October 15, 2007

Washington Report Card

The No. 12 ASU football team stayed unbeaten with a convincing 44-20 victory over the visiting Washington Huskies Saturday night at Sun Devil Stadium. Another relatively unproductive first half forced the Sun Devils into a 17-13 deficit, but crucial half time adjustments by Coach Dennis Erickson and his staff (stop us if this is beginning to sound familiar) led to a 31-point outburst in the second half. With three starters on offense missing action, ASU showed a wealth of talent, as replacements stepped up in the fifth home win of the season.

Quarterback:

Rudy Carpenter made enough plays for the Sun Devils to win, but once again some of his questionable decision-making was out on display. From his John Elway-like dive into the endzone at the end of the first half, to his forced interception which led to the Huskies' half time lead, Carpenter made a few key mental mistakes in this game. Carpenter even missed a few open receivers on deep routes. His longest completion on the night was 24 yards. He finished 20-of-31 for 227 yards with two touchdowns. Carpenter's scrambling should be commended, as he made plays on the move including a 21-yard touchdown pass to Rudy Burgess. In this game Carpenter probably made about as many plays with his legs as he did with his arm. He was for the most part decisive with his reads and throws. It's nearly impossible to play a clear, mistake-free game as a college quarterback, but because Carpenter made a few mental errors he earns a grade of a B.

Running Back:

When senior Ryan Torain went down with an injury to his left foot in the first half, backups Dimitri Nance and Keegan Herring filled in nicely both averaging over seven yards per carry. The duo both busted big touchdown runs -- Nance for 57 yards and Herring for 76 yards, finishing the game with 92 and 119 respectively. The running game did not skip a beat, and both backs were able to get some shine, making a case for themselves as potential starters for next year. The running backs stepped up to alleviate any further pressure on Carpenter. With the backups both having solid performances and the team averaging a tremendous 6.0 yards per carry, the running backs will get an A.

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