Nov. 2, 2009
TEMPE, Ariz. -
Coming off a 23-21 loss to California in the game's final minute, Arizona State welcomes the 12th ranked USC Trojans to Tempe on Saturday, November 7 at Sun Devil Stadium. The ASU defense held Cal to only 57 yards rushing, but a field goal with 21 seconds left was the difference in the game. ASU is now 4-4, 2-3 in Pac-10 play. USC is 6-2, 3-2 after falling 47-20 to Oregon in Eugene.
ON THE AIR: The Sun Devil-ISP Sports Network will carry all 12 of ASU's football games live on their 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, while Doug Franz patrols the sidelines. The USC game will air on 620 AM. ESPN Radio will broadcast the USC/ASU match-up nationally. Bill Rosinski, Dennis Franchione and Joe Schad will call the game. Sirius/XM will also carry the game.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION: ABC will televise the Sun Devils match-up with the Trojans. Mike Patrick and Craig James will call the action from the booth while Heather Cox handles sidelines duties.
SUN DEVILS VS. TROJANS: This will be the 26th meeting between Arizona State and USC, with the Trojans holding a 16-9 lead. USC won last year's meeting 28-0 in Los Angeles. The Sun Devils have not beaten USC since 1999, the longest drought in the Pac-10. USC is 8-5 at Sun Devil Stadium, winning the past four meetings in Tempe. ASU's last win over USC at Sun Devil Stadium was in 1997.
MILESTONE MARKER: Thanks to his four catches for 76 yards against Cal, senior wide receiver Chris McGaha has become one of only six Sun Devils to have caught more than 150 passes in their ASU career. McGaha (151) joins Derek Hagan (258), John Jefferson (188), Eric Guliford (164), Shaun McDonald (156) and John Mistler (156) as the only Sun Devils with over 150 catches. McGaha also topped the 2,000 career receiving yard mark against the Golden Bears. He now has 2,047 yards in his four seasons. McGaha has 39 catches this season, marking the third straight season he has made at least 35 catches. He made a career high 61 catches for 830 yards in 2007, while catching 35 passes for 501 yards a season ago.
NEXT UP: Arizona State will head to Eugene, Oregon for a Pac-10 game with Oregon at Autzen Stadium on November 14.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
• ASU held Cal's Jahvid Best to under 100 yards rushing, only the third time this season he has failed to hit the mark. The others were against USC and Oregon.
• 25 different Sun Devils have made their debut in 2009.
• 13 different Sun Devils have made their first career starts this season.
• Senior Dexter Davis' 46 straight starts is the most by a Sun Devil since 1984.
• ASU has 24 seniors on its roster, tied for 8th most in the nation.
• Mike Nixon has been named a quarterfinalist for the Lott Trophy.
California Recap: Arizona State shook off an early 14-0 deficit to rally back and take a 21-20 lead late in the fourth quarter, but Cal's Kevin Riley drove the Golden Bears down the field for a game-winning 24-yard field goal to give Cal the 23-21 win. The ASU defense held the Bears to only 57 rushing yards, but Riley threw for 351 yards and two scores to lead Cal to the triumph. Danny Sullivan threw for 244 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions, while Cameron Marshall ran for 71 yards and a score in a losing effort.
• Sullivan's 80-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Williams was the longest play of the season for ASU, the longest completion in Sullivan's career and the longest reception of Williams' career.
• Lawrence Guy recorded his second career multi-sack game.
• Arizona State did not attempt a field goal for the third time this season.
• The Sun Devils did not allow a quarterback sack.
Start Him Up: With his start against Stanford, Dexter Davis took over sole possession of first place with 45 straight starts, the most by a Sun Devil since 1984. Davis passed Scott Peters, who made 44 straight starts from 1998 to 2001. Following the Cal game, Davis has now made 46 straight. Starts weren't officially tracked as a statistic until 1984, so the 46 starts is believed to be an all-time school record. Davis is the only returning player in the nation who has recorded double-digit sacks in each of the past two seasons (10.5 in 2007 and 11 in 2008).
Disruptive Dexter: Playing in his senior season, Dexter Davis is putting the finishing touches on an outstanding career in maroon and gold. The Phoenix native put up great numbers for the third consecutive year in 2008, recording a team-high 11.0 sacks, third most in the Pac-10 and tied for the sixth highest single-season total in school history. Davis also owns the eighth highest total, 10.5 in 2007. The 11 sacks in 2008 established a new career high for Davis, who has eight career multi-sack games. Thanks to his 1.5 sacks against Washington State, Davis has moved into third place on ASU's all-time list with 29 sacks in his Sun Devil career. Terrell Suggs (2000-02) is the leader with 44. Davis earned honorable mention All-Pac-10 last season and was a Second Team All-Pac-10 choice in 2007. He earned Pac-10 All-Freshman honors and honorable mention freshman All-American status from The Sporting News in 2006.
