September 26, 2011

Football hosts Oregon State

Posted: September 26, 2011
The Sun Devils welcome the Oregon State Beavers to Frank Kush Field/Sun Devil Stadium, Oct. 1.

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GameDay Central

After earning their first ever Pac-12 victory, a 43-22 triumph over then-#23 USC, the Sun Devils welcome the Oregon State Beavers to Frank Kush Field/Sun Devil Stadium, Oct. 1. Arizona State snapped an 11-game losing streak to the Trojans, thanks to Cameron Marshall’s 141 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Oregon State enters the contest 0-3 with an 0-1 mark in Pac-12 play. They fell 27-19 to UCLA last weekend in their first Pac-12 action.

ON THE AIR: The IMG-Sun Devil 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. The Oregon State game will air on 92.3 FM. It can also be heard on Sirius/XM radio on Sirius Channel 92 and XM Channel 192.

LIGHTS CAMERA ACTION: Fox Sports Arizona will televise the match-up between the Sun Devils and the Beavers. Tom Leander and Adam Archuleta will call the action with Mark McClune on the sidelines.

SUN DEVILS VS. BEAVERS: Arizona State leads the all-time series with Oregon State 24-12-1, including an 18-4 mark in Tempe. However, Oregon State has won the last three meetings, including a 31-28 victory last season in Corvallis.

COACH ERICKSON VS. OREGON STATE: Dennis Erickson is 3-5 against his former school, including a 1-3 record against the Beavers with Arizona State. Coach Erickson’s first ever match-up with Oregon State was in 1984, when his Idaho Vandals beat the Beavers 41-22. Erickson was the head coach of Oregon State from 1999 to 2002.

STREAK'S OVER: With the 43-22 victory over USC last week, the Sun Devils snapped an 11-game losing streak to the Trojans that dated back to 1999. It was also ASU’s first win over USC at Sun Devil Stadium since 1997. The 43 points was the most scored by an ASU team against USC since it scored 48 in 1996 during a double OT win in 1996 and it was the most ever scored by a Sun Devils team against the Trojans in regulation.

BEATING A RANKED TEAM: With the win over then-#23 USC, Dennis Erickson picked up his 29th career victory over a ranked opponent. It is ASU’s second win over a ranked opponent at home this season, the first time the Sun Devils have done that since 1986. That season, ASU went 10-1-1, won the Pac-10 title and beat Michigan in the Rose Bowl. The last time ASU beat two ranked opponents in the same season was 1997, when they beat three ranked teams (23-12 at #13 Miami, 31-14 at #25 Stanford, 44-31 vs. #10 Washington State).

ONE GOOD LEG, OVER 100 YARDS: After injuring his ankle at Illinois, junior running back Cameron Marshall was limited all week in practice leading up to the game with USC. He certainly wasn’t limited when the lights went on, as he ran for 141 yards and scored three touchdowns to lead the Sun Devils to victory. He set the tone for the night early, scampering 70-yards for a touchdown on the fourth play of the game. It was his third career 100-yard game and the second time in his career he has run for three scores in a game.

CAPTAINS: Omar Bolden, Garth Gerhart, Brock Osweiler, Colin Parker and T.J. Simpson have been named the captains of the 2011 Sun Devil football team.

USC RECAP: The Sun Devils ended their 11-game losing streak to the Trojans in emphatic fashion, thumping USC 43-22 in Tempe. After USC took a 22-21 lead with 6:41 to go in the third, ASU scored 22 unanswered points to win going away. Cameron Marshall started the game with a 70-yard scoring run on his first carry of the ball game, setting himself up for a 141-yard, three touchdown performance on the ground. The Sun Devil defense forced four Trojan turnovers, including two Matt Barkley interceptions. One of those was returned 41-yards by Shelly Lyons for the game-clinching touchdown.

MORE ON ENDING THE STREAK: Brock Osweiler became the first quarterback since Ryan Kealy to beat the USC Trojans. The other starting quarterbacks for the Sun Devils between wins over USC?: John Leonard, Jeff Krohn, Griffin Goodman, Andrew Walter, Chad Christensen, Sam Keller, Rudy Carpenter, Danny Sullivan, Samson Szakacsy and Steven Threet.

