Defense Dominates Spring Scrimmage

The near triple degree temperatures made Sun Devil stadium feel like August. However, after watching the lack of offense displayed today, thank goodness it's only April. The first three quarters were a scoreless yawner, but the fourth quarter compensated for the previous three with 29 points scored. The Gold team, the weaker one on paper, beat the Maroon squad 22-7.

Chad Christensen, who entered the game as ASU's first-string quarterback, had a miserable game passing for 3 out of 14 and 21 yards including two interceptions. He did however score on an option play where he caught a 20-yard pass thrown by running back Hakim Hill. Andrew Walter faired better – he was 3-11 for 58 yards, including a pair of touchdowns and an interception. All of his touchdowns came in the fourth quarter, where his team came back from trailing 7-0. Walter also ran in a two-point conversion. Andy Goodenough, who played a half on each team, was 4-14 for 33 yards.

The running game by both teams was below average, and probably a product of the makeshift offensive lines, which were featured on both squads. Mike Williams had one of his better spring performances leading all rushers with 44 yards on 11 carries. Hakim Hill was very quiet with 8 yards on 11 carries. Williams was also the leading receiver with 37 yards on two catches. Shaun McDonald was 2-23 including a 13-yard touchdown. Matt Miller was very economical scoring on his lone catch for 35 yards. Daryl Lightfoot was 2-19 on the day.

Josh Amobi, who has claimed the starting linebacker spot from Solomon Bates, had a sensational day with three sacks, and another hit on Christensen, which led to a Jared Wolfgram 25 yard interception for a touchdown. Brian Montesanto shined two with a pair of sacks. Terrell Suggs who was relatively quiet on the day had a sack, as well as Bart Hammit. Riccardo Stewart and R.J. Oliver had interceptions, while Jimmy Verdon recovered a Goodenough fumble.

When analyzing the lack of productivity on offense, it should be wroth noting that the unique format of the game had to be a major contributor. With all the players being drafted into two teams, makeshift offensive and defensive lines were all the rage. First teamers often lined up against second teamers, which hardly provided a true litmus test as to how good (or bad) the various units are on this Football team. Nevertheless, the competitive juices were flowing on Saturday afternoon. The losing team was going to serve the winners at a BBQ dinner following the game, which will make for some nice bragging rights until August. Nevertheless, today's overall team performance is nothing to gloat about. The biggest question that arises from today was - did the makeup of both teams, with its unusual rosters, unfairly distort the true state of the team? As Sun Devil fans yearning for a better 2002 season, we hope the answer is yes…

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