Fist Scrimmage Features Stingy Defense

Every year it seems that the first scrimmage of fall practice adheres to the saying that the defense is ahead of the offense . Consequently, the first of two scrimmages at Camp Tontozona was true to script. The Sun Devils in white stifled their teammates in the maroon, and allowed only one touchdown on Saturday afternoon.

The 1500 fans in attendance were treated to a beautiful and mostly sunny day up at the Tonto National Forrest. The only thing shinning brighter than the sun was the Arizona State defense. The passing game was struggling early as the defensive line was putting pressure on the quarterback, and during the times that the signal caller actually had some precious seconds in the pocket, passes were either being intercepted, deflected, or broken up.

Safety Jeremy Payton was drawing praises from the coaches earlier in the week On Saturday it was easy to understand why. During one of the very first plays of the scrimmage, he caused a fumble that was recovered for 23-yard score by Rodney Cox. Later on, Payton intercepted the ball and ran 43-yards into the end zone, and added another pick that was returned for 15 yards. Big hits and pass breaks were also part of the repertoire of the redshirt freshman.

Zach Catanese had a very strong showing today. One of his hits caused an incompletion, and other hits were just one of many defensive highlights in the scrimmage. The sack leader today was surprisingly Kellen Mills. He had 3.5 sacks, as he shared one of them with Dale Robinson. Cox and Grant Crunkleton had a pick each. Kyle Caldwell, Dewayne Hollyfield, Mike Talbot, and Adam Vincent all had a sack. The scrimmage featured two safeties. One was by Uriah Marshall who tackled Keegan Herring and the other was Brian Quakenbush who dropped Price Wilks.

Offensively, the Sun Devils did much of their damage on the ground, to the tune of 166 yards, Herring had 15 carries for 53 yards, while Wilks chipped in with 14 carries and 56 yards.

When it was time to toss the pigskin, the ASU quarterbacks were somewhat struggling. Sam Keller completed 9-15 for 81 yards and a touchdown very late in the scrimmage. Rudy Carpenter was 7-17 for 14 yards. No one had a rougher outing than Derek Shaw who was 2-7 for 16 yards and four interceptions.

The game has several of the ASU players sidelined. Among them were R.J. Oliver, Josh Barrett, Beau Manutai, Zach Miller, Wes Evans, Cornell Canidate, Stephen Berg, and Preston Jones. Both Sam Keller and Rudy Carpenter wore orange no-contact jerseys.

Following the scrimmage the team enjoyed a few hours in the local pool in Payson, followed by the an outing to the movie Wedding Crashers.

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