PAC-12 PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Senior Linebacker Shelly Lyons has been named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week for his game against USC. Lyons recorded his first career interception, which he returned for his first career touchdown, and added four tackles, including one for loss. This is the first weekly conference award for Lyons, and he gets to etch his name in school history as the first ever Pac-12 Player of the Week winner from Arizona State.

FIRST INTERCEPTIONS: Linebackers Vontaze Burfict and Shelly Lyons both attended Centennial High School in Corona in southern California. Against Southern California, they both intercepted their first career passes, picking off Matt Barkley, whom they faced in high school. Burfict, on his 21st birthday, returned his 36 yards before being tripped up by Barkley. Lyons did Burfict one better, returning his pick 41-yards for a touchdown, his first career score.

THIRD DOWN SHUT DOWN: The Sun Devils dominated the Trojans on third down conversions, as the ASU defense held USC to a 1-9 night. The Sun Devils lead the Pac-12 in third down defense, as their opponents are 12-51 on third down (23.5%).

PFEELING THE PFLOW: Aaron Pflugrad had a night to remember against Missouri. The senior wideout tied a career-high with eight catches and set a new career-high with 180 yards. He also scored two touchdowns for the second straight week. In the three games this season, Pflugrad has totaled 22 receptions for 344 yards and four TDs. Entering the 2011 season, he had 576 yards and three touchdowns in his career. Pflugrad has been added to the Biletnikoff Award Watch List.

MR. VERSATILE: Jamal Miles has done a little bit of everything this 2011 season. In the opener against UC Davis, he returned a kickoff 98-yards for a touchdown. Against Missouri, he put on a touchdown clinic, catching two touchdown passes, including the game-winner in overtime, and threw a touchdown pass. It was the first touchdown pass of his career on his second career completion. Against USC, Miles made a career-high nine receptions for 55 yards and a touchdown.

ASU HALL OF FAME: The Oregon State game is the Hall of Fame Game, as Arizona State University will induct 10 people into their Athletic Hall of Fame. The Class of 2011 features: Adam Archuleta (Football), Mike Benjamin (Baseball), Lucy Casarez (Softball), Kurt Nimphius (Men’s Basketball), Grace Park (Women’s Golf), Townsend Saunders (Wrestling), Marvel Smith (Football), Stacey Tullock (Soccer), Molly Tuter (Women’s Basketball) and Fernando Vina (Baseball). The inductees will be honored in a ceremony at halftime.

RUNNING FOR MILES: Jamal Miles returned his second career kickoff for a touchdown against UC Davis, bringing it back 98 yards. It was the second consecutive game in Sun Devil Stadium Miles has returned a kick for a score, as he had a 99-yarder in last season’s home finale against UCLA. Miles joins teammate Omar Bolden, Terry Battle and Whizzer White as the only Sun Devils in school history with two career kickoff return touchdowns. It was the sixth kickoff return for touchdown the Sun Devils have had since Dennis Erickson took over as head coach in 2007, the most under one coach in school history.

DEBUT DEVILS: 21 student-athletes have seen their first action at Arizona State this season: Rashad Wadood, Alex Garoutte, Anthony Jones, Kipeli Koniseti, Carl Bradford, Tyler Sulka, Kevin Ozier, Ezekiel Bishop, Josh Hubner, Jamil Douglas, Jordan McDonald, Davon Coleman, Rashad Ross, Mike Bercovici, Sil Ajawara, Kevin Ayers, Marcus Washington, Taylor Kelly, Angelo Magee, Chike Mbanefo and Gannon Conway. Wadood, Bishop and Bercovici are all true freshmen.

MORE FIRSTS: Several Sun Devils recorded milestone “firsts” in the win over UC Davis. Quarterback Brock Osweiler made his first career start at Sun Devil Stadium. His previous two career starts came at Autzen Stadium against Oregon (2009) and at Arizona Stadium against the Wildcats (2010). Quarterbacks Mike Bercovici and Taylor Kelly each threw their first pass completion in their first career action. Running back Marcus Washington scored his first career touchdown in his first career game. Wide receivers Chris Coyle, Jarrid Bryant, Kevin Ozier, Angelo Magee and Rashad Ross all made their first career receptions.

