Notebook: Burfict celebrates in style

Robert Woods continues prolific start, adding eight more receptions for 131 yards.

TEMPE, Ariz. – It was Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict's 21st birthday Saturday night and he made the most of it.

The junior from Corona (Calif.) Centennial finished with five tackles, one-half tackle for loss and intercepted quarterback Matt Barkley in the red zone and returned it 36 yards to set up a Sun Devils touchdown.

On second down at the Arizona State 12-yard line, Barkley tried to set up a middle screen for freshman wide receiver Marqise Lee expecting Burfict to blitz. However, the All-America candidate seemed to freelance, positioning himself between Barkley and Lee to record his first career pick.

"He, for whatever reason, slipped off and dropped back into coverage, so it was a good play on his part. We didn't see that coming," Barkley said.

Burfict also had a trademark personal foul and mistimed his rush on an Andre Heidari 46-yard field goal attempt, drawing an offsides penalty. Heidari made the 41-yard retry.

"Vontaze played terrific tonight," Arizona State coach Dennis Erickson said. "You can't worry about penalties, you have to play and he did that tonight."

But the one-time USC commit was limping badly after the game and redshirt senior running back Marc Tyler said he was less effective in the second half.

"We just started getting on Vontaze," said Tyler, who rushed for 123 of his 149 yards in the final two quarters. "The first half he was kind of roaming free."

Woods Keeps Rolling On
Sophomore wide receiver Robert Woods continued his prolific pace, catching eight passes for 131 yards.

Through four games, he now has 41 receptions for 492 yards and four touchdowns.

In 13 games last season, Woods had 65 catches for 792 yards and six touchdowns.

Harris Hurt
Cornerback Torin Harris suffered an apparent shoulder injury in the second quarter and did not return.

He was replaced by redshirt freshman Anthony Brown.

Carlisle Sees the Field
It was an inauspicious debut for freshman running back Amir Carlisle, who rushed twice for 14 yards and caught two passes for -1 yard, fumbling one at the Arizona State 28-yard line to snuff out a promising first quarter drive.

Still, the Santa Clara (Calif.) King's Academy product remained upbeat afterwards.

"I loved it," he said. "It was a great experience. I had a great time in my first college game."

Carlisle also tweaked his sprained ankle, which limited him after a promising start to fall camp, but did not believe the injury to be serious.

"I'll be fine. I'll be back," Carlisle said.

Wild Weather
A windstorm picked up at the end of the first quarter from the open end of the stadium, sending trashcans flying and spewing trash and dust into the air.

"I've never seen anything like that," Barkley said. "It was bizarre."

Barkley said sand got into his eyes, but otherwise did not affect the offense, even as the Trojans were driving that way.


USCFootball.com Top Stories