First Time For Everything: QB Samson Szakacsy made his first career pass a good one, connecting with Jovon Williams for a three-yard touchdown and ASU's first points against Cal. Not only was it Szakacsy's first career pass attempt, completion and touchdown, but it was the first score for Jovon Williams as well. Williams, a senior, entered the game with eight career receptions. He caught two passes against Cal for eight yards and the touchdown.
Boot It: Punter Trevor Hankins is quietly putting together a terrific season. The junior leads the Pac-10 with his 45.5 yards per punt average, good for second in the nation. The school record for highest average per punt is 45.7, set by Stephen Baker in 1998 (minimum 46 punts). Hankins has punted 41 times, landing 12 inside the opponents 20 and has booted four of 60+ yards, including a 69-yarder at Georgia.
Run, Dimitri, Run: After coming close a number of times to topping the 100-yard mark in his career, Dimitri Nance finally did it, rushing for a career high 113 yards against Washington State on October 10. Nance has also topped the 1,500 yard mark for his career. He now has 1,611 yards and has run for 18 touchdowns. He leads the team this season with 472 yards and is third on the team with 20 catches for 167 yards. Nance set a new career-high with six receptions against Washington, eclipsing the old mark of five. The six catches against the Huskies led the team.
Mr. Williams Neighborhood: One week after setting a new career-high with 13 receptions against WSU, Kyle Williams showed his versatility against Washington. Williams threw his first career touchdown pass, a 32-yard strike to fellow wideout T.J. Simpson on a flanker pass play. It was the first time a non-quarterback threw a touchdown pass for the Sun Devils since November 5, 2005, when Rudy Burgess threw a touchdown to Derek Hagan in Pullman against Washington State. Williams added another big play to his collection against Cal, hauling in an 80-yard touchdown pass for the longest play of his career. Williams now has 37 catches for 488 yards and three scores on the season. The 37 catches is second on the team, while the 488 yards leads the squad. Williams is tied with McGaha for the team lead with three touchdowns.
Spreading The Wealth: With Samson Szakacsy's touchdown pass against Cal, four different Sun Devils have now thrown a touchdown pass in 2009. Danny Sullivan has tossed eight, while Brock Osweiler, Szakacsy and wide receiver Kyle Williams have each thrown one. It marks the first time since 2001 that four different Devils have connected on a score through the air. Jeff Krohn, Andrew Walter, Matt Cooper and Justin Taplin all threw touchdowns in 2001.
Push 'Em Back, Push 'Em Back: The 2009 Sun Devil defense has established itself as one of the stingiest in the nation, routinely making tackles for loss or for no gain. In the win over Washington State, the ASU defensive unit was a negative play machine, causing 26 Cougar plays to go for no gain or negative yardage, a whopping 39% of WSU's total plays. On the year, ASU's opponents have run 499 plays, with 88 of them having gone for negative yardage or no gain (not counting incomplete passes). Opponents have lost 244 yards on those 88 plays.
Debuts: 25 different ASU players have made their Sun Devil debuts so far this season. Those that have debuted are: Jamal Miles, Samson Szakacsy, Matt Hustad, Trevor Kohl, Andrew Sampson, Derrall Anderson, Kyle Johnson, Keelan Johnson, Toa Tuitea, William Sutton, Corey Adams, Dean DeLeone, Vontaze Burfict, Deveron Carr, Jonathan Clark, Cameron Marshall, Brian Matsumoto, Brock Osweiler, Patrick Jamison, A.J. Pickens, Greg Smith, James Morrison, LeQuan Lewis, Bobby Wenzig and Steven Figueroa. Of those 25, eight (Miles, Sutton, Adams, Burfict, Marshall, Osweiler, Smith and Wenzig) are true freshmen. ASU played a school-record 10 true freshmen last season.
Truly A Lot Of Freshmen: Over the past two seasons, Arizona State has seen a combined 18 true freshmen get game action (school-record 10 in 2008, eight so far in 2009). Since 1983, that is the most true freshmen to play in a two year span at ASU. Lawrence Guy started eight games on the defensive line last season as a true freshman, earning Freshman All-American honors, while Vontaze Burfict has started the past five games at middle linebacker.
Start Me Up: 13 Sun Devils have made their first career starts so far in 2009, including five against Oregon State. Vontaze Burfict, a true freshman, made his first career start at linebacker against OSU, while Brent Good, a senior, made his first start on the offensive line. James Brooks at defensive end, Keelan Johnson at safety and T.J. Simpson at wide receiver also all made their first career starts against the Beavers. They join wide receiver Gerell Robinson, offensive linemen Andrew Sampson and Matt Hustad, defensive linemen William Sutton and Dean DeLeone, linebacker Brandon Magee, safety Jarrell Holman and quarterback Danny Sullivan as Sun Devils making their first career starts in 2009. Burfict and Sutton are both true freshman, while Holman, Good and Sullivan are seniors.