PAC-12 PREDICTIONS: Arizona State has been picked to finish second in the Pac-12 South in the annual media poll. Oregon, who ASU will face in Eugene on October 15, has been picked to win the Pac-12 North. The winners of the two divisions will face each other in the first ever Pac-12 Championship Game on December 2.

NOEL HUDDLE OFFENSE: Offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone always says how the Sun Devils can score in a hurry, and they have not let him down this season. Arizona State’s first two touchdown drives of the UC Davis both took under 1:10. Last season, ASU had 11 scoring drives that took under 1:10. Against Missouri, ASU had an eight second scoring drive.

DUAL THREAT: Cameron Marshall has a well deserved reputation as one of the top running backs in the Pac-12, but he proved against UC Davis that he is just as dangerous through the air. Marshall caught four passes for 86 yards against the Aggies, setting a new career high. His previous high was 45 yards last season against USC, but he topped that mark on his first reception of the year, a 47-yard pitch-and-catch on the first offensive play of the season.

THREE AND OUT: The 2010 ASU defense was one of the top teams in the nation to force opposing offenses into three-and-out possessions. The Sun Devils averaged 4.08 three-and-outs a game, for a total of 49 in their 12 contests. That placed them in the top 20 in the nation. So far in 2011, ASU has forced opponents into 12 three-and-outs.

PUSH ‘EM BACK: In 2010, the Sun Devil defense routinely made tackles for loss or for no gain. The defense finished 2010 with 143 plays that went for negative or no yards, totaling 307 yards lost for the offense. Against USC, the Sun Devil defense totaled eight plays of negative or no gain for the Trojans for 23 yards lost.

100-YARD DUO: Running backs Cameron Marshall and Deantre Lewis are no strangers to having big games on the ground. Lewis has three career 100-yard games, while Marshall has three of his own. Lewis also has two 100-yard receiving games.

CORONA CENTENNIAL CONNECTION: The 2011 Sun Devils have seven student-athletes who played at Centennial High School in Corona, California in high school. Headlining the Centennial group is the linebacking trio of Vontaze Burfict, Brandon Magee and Shelly Lyons. Wide receiver Angelo Magee, Brandon’s brother, defensive lineman Will Sutton, quarterback Michael Eubank and wide receiver Jarrid Bryant also attended Centennial. Bryant graduated from Salisbury Prep in Connecticut, but began his high school career in Corona.

IN THE POLLS: Arizona State returned to the Associated Press Poll this week, coming in at #25. ASU has been ranked three times this season: #23 in the USA Today Coaches poll prior to the Missouri game and #18 in USA Today and #22 in the AP Poll following the win over the Tigers. This season marked ASU’s first appearance in the AP Poll since a #15 ranking on September 7, 2008.

SENIOR CLASS: The 2011 Sun Devils will feature one of the largest senior classes in the nation, as there will be 26 seniors playing in their final season. The senior class includes: Linebacker Oliver Aaron, wide receiver George Bell, offensive lineman Chris DeArmas, safety Eddie Elder, safety Clint Floyd, defensive end Jamaar Jarrett, tight end Trevor Kohl, offensive lineman Nick Emanuele, linebacker Shelly Lyons, linebacker Brandon Magee, wide receiver Angelo Magee, wide receiver Gerell Robinson, offensive lineman Brice Schwab, wide receiver Mike Willie, cornerback Omar Bolden, offensive lineman Garth Gerhart, snapper Cameron Kastl, offensive lineman Dan Knapp, offensive lineman Mike Marcisz, offensive lineman Trent Marsh, defensive lineman Bo Moos, linebacker Colin Parker, wide receiver Aaron Pflugrad, offensive lineman Aderious Simmons, wide receiver T.J. Simpson and offensive lineman Adam Tello.

BROCK’S TALLER THAN YOU: Quarterback Brock Osweiler checks in at six foot eight inches tall, making him the tallest quarterback in the FBS. Osweiler is one of nine QBs 6-6 or taller in the nation.

