Defense Redeems Itself in Camp T Scrimmage

CAMP TONTOZONA - The pastoral scene of Camp Tontozona has been in sharp contrast to the criticism the ASU defense has been receiving ever since their arrival here on Wednesday. Today this group showed that those words have been taken to heart, as they stifled the ASU offense in the team's scrimmage in front of 4,000 spectators.

"It's a typical first scrimmage – a lot of mental mistakes," said ASU Head Coach Dennis Erickson, "things that are easily fixed. You have an offside penalty on a touchdown, we had some face mask penalties…penalties that you can't have because they'll cost you a game."

"Defensively we did some darn good things. Our attitude defensively is to be aggressive, be physical, and run like heck. That's what we're preaching. You may make some mistakes doing that and that's all right. That attitude isn't where it needs to be, but I think we got a start today."

The passing game wasn't exceptionally sharp today. Rudy Carpenter completed 8-of-17 passes for 116 yards, and only in his last pass attempt was he able to find Brent Miler from 14 yards out for the only receiving score of the game. In fact, Miller was so ecstatic, that his spiking of the ball and breaking into jubilation earned a 15-yard penalty for excessive celebration. Carpenter also had one interception when his pass was batted down by Jonathan English and caught by fellow defensive tackle Jon Hargis. Freshman sensation Kerry Taylor paced all wide receivers with five receptions for 85 yards.

"The defense was hitting us pretty good today," said Carpenter. "I think on offense we did a lot of good things. We just had stupid penalties, but I think that's to be expected in the first scrimmage. We had a couple of big plays that were called back, we had three drives and we got into the red zone three times…we need to stop the mistakes and the penalties and we'll be fine."

The running game on the other hand looked solid, with all Sun Devil running backs registering a total of 200 yards. Ryan Torain had 8 carries for 60 yards, while Keegan Herring tallied 50 yards on the same number of carries. Jarrell Woods scored the lone rushing TD of the game, a 20-yard scamper, and collected 38 yards on seven carries.

On defense several players had impressive outings. Freshman defensive end James Brooks had two tackles, one for a loss, one QB hurry, and one pass batted down. The hardest hit of the day was delivered by Littrele Jones who flattened Rodney Glass, a tackle that required stitches to his chin. Fobbs-Valentino, Robert James, Travis Goethel, and Anthony Reyes had three tackles each. Bo Moos and Luis Vasquez each had a sack.

In what has been a recurring theme here in camp, both Sun Devil kickers starter Thomas Weber and backup walk-on Zach Richards continue to wage a close battle. Weber connected from 32 and 47 yards, and missed a 42-yarder. If it wasn't for a defensive penalty, he would also register a miss from 47. Richards made good on all his three 47- yard kicks, with his lone miss coming from 42 yards out.

Troy Nolan, Alex Asi, Eric Tanner, Wes Evans, Ryan McFoy, and Kellen Mills all sat out the scrimmage on defense, while Nate Kimbrough, Brandon Smith and Brady Conrad were sidelined on defense. Alex Asi, Eric Tanner, Wes Evans and Kellen Mills are expected back by next practice.

During the scrimmage the following players had to leave and didn't return: Rudy Burgess (strained calf muscle), Tranell Morant (slight strained MCL), Josh Barrett (arm injury), and Rodney Glass (chin). None of those injuries are considered long-term at this point.

"I wasn't surprised that we were gonna have mental fatigue, because we have been going for a long period of time," said Erickson. "We've been in pads yesterday, and now to come in this heat and to go for quite a while, you will have those mental mistakes. But that's why you do it. We can go as coaches right now and look at the tape and see what we have to work on."

Scrimmage Stats

Passing Rudy Carpenter 8-17-116 yards, TD, INT.
Danny Sullivan: 7-16-60.
Chasen Stangel: 3-10-34.
Samson Szakacsy: 2-6-19.


Ryan Torain 8-60 yards.
Keegan Herring 8-50.
Jarrell Woods 7-38, TD.
Dimitri Nance 7-18.
Shaun DeWitty 5-22.
Preston Jones 1-12.
Carpenter 1-5.


Kerry Taylor 5 receptions-85 yards.
Kyle Williams 3-31.
Mike Jones 1-29.
Corey Brown 2-24.
Shaun DeWitty 1-20.
T.J. Simpson 1-16.
Brent Miller 1-14-1 TD.
Herring 1-6
Dustin Driscol 1-5
Jeff Gray 1-5
Kevin Ballard 1-4
Tyrice Thompson 1-3
Andrew Pettes 1-2

Defensive Stats

Grant Crunkleton: One tackle
Jeremy Payton: Two tackles. (When Payton tackled Kyle Williams there was slight retaliation by Williams due to the violent nature of Payton's tackle. Ironically Williams had a note in the back of his jersey reading "GET OFF.")
Littrele Jones: Two tackles. One tackle resulting in fumble.
Angelo Fobbs-Valentino: Three tackles.
Aaron Oliver: Two tackles.
Josh Barrett: One tackle. (Barrett was beaten by Kyle Williams which resulted in a TD that was called back due to illegal formation. Barrett also let an interception slip through his fingers).
Jonathan Clark: One tackle for a loss.
Rodney Cox: Two tackles, one for a loss.
Chris Baloney: One tackle.
Mike Nixon: One QB hurry. One tackle.
Robert James: Three tackles, one QB hurry.
Derrall Anderson: One tackle.
James Brooks: Two tackles, one for a loss. One QB hurry. One pass batted down. (Brooks would have recorded a sack in live play but spared Carpenter the hit. The same play Carpenter threw for his only touchdown of the scrimmage).
Anthony Reyes: Three tackles. One fumble recovery.
Travis Goethel: Three tackles.
Jeff Bereuter: Two tackles. One pass deflection.
Gerald Munns: One tackle.
Chad Lindsey: One tackle.
Garrett Judah: One tackle. One fumble recovery.
Morris Wooten: One tackle.
Paul ‘Unga: One tackle. One QB hurry.
Jon Hargis: Intercepted a pass batted down by Jonathan English.
Bo Moos: One QB sack. One QB hurry.
Luis Vasquez: One QB sack. One tackle.
Jonathan English: One batted down pass.

Special Teams Stats

Johnson Two punts of 40, 41 yards. Weber four punts of 50,50,45,52. K.Williams had a punt return of 40 yards.

Sparky's Sundries

- When the second series by the 1st teamers took place, the whole second string defensive line unit took the field together with the starting linebackers and defensive backs. "We were just rotating guys in there," said Erickson. "We only had five defensive ends at the end (of the scrimmage). James Brooks probably got 280 snaps."

- Julius Orieukwu drew the ire of his fellow offensive linemen when he committed two false start penalties. One penalty negated a 34-yard TD pass from Carpenter to K.Williams.

- Omar Bolden continues to have a solid camp and was on the first team today, but also rotated in and out with Chris Baloney. Another CB who had a solid day was Travis Smith on the third team. Linebacker Jeff Bereuter almost picked up a Sullivan pass and made some nice plays in general on defense.

- When asked about the 4,000 in attendance at the scrimmage, Erickson replied: "It's great. Sun Devil fans are awesome. Who wouldn't want to come up here and watch a scrimmage when it's 108 (degrees) down in Phoenix. I can't understand why anybody would want to come up here (smile). Thanks for coming."

NOTE: Benjamin Muth contributed to this article.

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