Carpenter Named Starter Over Keller

In a dramatic turn of events, sophomore Rudy Carpenter was named the starting quarterback, less than 48 hours after senior Sam Keller received word that he will assume that role. Keller was excused from Sunday night's practice to mull over his options. Whether senior Sam Keller will quit the Sun Devils following his demotion remains to be seen.

"It's simple. I made a mistake on the quarterback situation and I'm changing my mind," said head Coach Dirk Koetter following Sunday night's practice. "We're gonna start Rudy Carpenter. I excused Sam Keller from practice tonight to consider his options. Whatever Sam decides to do, including returning to the team or play elsewhere, I wish him the best."

Koetter didn't specify the sequence of events that took place from Friday morning, when he named Keller as the starter, until Saturday afternoon when he reversed his decision and gave the nod to Carpenter. "I have to do what's best for the Arizona State's football program first and foremost," he stated. "How this came about, really doesn't matter. I chose to switch quarterbacks and we're doing it."

Koetter said that he talked to several individuals about this decision and this has been weighing heavy on his mind for a while. "I'm the one that screwed it up," admitted Koetter, "and I'm also the one that has to fix it and I'm fixing it. I have to get the best 11 players on the field." He added that the message on the change in starting quarterback was delivered to the team at a 2PM team meeting on Sunday.

The Sun Devils skipper mentioned that as expected Keller was very disappointed and needed to consider his options. "Sam's timetable is whatever is best for him," remarked Koetter. "With school starting tomorrow, they're some rules that kick in. Whatever we can do to accommodate Sam Keller returning to the team…and I know that they're rumors flying out there that he was booted off the team – that's not true. If he wants to come and be our #2 quarterback, we would love to have him."

Koetter said that he apologized to both quarterbacks and his team for not making the right decision initially. "The bottom line is that Arizona State has to get the right guy out there," he said. "It has to be the right guy for our program. I got to get that fixed and I'm doing it. I'm not the first or last guy to ever change his mind on something."

"We've said all long that we have two great quarterbacks on this team," continued Koetter. "If Sam decides to go a different way, then we have one of them. We ran that risk no matter what we did. Both these guys can do it, I have to get the best guy out there and do what's best for Arizona State football, plain and simple." The ASU head coach confirmed that true freshman Danny Sullivan won't redshirt and will be the backup to Carpenter.

Carpenter led the nation in pass efficiency in 2005, setting a school record of 175.01 passer efficiency rating. Despite starting only the eight game of the season, he passed for a freshman record of 2,273 yards, 17 touchdown passes and only two interceptions.

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