Burden of Proof

Rudy Carpenter silenced critics with his respectable performance against NAU however many more people expected more out of him and especially more out of the run game. With a tough game this Saturday against Nevada, Carpenter looks to prove himself yet again as ASU's quarterback.

"I think they return seven or eight starters on their defense…those guys are pretty smart," Carpenter said regarding Nevada's defense. "They're going to be prepared for what were going to do but we'll be prepared for what they're going to do." Nevada's pass defense was ranked 104th in the nation while allowing 269.3 yards per game. However the Wolfpack's run defense excelled down the stretch last year not allowing a 100-yard rusher in their final eight games.

This season ASU boats a deep core of ball carriers, and consequently are looking to improve their rushing attack this season. "I think it's a big thing for us all the time…I think it will be a big thing this week," Carpenter said. The Devils' Running game did rush for 154 yards but couldn't be established till the fourth quarter, when the maroon and gold tailbacks, led by Dimitri Nance, gained 115 yards.

"I've been here for a couple years and I'm used to throwing the ball," Carpenter said regarding the four failed rushing attempts at NAU's goal line. Coach wants to prove to us and to everybody else that we can run the ball and that's why we ran it four straight times." However, despite Nevada's success at stopping the run last year, it was apparent in their first game they weren't able to contain Fresno State, giving up 212 yards on the ground.

Carpenter also added that he noticed some minor mistakes he was making during the NAU game, "guys running wide open down field…footwork or play fakes and I need to do a better job in the pocket than finishing my throws instead of throwing of my back foot." Head coach Dirk Koetter also said that this was Carpenter's worst game since his first start last year. Carpenter agreed because "we didn't score a lot of points…what matters more is staying on the field and not going three and out which happened a couple times."

Regardless of the win over NAU, the ASU signal caller expects more out of himself. "I always want to do better…the only thing is that I was 17 for 24. In most games that's not bad for a quarterback…but I guess most people are used to seeing us throw for over 400 yards and four touchdowns…like I said in the press conference a win is a win, whether its on point or no point."

Indeed, expectations are high with the returning second-ranked offense in the nation. Facing a more traditional defensive formation and an arguably weak secondary, Saturday could showcase the Carpenter and Sun Devil offense we've grown accustomed to.

Sun Devil Source Top Stories