Scrimmage Showcases Explosive Offense

Keller or Carpenter was the question on Sun Devil fans' minds prior to Friday's scrimmage, and that question was answered. How does the ASU defense stop them, is one dilemma that hasn't been solved, at least not in tonight's camp ending scrimmage. The Sun Devils offense threw for nearly 600 yards and scored 11 TD's, albeit some in situation drills, and delighted the 5000 fans in the stands.

"It was a very difficult decision," said head coach Dirk Koetter concerning the resolution of naming Sam Keller his starting QB. "We went with the guy that we think is the best for our situation right now. We couldn't go wrong. We have two excellent guys, they both can do it. It was very close. I was hoping that one guy would clearly outplay the other and it just didn't happen that way, so we had to do what we had to do." Koetter added that both signal callers were more relaxed on Friday night than they have been lately.

The duo's fine play naturally turned the scrimmage into an offensive clinic. Sam Keller completed 68% of his passes, and Rudy Carpenter threw for four touchdowns and ran another one himself. Terry Richardson led all receivers with 11 catches, 157 yards and two scores. Chris McGaha had a 99-yard touchdown catch on a ‘backed-up' drill, and Nate Kimbrough added a 70-yard touchdown reception.

The maroon and gold defense obviously didn't have their finest hour on Friday, although relatively speaking did a better job on stopping the run. Cornerback Justin Tryon had ten tackles, and fellow corner Keno Walter-White chipped in with five stops. Derron Ware, Jordan Hill, Kellen Mills, and Jon Hargis each had a sack. Littrele Jones had two pass deflections.

Following the scrimmage the hot topic of discussion wasn't what transpired on the field, but rather what took place earlier on Friday in Koetter's office. "Coach Koetter, that's the kind of guy he is – he's loyal," commented Keller. "He has morals, values…he gets on my (behind) sometimes, but he's a man of character. I go back to the Stanford game where he let me start and I shouldn't have started. Rudy (Carpenter) was way better than me at that point. He let me start because I wanted to and I was in denial how much I was hurt."

Keller admitted that he did have some anxious moments leading up to the Sun Devil skipper's decision, which was delivered in private to each of the quarterbacks. "I'll be honest with you, this is my life – my last year," stated Keller. "It's easier said than done, to be relaxed and just play football. I think with everything on the line I did a good job composing myself. There were some anxious times, and that's why I have my teammates and even Rudy to talk to. Half of me thought I was gonna get this (starting job) and half of me thought I wouldn't. I'm blessed to be in the position I am. I'm relishing in it and I'm gonna take this thing all the way. I'm ready I'm loose and we have a great team. This is gonna be a great ride."

Carpenter was visibly disappointed with the decision, and while he knows that he still has three more years to play in Tempe, he said that thinking in that manner, to use Keller's words, is easier said than done. "I'm just gonna try and continue to be myself, be who I am," he said. "Obviously this is difficult for me, but I give Sam credit. Coach Koetter had a tough decision and made the decision he had to make. He told me he believes in loyalty, so that's just the way it goes." He added that his five touchdown pass performance in the scrimmage was a result of being motivated after Koetter's decision.

Scrimmage stats:


Keller: 20 for 29, 235 yards, 2 TD's
Carpenter: 12 of 21, 342 yards, 5 TD's
Danny Sullivan: 3 of 5, 25 yards
Dax Crum: 3 of 5, 20 yards


Ryan Torain: 10 carries, 42 yards, 1 TD
Shaun DeWitty: 6 carries, 36 yards, 2 TDs
Preston Jones: 2 carries, 25 yards
Dimitri Nance: 6 carries, 23 yards
Keegan Herring: 4 carries, 21 yards
Cole Ptacek 3 carries, 13 yards
Rudy Carpenter: 2 carries, 10 yards, 1 TD


Terry Richardson: 11 catches, 157 yards, 2 TDs, 85 yard punt return for a TD
Nate Kimbrough: 4 catches, 156 yards, 1 TD
Chris McGaha: 4 catches, 144 yards, 1 TD
Lance Evbuomwan: 5 catches, 40 yards, 1 TD
Keegan Herring: 4 catches, 35 yards
Rudy Burgess: 3 catches, 23 yards
Zach Miller: 2 catches, 22 yards
Ryan Torain: 1 catch, 25 yards, 1 TD
Ken McGee: 1 catch, 9 yards
Jovon Williams: 1 catch, 6 yards
Brandon Smith: 1 catch, 5 yards

Special Teams


Jesse Ainsworth
11-12 missed 50-yard, made 45,39,36
Thomas Webber

3-6 missed 45,36. Made 45 (majority of kicks for both were attempted from 36 and 45 yards out)


Jesse Ainsworth
Nine punts 40.6 yard average. Long punt of 55 yards. Jonathan Johnson
Eight punts 36.8 yard average. Long punt of 51 yards.

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