Dawg Blog - ASU

It's always nice to take in some sunny weather in October. The conditions couldn't be more ideal for this game. The Volleyball team got the weekend in Tempe off to a solid start, now it's up to the football team to put the capper on an exceptional weekend.

17 minutes to kickoff: ASU trots out their alumni band to perform pregame. The regular band is already in their seats on the south side. The alumni band looks bigger than ASU's normal band.

11 minutes to kickoff: The National Anthem is met with a couple of thunderous cannon bursts...not quite as cool as the 10-minute fireworks show ASU put on after the volleyball game last night. In an interesting twist, the alumni band played another song after the National Anthem, something I don't know if I've seen before.

7 minutes to kickoff: The stands are pretty empty right now.

4 minutes to kickoff: The Devils love their pyrotechnics...huge cannon blasts shake Sun Devil Stadium as ASU takes the field...the alumni band scatters toward the south exits.

2 minutes to kickoff: The Huskies come out from the other side. UW wins the toss and will receive. As bad as the attendance has been for UW games of late, they would at least have a fairly good crowd going by kickoff. Sun Devil Stadium doesn't look even half-full right now, but fans are pouring in.

Kickoff: Benjamin, Alailefaleula, Lobendahn and Sims are the UW captains. Singleton and Russo are back for the kick, and it sails out of the end zone. Sims comes out to start at RB, and immediate Stanback goes up top to Russo for MAJOR yardage, the longest play of his career. Already in the Sun Devil red zone and the game isn't 30 seconds old.

14:26/1st: Apparently the big gainer caught Willingham off-guard, as UW calls timeout.

13:08/1st: Tim Lappano is already showing that he's not afraid to throw a lot at ASU early - a QB keeper and a reverse. A 30-yard field goal by Evan Knudson caps the scoring, but a Shackelford drop could have kept the ball moving.

12:57/1st: The Huskies stop the Devils inside their own 25 on the ensuing kickoff, but a penalty brings the kicking team back on the field. Terry Richardson makes them pay with a 49-yard kickoff return. Darin Harris started the game for C.J. Wallace.

10:44/1st: Even without normal starter Sam Keller in the game, the Devils are moving the ball on the ground and through the air with little resistance.

8:49/1st: Rudy Carpenter calls his own number from one-yard out and makes it into the UW end zone with a second-effort. Washington is not getting a hand on the young QB and he's making all the right decisions early on. It looks like the cannon is going to go off after every ASU score. Ending up shell-shocked after this game is over is not out of the question.

7:26/1st: First couple of carries for Sims and he's getting downfield nicely. The OL is getting some holes opened up for him.

5:06/1st: The education of Isaiah Stanback continues, game 8. The play would have been called back, but instead of securing the ball after getting the first down, he got hit on the side and coughed up the rock. We'll see how long the defense can last picking up for the offense's mistakes.

3:46/1st: The only way UW has any chance at all is to get some pressure, because Carpenter has already shown that he's well in his comfort zone and isn't going to create a lot of unforced errors.

2:34/1st: I don't know what's happened to UW's linebacking corps, but they have disappeared. Literally. They are unbelievably awful when covering in space.

2:03/1st: The defense is going for every fake and every move in the book. This, my friends, is really bad defense. They are making Rudy Carpenter look like a Heisman candidate as he throws for an ASU touchdown.

1:24/1st: Two plays into their next offensive drive and the Huskies are already down to the ASU 40. They are showing they can move the ball in big chunks. Can they put the ball in the end zone?

End of first Q: The Huskies are now inside the 5. The defense gets a little more time to rest. Can they make the necessary adjustments?

14:08/2nd: With the help of an ASU holding call in the end zone, the Huskies are right on the edge of getting a score.

13:23/2nd: Sims scores from one yard out, giving UW new life. A 74-yard drive was just the tonic they needed to help rest their defense, and - more importantly - keep Carpenter and crew off the field.

12:08/2nd: Matt Miller is the latest collegiate player to torch UW's secondary. It's 21-10 and the scoring doesn't look like it's going to stop any time soon. Too bad the stunt didn't get one more beat to develop, the tackle coming around looked like he might have had a play on Carpenter.

11:08/2nd: Kudos to Lappano for giving the QB draw a little more play in the UW game plan.

10:18/2nd: Tusi Sa'au is out of the game, not sure what his injury is. Shackelford can't hang onto the ball today, for some reason. Delay of game doesn't help UW's cause either.

9:54/2nd: Pass Interference bails out UW. If it had been the UCLA game, it probably would have been overturned because the ball was uncatchable.

9:02/2nd: Stanback is making some curious decisions and is flat-out wild with his throws right now. He's really searching for confidence throwing the ball, you can sense it.

7:47/2nd: Finally, the Huskies front line gets ASU into a negative play, the first negative play the Sun Devils have had all game.

6:34/2nd: The Devils convert on a beautiful post from Carpenter to Zach Miller. But now ASU is shooting themselves in the foot with penalties.

4:18/2nd: Special teams continue to haunt Dirk Koetter, as a 44-yard field goal goes way low and to the left. If the Dawgs can go on a drive and score to close out the half, they can really swing the momentum in their direction.

3:35/2nd: The Dawgs are again moving smartly downfield. Sims is running with more authority than any other back I've seen for UW this year, and Stanback is making wise decisions with the football - namely calling his own number.

2:10/2nd: ASU is doing their best to help the Huskies along with key penalties deep in their own red zone.

