ASU game notes

The mood was somber following yet another Husky road loss. To help the Husky nation try to figure out what happened Saturday here are some notes from the press box at Sun Devil Stadium.

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  • Pre-game:

    Rain in the Desert: Sun Devil Stadium was surprisingly sparse as game time approached. Weather may have played a factor in the decision of many Sun Devil fans. Rain invaded the Phoenix area early in the day and continued until the afternoon. The natural grass field at Sun Devil Stadium drained very well given the circumstances. Nevertheless the field was torn to shreds by both the Husky and ASU pre-game drills.

    Where's the Cheer Squad: The Husky Band and Cheer Squad were placed about as far from apart from each other as possible. Of particular note, the Cheer Squad was placed on the end zone sideline while the Band was seated at the very top of the corner Sun Devil Stadium.

    Early Anthem: For some reason ASU had their alumni band on the field prior to the game. The alumni band performed the national anthem a full 20 minutes before the game while the full marching band was seated.

    Devil Sticks : The now infamous Thunderstix have made their way to Sun Devil Stadium. UW fans won't have to wait long to be included in the phenomenon. During next week's UW home game vs UCLA the inflatable noisemakers will be passed out to the student section. Enjoy it while you can Dawg fans. The Pac-10 has banned them for next year, deeming them artificial noise makers and unfair.


    1st Quarter:

    The Suggs Factor: Terrell Suggs was a terror to Cody Pickett and Khalif Barnes on the Huskies' third drive. On consecutive plays Suggs sacked Pickett and the proceeded to get to him again and caused him to throw while already in the arms of the defender. This led to the Solomon Bates interception that set up Hakim Hill's touchdown. To recap, Suggs is an absolue stud. He ended the first half with three quarterback sacks.

    ASU efficiency: When Hakim Hill scored from 1 yard out in the first quarter the Sun Devils had scored on 8 of their last 9 possessions dating back to last week's win over Oregon. The only possession they didn't score on was the last possession of the Oregon game when they kneeled in Oregon territory to end the game.

    Dropsies: Hill scored twice in the first quarter, but most noticeable was his drop of a sure thing. The entire press box groaned when Hill dropped an Andrew Walter pass in the flat with nothing but open field in front of him. The sure touchdown would've put the Sun Devils up 14-0. It wasn't the only potential ASU touchdown dropped by a Sun Devil receiver.

    2nd Quarter:

    Rewriting the books: Early in the quarter Cody Pickett broke yet another UW passing record. This time it was the single-season completion record. His 214th pass completion broke the record previously held by Steve Pelleur who set the record in '83.

    Option is back: The option made its return to the offensive playbook. Not only option, but triple option. Zach Tuiasosopo gained 7 yards on a fullback dive the first time it was run. Husky coaches are obviously looking for any way to get the running game going. The toss sweep also made a rare appearance.

    Stadium atmosphere: The ASU crowd was late arriving, but made themselves known with 2:37 remaining in the half. The Huskies had the ball 3rd and 5 on their own 15. High hopes are building at ASU and you could tell that Sun Devil fans thought victory was in their grasp.

    Divided attention: At halftime all attention turned to game six of the World Series. The press box crowd was swayed heavily for the Anaheim Angels.

    3rd Quarter:

    3rd Quarter Domination: With Shaun McDonald's 15-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter and the defense posting a shutout, ASU has now dominated its opponent in the third quarter by a combined score (in 9 games) of 121-52. McDonald's 21st career touchdown moved him to fourth on the all-time ASU list.

    Pickett is off: Cody Pickett was severely taken out of his rhythm by the ASU pass rush. On many plays you could tell that heard footsteps. He often got rid of the ball earlier than we are accustomed to seeing.

    Where's RW: Reggie Williams was nowhere to be found. The Huskies stud receiver didn't get many balls thrown his way. ASU geared their coverage around the pass rush and really took the Huskies out of their element. With apologies to Keyshawn, just get him the damn ball.

    4th Quarter:

    Robbed yet again: For the first time Husky fans were heard from in force. When Nate Robinson's obvious interception was taken away by the official in the end zone, boos echoed from the second deck of Sun Devil Stadium. After the replay every ASU fan knew that they stole one there.

    Nate-Rob a little excitable: After the resulting Mike Barth field goal, the ensuing kickoff was run out from 5 yards deep in the end zone by Nate Robinson while everyone on the coverage team thought that the ball would be downed for a touchback. The freshman obviously felt that he was robbed on the previous play and felt that he needed give his team a spark. While I applaud the attitude, the decision was a bad one.

    Yeah he's good: It was announced in the press box that Terrell Suggs had tied the NCAA single season sack record with 17.5 sacks for the year. Oddly enough he does not yet hold the ASU record. The NCAA did not recognize sacks as an official stat until the 2000 season. He still needs 1.5 more sacks to catch Al Harris for the ASU and Pac-10 records.

    All academic from here: The Huskies offense got two touchdowns in the 4th quarter to make it respectable. Once again the offense moved well when there was a sense of urgency. However a few pass interference calls on ASU gave the Huskies a few third down conversions.

    Good Dawg: Once we got back on the field after the game I got to interact a little with the Husky mascot. That is one hell of a dawg.

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