii 1958 (W)
45 / Dennis Erickson vs. San Jose St. 2007 (W)
39 / Ted Shipkey vs. Gila JC 1930 (W)
38 / Dirk Koetter vs. San Diego St. 2001 (W)
33 / Ed Doherty vs. Cal-Poly 1947 (W)
33 / Larry Siemering vs. Utah State 1951 (W)
INFO-GRAHAM: So you want to know more about what Todd Graham brings to the program? Here's a couple more stats and tidbits about the ASU head coach to give you an idea. Special thanks Doug Haller of the Arizona Republic for all this information :
--Over his past four seasons -- one at Pittsburgh and three at Tulsa -- Graham's teams have rushed the ball on at least 53.4 percent of their total plays. In 2008, Tulsa rushed on 61.4 percent of its total plays. Last year, ASU rushed 44.5 percent of the time.
--Over the past six seasons at Pitt, Tulsa and Rice, only one Graham-coached team has ranked outside the top 50 nationally in sacks. Last year, Pittsburgh averaged 3.31 sacks, which ranked third nationally.
--In six seasons, Graham is 19-17 in true road games. Over the past four, ASU is 5-16.
--In five of the past six years, Graham's teams have ranked 39th or better nationally in fewest penalty yards per game. In 2008, Tulsa averaged just 37 penalty yards, which ranked 11th in the nation. Last season, Pitt averaged 39.5, which ranked 18th.
Follow Doug Haller on Twitter: @DougHaller