1:48/2nd: Sims is having a whale of a first half. He already had 60 yards in the first quarter and 99 yards overall. Take away the one fumble by Stanback and the subsequent touchdown by ASU, and the Huskies have played a very strong half offensively. Kent Baer needs to break out the chalkboard at halftime and get some adjustments done defensively.

1:13/2nd: Lobendahn comes on a linebacker blitz to take Carpenter down, forcing Koetter to take a time out. The Huskies need to make sure ASU isn't the last team to score going into half-time. ASU probably needs 20 yards or so to be within Ainsworth's range.

:57/2nd: Forget three, the Dawgs need to now worry about a touchdown, as Moey Mutz came down with a beautiful grab inside the UW 10. One thing to look for as the second half comes - Baer is bringing Lobendahn with some blitzes now and UW is starting to chip away at ASU's offensive line. But give credit to Carpenter and the Sun Devils' receivers, they are making some clutch plays.

:17/2nd: A UW holding penalty breathes new life into ASU's drive after the Huskies stopped them on 3rd and 5. Each team is doing their level best to let the other one score on them.

:06/2nd: Ainsworth scores on a 21-yard field goal to end the half. Not sure which way to take that if you are Washington. Yes, they only scored three, but that's the problem. They scored.

14:50/3rd: Greyson Gunheim, where have you been! Chris Stevens is also getting a bunch of play rushing Carpenter, and he's actually pretty effective.

12:46/3rd: Somebody turned Gunheim on at halftime. Between him and Stevens, they are really going after Carpenter. This is the first punt for EITHER team today. Shackelford is the punt returner for UW today.

12:25/3rd: Deja vu all over again: Stanback to Russo for a big game right out of the gate. Sims is now also over the 100-yard marker, way behind his career-best.

11:22/3rd: The Washington offensive line is getting good push and Sims is being very no-nonsense going through the holes that are given. A very potent attack right now. 16 first downs for UW so far for the game, not bad at all.

10:02/3rd: As well as Stanback is moving the ball down the field, he is still making the easier plays look downright difficult. Passes to the flat are made with no touch, giving the receiver no room for error to adjust. In my observation, the game is not slowing down for him, he still is playing the game like it's a lot faster than it should be for someone starting their eighth game this season.

9:14/3rd: Knudson connects from 35 to give Washington three more on the board, but just like at the beginning of the game, the Huskies can move between the 20's at will but just can't punch it through without some help from the other guys. Hopefully the defense has found something with their pressure package and can keep the heat on Carpenter.

8:28/3rd: The Devil O is starting to self-destruct a little bit. Let's see if the UW D can capitalize and force something.

6:29/3rd: Not sure why ASU is running the ball when they can throw on UW all day long. Gunheim went out but is now back in. Lobendahn just went out with an injury. UW is hitting ASU's ballcarriers, but can't get a ball to bounce in their direction.

3:45/3rd: Lobendahn comes back in and immediately goes after Carpenter and annihilates him, taking the Devils out of field goal range. Now the Huskies have 90 yards to go to take the lead. We'll see what Stanback is made of now.

2:09/3rd: Eating up timeouts right now is not what Willingham had in mind. If Stanback can convert the third-and-long and sustain a nice, long scoring drive, it will have been worth it.

2:05/3rd: Doesn't matter, as ASU bails out the Dawgs with a flagrant PI. At this point, Washington will take anything.

1:22/3rd: And there it is. You knew it was coming. Sims had just been going along too well.

1:14/3rd: And as with most teams that are good, Arizona State makes Washington pay for putting the ball on the ground. But wait! Ineligible receiver downfield? What a miscue for Koetter. Right now the Huskies need pressure on Carpenter in the worst way.

:36/3rd: Gunheim with his third sack of the quarter...and not a moment too soon. The kid from Sebastopol has just come alive this half!

14:45/4th: Granted, Carpenter is holding onto the ball too long, but man alive! Baer has come up with some rush schemes that have totally befuddled ASU's offensive line.

12:18/4th: Another holding in the ASU secondary bails UW out of a third down misfire. It's looking more and more like ASU wants to give this game away. The fans are not happy with this call. And as soon as you think UW just might take advantage of the Devils' hospitality, they false start. When will the little mistakes end? Because Sims went to the locker room for x-rays on his fumble play, Kenny James is now in the game. Will Kenny pick up where James left off?

10:48/4th: Sims did such a good job of getting upfield, and what does James do the first time he needs to cut it up for a first down? He goes toward the sideline. They have now run for a season-high, but is it going to go to waste when they can't make third-and-1?

8:15/4th: Koetter is taking the air out of the ball and Carpenter is doing a solid job of running their possession offense. Once again, Washington's linebackers just don't have a clue in space. They look VERY lost.

5:04/4th: The lack of playmakers on defense is so evident right now, it's frightening, especially in the secondary. We could see that corner route developing before Miller even made it to the end zone.

4:15/4th: Not a good time for another pick. Jamar Williams makes a nice play on a tipped ball and returns it for a score but the TD is reversed because of a block in the back. Either way, the game is over for the Huskies, a game they were right there for. The Devils' wanted to hand this game to UW, and UW just wouldn't take it.

1:09/4th: Bettors are resting easy now - Preston Jones scores from 10 yards to make it 38-20. It's DuRocher time now.

Last play of the game: DuRocher lays an egg, throws a pick to Josh Golden, who takes it to the house. The Huskies had a chance to win in the 4th and instead give up 20 straight points. That's the ball game!

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