Opponent Preview: Arizona State

Inside, a look at Colorado opponent the Arizona State Sun Devils.

Arizona State Sun Devils
at Folsom Field • Sept. 16 • 5 p.m. • TBS
Head Coach: Dirk Koetter (6th season)
2005 Record: 7-5/4-4 Pac-10
Series Record: First meeting

Biggest Storyline: While the fate of the 2006 season lies on the shoulders of the defense, an explosive aerial attack is vital to the Sun Devils' success. A relatively inexperienced group of wide receivers will have to successfully replace a talented trio of departed seniors. ASU has two proven quarterbacks in Sam Keller and Rudy Carpenter.

Superstar in the Making: 5-10, 190 lb. running back Keegan Herring was spectacular as a true freshman. In 2006 he'll be a year older and a year wiser. The sky is truly the limit for him.

Impact Newcomer: 6-3, 320 lb. defensive tackle Martin Tevaseu. A rare JC transfer with three years of eligibility should make all the difference on a thin defensive tackle unit.

Best Player You've Never Heard of: 6-2, 220 lb. safety Josh Barrett has been plagued by injuries his entire ASU career. However, the junior is coming off an impressive spring practice, and his combination of blinding speed and ferocious hits has pleased both coaches and fans.

ASU Will Have A Winning Season if: The offense can maintain the same success as last season, the defense line does a 180-degree turn, and the punting woes of last year are a thing of the past.

Colorado Connection: Colorado offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich came to CU from ASU, where he was passing game coordinator. With Helfrich familiar with much of ASU's staff and personnel, and the ASU staff familiar with the Colorado offensive coordinator's tendencies, who holds the advantage?

Five Key Players: QB Sam Keller, OL Brandon Rodd, WR Rudy Burgess, DL Tranell Morant, Safety Zach Catanese.

Returning Leaders: PASS: Rudy Carpenter 226-158-2,273, 17 TD, 2 INT; RUSH: Herring 158-870/5.5; REC: Burgess 59-655/11.1 4 TD; TCKLS: Zach Catanese 107; SACKS: Catanese 2.

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