SELECT COMPANY: Head Coach Dennis Erickson is in select company when it comes to conference Coach of the Year awards. Coach Erickson is one of only two coaches in the nation to have six Coach of the Year trophies to his name. Erickson won Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors in 1988 (Washington State), 2000 (Oregon State) and 2007 (Arizona State) and Big East Coach of the Year honors in 1991, 1992 and 1994 (all with Miami). The only other coach with six Coach of the Year awards is South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier.

TRUE FRESHMEN UNDER ERICKSON: Since Dennis Erickson took over in 2007, 27 true freshmen have played for the Sun Devils. This season, three (Mike Bercovici, Ezekiel Bishop, Rashad Wadood) have played. ASU saw a school record 10 play during the 2008 season.

SCHOLAR BALLERS: 22 Sun Devil football players have been named Scholar Ballers for their work in the classroom: Oliver Aaron, Sil Ajawara, Derrall Anderson, Mike Bercovici, Gannon Conway, Chris Coyle, Evan Finkenberg, Alex Garoutte, Brandon Johnson, Cameron Kastl, Ronald Kennedy, Jr., Kody Koebensky, Shelly Lyons, Brandon Magee, Mike Marcisz, Trent Marsh, Kyle Middlebrooks, Colin Parker, Aaron Pflugrad, Max Smith, Grandville Taylor and Austin Williams.

NATIONAL EXPOSURE: Four of Arizona State’s 12 regular season games have already been picked up for national television. The September 9 match-up with Missouri at Sun Devil Stadium was televised by ESPN. Last week, September 17, ASU’s game at Illinois was shown on the Big 10 Network. ESPN aired the game with USC, and ESPN will show the regular season finale with California in Tempe on November 25. The October 8 game at Utah will air on Fox Sports Net.

HALL OF FAME: Pat Tillman entered the College Football Hall of Fame in July, the ninth Sun Devil enshrined. Tillman joins former Sun Devil coaches Dan Devine, Frank Kush and John Cooper and student-athletes defensive back Mike Haynes, wide receiver John Jefferson, offensive lineman Randall McDaniel, linebacker Ron Pritchard and quarterback Danny White as representatives of Arizona State University in the College Football Hall of Fame.

HOME SWEET HOME: With its win over UCLA in the home finale last season, Arizona State won its 250th regular season game at Sun Devil Stadium. Sun Devil Stadium opened in 1958. The Sun Devils also won five Fiesta Bowls at Sun Devil Stadium.

EXPERIENCE: Defensive Coordinator Craig Bray and Offensive Coordinator Noel Mazzone boast a combined 68 years of both college and pro coaching experience, the third most experienced coaching duo in the nation.

SPREADING THE WEALTH: Three Sun Devil quarterbacks have completed 99 this season, finding 13 different receivers. Last season, three ASU QBs combined to throw completions to 16 different receivers.

HEALING UP: Despite suffering severe knee injuries during spring practice, both Omar Bolden and T.J. Simpson have played huge roles for the Sun Devils as they prepare for the 2011 season. Bolden has been mentoring the cornerbacks, imparting wisdom gained from his stellar career at ASU. On the other side of the ball, Simpson has been helping the wide receivers by sharing his knowledge from his time on the field. Both Bolden and Simpson continue to rehab their injuries.

ONE DOOR CLOSES, ANOTHER OPENS: After suffering a concussion during the UCLA game last season, quarterback Steven Threet was forced to end his playing days. However, Threet did not end his association with the Sun Devil football program. Threet is spending this season as a student coach as he works towards finishing his degree.

UNI-WATCH: Arizona State wore their traditional uniform combo for the season opener against UC Davis (gold helmet, maroon jersey, gold pants). They wore all black against Missouri and all white for the first road game at Illinois. Against USC, they wore all maroon.

DID YOU KNOW: Head Coach Dennis Erickson has a 10-7 career record against his former schools (OSU, WSU, Wyoming), including a 3-5 record against Oregon State. He was 0-4 against the Seattle Seahawks while with the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL. He has never faced Idaho or Miami and was 1-4 against ASU before taking the coaching job in Tempe.

UP NEXT: Arizona State heads to Salt Lake City for its first Pac-12 road trip, as the Sun Devils will face off against the Utah Utes on Saturday, October 8.