All The Way Omar: When Omar Bolden took the opening kickoff 89-yards for a touchdown against ULM on September 19, he became the first ASU player to ever return the game's opening kickoff for a score. It was the 13th kickoff return touchdown in ASU history and the first since Rudy Burgess took one back 98-yards against USC in 2007.
Player of the Week Against Idaho State: Senior linebacker Mike Nixon did everything but lead the marching band at halftime of the opener against Idaho State. The 26-year old team captain intercepted three passes, returned one for a touchdown, blocked a punt and recorded four tackles, including one for loss. Nixon became the first Sun Devil with three interceptions since Nathan LaDuke against Houston (Sept. 23) in 1989. Nixon's blocked punt was the first by a Sun Devil since 2006, when Brandon Smith blocked a Colorado punt in Boulder. For his efforts, Nixon was named both the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week and the Lott Trophy IMPACT Player of the Week.
Six Pack From Corona: The 2009 Sun Devil football team boasts six players from Centennial High School in Corona, California. Sophomore RB Ryan Bass and sophomore LBs Shelly Lyons and Brandon Magee welcome former high school classmates Vontaze Burfict, William Sutton and Jarrid Bryant to Tempe this season. This marks the first time in school history that ASU has had six players from an out-of-state high school. Bryant spent three seasons at Centennial High School before spending his senior season at Salisbury Prep in Connecticut. Bryant is expected to redshirt.
Magee Making A Name In Two Sports: Sophomore linebacker Brandon Magee is putting together a terrific football season, having made 28 tackles, tied for fifth most on the team. He is tied for second on the Sun Devils with his six tackles for loss, including two sacks. He has also intercepted a pass. Magee is making the most of his opportunity to be a Sun Devil. Not only is he contributing on the gridiron for ASU, but he is also a member of the Sun Devil Baseball team. Magee was a member of the 2009 Pac-10 Champion Sun Devil nine and traveled with the team to Omaha, Nebraska for the College World Series, where they finished third in the country. Magee appeared in 13 games for the baseball team, all as a pinch hitter, as he juggled baseball with spring football. Magee was a 29th round pick of the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2008 MLB draft.
Hail To The Chief: Sophomore corner Josh Jordan had an interesting offseason at Arizona State. The Las Vegas product ran for and was elected as a Student Senator for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Jordan will serve in that capacity for the 2009-10 school year.
Ball Hawks: The Sun Devils have compiled 21 total takeaways on the year, including 13 INTs. ASU has a +7 turnover ratio on the year, good for second in the Pac-10. The ASU defense has also scored two touchdowns on interception returns. Mike Nixon took one back against Idaho State and Jarrell Holman returned one against Georgia.
Record Tying Night Against ISU: Thomas Weber had a memorable first game of the 2009 campaign, booting five field goals and scoring a career-high 20 points (5 FGs, 5 PATs) in the win over Idaho State. The five field goals ties a school record held by who else but Luis Zendejas. Zendejas kicked five field goals against Stanford in 1983. The 20 points by Weber surpasses his previous high of 15 (4 FGs, 3 PATs) set last season against Stanford and was also the most ever by a Sun Devil in school history.
Kicking His Way To The Top: Thomas Weber is 49-58 (84%) on field goal attempts and has scored 235 points in his ASU career. He connected on 43 made field goals during his first two seasons, the most ever by a Sun Devil kicker in his first two years with the program, surpassing Luis Zendejas’ previous record of 40. His 49 career field goals puts Weber in a tie with Mike Barth for third place on ASU’s all-time made field goal list. The record is 81, held by Zendejas. Weber's 235 points is the fifth highest total in school history in points by a kicker. He also has kicked the third longest field goal in school history, a 53-yarder at the Rose Bowl against UCLA in 2007. His 24 made field goals in 2007 was the second most in a single season in school history, and his 19 last season was the fifth most. Weber scored 118 points in his debut season in 2007, tied with Mike Barth (2002) for the most points by a kicker in a single season.
Playboy Twice: Kicker Thomas Weber has been named a Preseason First Team All-American by Playboy Magazine, the second straight year he has made the Playboy team. Weber becomes only the second Sun Devil to be named to the Playboy All-America team twice. Cornerback Mike Richardson made the team in 1981 and 1982. Weber becomes the 14th Sun Devil to be named to the Playboy All-America team. It is the 16th time an ASU player has been named to the squad (Weber and Richardson twice). Former Sun Devil head coach Bruce Snyder was named to the team in 1997 as the National Coach-of-the-Year.
All-Decade Team: Former Sun Devil and current Baltimore Raven Terrell Suggs was named to the College Football All-Decade Team by The Sporting News. Suggs recently became the Baltimore Ravens all-time leader in sack yardage.