Sun Devils Tame Wolfpack

Ultimately, the pistol was muzzled. A potentially dangerous Nevada offense wasn't able to do much against ASU's defense, and the visitors from Reno were unable to stop the Devils' aerial attack. The result was a convincing 52-21 victory over the Wolfpack.

Head Coach Dirk Koetter said that defensively Nevada (0-2) showed his team a different look than they did thus far on film. Consequently, it did cool down Arizona State (2-0) when it came to their running game. After three quarters, the maroon and gold mustered only 64 yards, but in the last period collected 75 yards. However, Rudy Carpenter commanded an efficient passing game, and set a career-high passing for five touchdowns. On the night the sophomore completed 65% of his passes (17 of 26) as he amassed 333 yards. More importantly five different players caught his touchdown passes, and in sharp contrast to last week more wide receivers were involved. His only blemish was an interception that was returned by a touchdown early in the second quarter.

The maroon and gold defense turned in another good night. They chipped in with four turnovers, one of them returned for a score by Ryan McFoy in the second quarter. ASU gave up only 114 yards of total offense in the second half and one touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Robert James, Beau Manutai and Dexter Davis each had six sacks to lead their team.

Zach Miller, who had 53 yards and paced the Devils in receptions with five, scored on a two-yard pass on his team's first drive of the game. With that score, Miller tied an ASU record for touchdowns by a tight end with 11. The next two ASU's possessions resulted in a blocked 44-yard field goal and the aforementioned interception by Nevada's Ezra Butler for a score, which negated an interception by ASU's Chris Baloney. ASU shook off that mishap and in the ensuing possession marched down 80-yards for a score – a 20-yard catch by Mike Jones. This began a 24-point burst in the second half, giving the home team a 31-14 halftime advantage.

To start the third quarter, the ASU defense pinned Nevada all the way back to their five-yard line and following a Terry Richardson punt return, had just 22 yards to cover for a score. Two plays later, Carpenter finds Shaun DeWitty on a screen pass to increase the lead to 38-14. An ASU fumble late in the fourth deep in Sun Devil territory led to the visitors' only score in the second half. The home team would have the honors of putting the last points on the board, when Ryan Torain cashes in on a 15-yard run, while stretching into the end zone, and sending 54,232 fans (or what was left of them at that point of the contest) home more satisfied than they were last week.

Up next for ASU is their first road game, which will also mark their last non-conference match-up, against Colorado (0-2). The Buffaloes' coaching staff is familiar with the Sun Devils, which could make this apparent mismatch an intriguing game after all. A victory at Boulder will undoubtedly give the maroon and gold even more confidence as they head into Pac-10 play in two weeks.

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