Nevada Game Showcases an Improved Carpenter

Named as the 19th best quarterback in the nation by Lindy's publication, Rudy Carpenter has had thus far a great start to the 2006 season, as evident in Saturday's game against Nevada.

Passing for over 300 yards in five of his seven starts and eclipsing his career touchdown passes per game at five, Carpenter is an asset to the ASU football team. He began the game with a 34-yard pass to Rudy Burgess, followed by a completed 17-yard pass to Zach Miller, in a drive that eventually led to the first touchdown of the game.

With a completed 27-yard pass to Nate Kimbrough in the first quarter, and then a 52-yard touchdown pass to him in the second quarter, along with a 30-yard pass to Chris McGaha in the third, Carpenter was continuously finding success with his long ball and distributing the pigskin among several receivers. "The best thing to happen for us tonight was having guys like Michael   Jones, Chris McGaha and Nate Kimbrough, who really came through, play well tonight," he remarked. "It is really going to help us when the season goes on and guys wear down, start to get hurt or tired. We need those guys to come through and start playing for us…If we can get Dane Guthrie and Brandon Smith going, we are going to have a much deeper offense and it's going to help our team."

Although Carpenter was sharp on Saturday night, and commanded an effective passing offense for much of the game, he did foul up a few times against Nevada. An interception in the second quarter was returned by the Wolfpack for their first touchdown of the game. Later in the game, he had some incomplete passes, usually overthrown to wide open receivers. As Carpenter later commented, "Tonight I missed some reads and tried to run a bit. Sometimes that's the way it goes." Naturally, these mistakes will be addressed in practice and in the film room.

Ironically enough, the interception he threw that was returned for a score, was executed by Ezra Butler, who Carpenter is familiar with from his high school days. "I played with him for four years and he's never done that before," he said.

The sophomore added that the defensive looks by Nevada were different than what he and the team saw on film. "That's the good thing about what our coaches do," he explained. "Teams know we can throw the ball and know our coaches are going to have a good plan for us. They always have answers for us, regardless of what our plays are."

Ultimately, Carpenter completed 17 of 26 passes en route to a 52-21 victory, ASU's second win of the season. This talented signal caller has already improved since his freshman year and is predicted to complete more passes and throw for many more yards than his 2005 ASU season. As Carpenter said, "I'm just happy we came out and we played good. I think we played better than we did last week. We had some missed opportunities and I think we are going to get better. The coaches always have a great plan for us. I think if we learn to execute that plan a little better we can get better each week."

Sun Devil Source Top Stories