Offensive Fireworks in ASU's First Scrimmage

The Sun Devils passing game was clearly its Achilles Heal in 2006. It's probably one reason why a proven offensive mastermind as Dennis Erickson was hired a head coach. If springs practice's first scrimmage is any sign of things to come, one needs not to worry about this team aspect this season.

Rudy Carpenter threw for 335 yards and three touchdowns on Saturday afternoon at Sun Devil stadium. His fourth pass of the scrimmage was a 50-yard hurl to Kyle Williams in the middle of the field who juked a couple of defensive backs en route to the end zone. Later on the sophomore caught another Carpenter pass, dashed towards the sidelines and thanks to a great block but Brandon Smith out ran the defense for a 70 yards (the offense started its drive on the 30-yard line). Carpenter's last pass of the scrimmage was a tightly thrown ball from 16 yards out to Smith who beat cornerback Chad Green.

The offense did struggle in one series where Carpenter had three incompletes in the red zone. He did however find Chris McGaha for two catches of 58 and 39 yards each. ASU's second team offense suffered from a depleted group of wide receivers, which had backup Danny Sullivan struggling to find targets. 50 of his 97 total yards did come on a pass to Jovon Williams.

The Sun Devils ground attack had a relatively good showing. Ryan Torain and Dimitri Nance averaged 4 and 5.5 yards per carry respectively, with the former scoring the scrimmage's only rushing touchdown, a 2-yard scamper.

It wasn't all gloom and doom for the defense. Justin Tryon picked up a Torain fumble (caused by Michael Marquardt) and ran it back 84 yards for a TD. At times the defense looked formidable against the run. Marquardt, Morris Wooten, Jon Hargis and Troy Nolan had some big hits in that capacity. Overall, the defense was laying the wood early and often, and the hitting was quite fierce in nature. Chad Lindsey had a pass break and a sack.

In what may have been a surprise to some, place kicker Thomas Weber made 4-5 field goals. He converted tries from 42 (twice), 47, and 52 with plenty of yards to spare on each kick, displaying great trajectory. His only miss was a long 55-yard attempt. Punter Jonathan Johnson was the holder on the kicks, and when he did punt he displayed once again solid hang time and distance. Walk-on Noah Burkes from local Maryvale High School was fielding punts this afternoon.

Aside from the players who have been held out all of spring practice, Dane Guthrie, Andrew Pettes, Gerald Munns, Keegan Herring, Robert James and Littrele Jones were all sidelined today with various injuries. Rudy Burgess and Josh Barrett are expected to join the team sometime during last two weeks of spring practice.

Unofficial Scrimmage Stats

Passing

Carpenter 13-18-335-0. 3 TD's: K.Williams (50, 70), B.Smith (16)

Sullivan 7-18-97-0

Crum 4-7-29-0

Rushing

Torain 10-40. One TD of 2 yards.

Nance 10-55

P.Jones 8-15

Ptacek 3-11

Lee 3-7

Carpenter 1-4

Receiving

K.Williams 5-179. Two TD's of 50, 70 yards

B.Smith 4-40. One TD of 16 yards

McGaha 2-97

P.Jones 2-15

Thompson 2-9

J.Williams 1-50

Monsalvatge 1-13

Nance 1-12

Gray 1-9

M.Jones 1-8

B.Miller 1-7

Evbuomwan 1-5

Glass 1-5

Kicking

Weber 4-5. Field Goals made 42,42,47,52. Field Goals missed 55.

Defense

Tryon – pass breakup on Smith who was probably headed for a TD downfield. Picked up Torain fumble and ran it back 84 yards for a TD

Marquardt - forced fumble

Ryan McFoy – pass break up in end zone, prevented TD by Miller.

Lindsey – pass break up and sack

Grant Crunkleton – pass break up

Garrett Judah – sack

Jon Hargis – sack

Merriweather - sack

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