Washington Preview

Saturday's game marks the first meeting between the Huskies and Sun Devils since 2002. In a Pac-10 scheduling quirk, the Huskies have traveled to Tempe the last three meetings, and this game will mark the fourth time. Unlike his predecessor, Keith Gilbertson, new skipper Ty Willingham has the Huskies playing hard despite a 1-6 record. Therefore, this has the potential of being a land mine game for ASU if they don't pick up the intensity on both sides of the ball and start executing better.

WASHINGTON HUSKIES

2005 Record: 1-6 (0-4 Pac-10)
Head Coach: Tyrone Willingham, 1st year
Offensive Coordinator: Tim Lappano
Defensive Coordinator: Kent Baer

OFFENSE

*Projected Starters

WR Sonny Shackelford (Jr)
LT Robin Meadow (Sr)
LG Stanley Daniels (Jr)
C Brad Vanneman (Sr)
RG Tusi Sa'au (Sr)
RT Joe Toledo (Sr)
TE Robert Lewis (So)
QB Isaiah Stanback (Jr)
TB Louis Rankin (So)
FB Mark Palaita (Sr)
WR Anthony Russo (So)

In the mold of other quarterbacks ASU has faced, such as Brett Basanez and Kellen Clemens, Washington's Isaiah Stanback can move the chains with his arm or feet. The junior has gained over 175 yards and notched 3 touchdowns on the ground. Stanback has thrown for over 1500 yards and 7 touchdowns in the air, good enough for a 220 yard average per game. Backing Stanback up is Johnny DuRocher. The University of Oregon transfer is 11 of 18 in pass attempts and thrown for 1 touchdown.

Supplementing Stanback's quickness on the ground are a stable of running backs, led by Louis Rankin. The sophomore has 485 yards and 1 score on the year. Rankin is averaging just under 70 yards per contest. Senior James Sims and Junior Kenny James round out the rushing attack. Both have a combined 139 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Stanback has spread the ball quite well among his receivers. Leading the air assault are junior Sonny Shackelford and sophomore Anthony Russo. Shackelford leads the team in catches with 29 and has accrued just under 400 yards on the season. Russo has 20 grabs and 1 score. 6'3" sophomore Craig Chambers leads all receivers in touchdowns with 3. Sophomore Cody Ellis has 1 touchdown and is another option for a possible big play. Tight ends Robert Lewis and Johnnie Kirton are solid pass catchers and have combined for 23 catches and 2 scores.

DEFENSE

*Projected starters

DE Donny Mateaki (Jr)
DT Wilson Afoa (So)
DT Manase Hopoi (Sr)
DE Greyson Gunheim (So)
ILB Scott White (Jr)
ILB Joe Lobendahn (Sr)
OLB Evan Benjamin (Sr)
FS Dashon Goldson (Jr)
SS C.J. Wallace (Jr)
CB Durrell Moss (So)
CB Roy Lewis (So)

With the Sun Devil offensive line beset with injuries, the Husky defensive line will be licking their chops. It all starts up front with defensive tackle Manase Hopoi. The senior was granted another year of eligibility and hasn't slowed down. Hopoi is a complete interior lineman that can get a pass rush and tackle well. The senior has 4 sacks and 23 tackles. Flanking him inside is Wilson Afoa. The sophomore has 17 tackles, of which 3.5 were for a loss. Sophomore Erik Lobos is a key reserve in the middle with 9 tackles. At the end spots are starters sophomore Greyson Gunheim and junior Donny Mateaki. The two have combined for 31 stops and 3 sacks. Sophomore Caesar Rayford has recorded a sack in relief.

Husky Joe Lobendahn is among the better linebackers in the conference. He's the team leader in tackles with 64 in the middle. Lobendahn also has 2 interceptions. On the outside sits Evan Banjamin. The senior isn't far behind Lobendahn with 56 tackles and 1 sack. Junior Scott White has 50 stops on the other side. All 3 linebackers have 2 pass break-ups a piece. Behind the formidable starting trio are Junior Tahj Bomar and sophomore Dan Howell. Both have a combined 6 tackles and 1 forced fumble.

The Washington secondary is anchored by two juniors at safety and two sophomore cornerbacks. Strong safety CJ Wallace is the top dawg in the secondary with 56 tackles, 1 sack, 2 pass break-ups, and a pair of forced fumbles. At the free safety spot, Dashon Goldson is having a solid year with 52 tackles, 1 interception, and 2 pass break-ups. Sophomore Darin Harris has seen time off the bench in all 7 games. Harris has14 tackles and 1 pick. Also covering the Sun Devil receivers will be corners Roy Lewis and Durrell Moss. Lewis has notched 31 tackles while Moss has 1 sack to go along with his 12 stops. Junior Matt Fountaine is an experienced back-up and former starter with 29 tackles and 3 pass break-ups.

SPECIAL TEAMS

P Sean Douglas (Jr)
K Evan Knudson (Sr)
PR Anthony Russo (So)
KR Roy Lewis (So)

Sean Douglas is averaging just over 44 yards per punt and has placed 10 of his 32 punts inside the 20 yard line. Douglas' longest of the season went for an outstanding 69 yards. Similar to his ASU counterpart, the junior has had two of his punts blocked. Senior Evan Knudson is a solid kicker capable of converting on long attempts. Knudson is 7 of 10 and has hit on 2 of his 3 kicks from 40+ yards. His longest of the season was a 46 yarder.

Sophomore Anthony Russo is averaging a paltry 1.8 yards on 6 punt returns. True freshman Marlon Wood has a slightly better average, 8.3 yards, on 3 returns. Wood has fared better on kickoff returns, however, with a 92 yard return to his credit. Sophomore corner Roy Lewis is averaging 20.5 yards on 6 kick returns.


Sun Devil Source Top Stories