January 1, 2005
EL PASO, Texas - The Arizona State defense gave coordinator Brent Guy quite a going away present Friday in the Sun Devils’ 27-23 Sun Bowl victory over Purdue.
Purdue averaged 32 points and 455 yards per game in the regular season, but the Boilermakers were stoned by the Devils with the exception of an 80-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Orton to Brian Hare in the third quarter.
"Other than that we didn’t give up squat to one of the best offensive teams in the country," ASU coach Dirk Koetter said.
Orton threw for 281 yards and three touchdowns, but he completed less than 50 percent of his passes (23-of-47) and was never able to put his stamp on the game.
"We thought we had a pretty good game plan," said Guy, who played more zone than Purdue expected and often dropped eight men into coverage. "We’ve seen a lot of balls thrown in our league. We know how to defend the pass."
It’s been a busy three weeks for Guy, who was named Utah State’s coach on Dec. 10 and has worked two jobs since.
"I told him he had to hunker down," Koetter said. "He had to be ASU’s defensive coordinator during the day, and at night, while we were going out with the folks in El Paso, he was upstairs doing his Utah State job."
Guy said he couldn’t have imagined a better finish to his ASU coaching career.
"It’s the way it should end," he said. "It’s the way it should end."
Wide receiver Matt Miller, a Mountain View High School product, suffered a broken rib and separated rib cartilage in the first quarter when he was hit going up for a pass. Miller sat out the remainder of the game.
After the game, Miller said he would need some reconstructive work on his face as a result of being punched by former teammate Hakim Hill, who was kicked off the team because of the incident.
Quarterback Andrew Walter enjoyed the result but hated the view from ASU’s bench.
"It’s hard being on the sideline," said Walter, who’s recovering from surgery to repair the separated shoulder he suffered against Arizona. "It’s easier when you’re in there. You have some control. But when you’re on the sideline you can’t control anything."
Koetter said he let kicker Jesse Ainsworth try three field goal attempts of 50-plus yards in the first half — Ainsworth missed all three — because he was good from as far as 62 yards in practice during the week.
"We have a great kicker. I’ve never seen Jesse struggle like that," Koetter said.
PAYING THE PRICE
Incoming defensive coordinator Bill Miller will be paid $215,000, according to a source close to ASU’s program.
The Devils had to ante up to get Miller, who reportedly was offered $250,000 per year to join former boss Nick Saban with the Miami Dolphins.
Former ASU linebacker and war hero Pat Tillman was honored along with former University of Pittsburgh quarterback Alex Van Pelt as the 2004 "Legends of the Sun Bowl" inductees.
Tillman’s father, Pat Sr., and Pat Tillman Foundation executive director Alex Garwood were in El Paso to represent the family.
Zach Miller’s five catches gave him 56 for the season, setting the single-season record for ASU tight ends.
Purdue punter Dave Brytus was named the John Folmer Most Valuable special teams player, and Boilermakers defensive tackle Brandon Villarreal received the Jimmy Rogers Jr. most valuable lineman trophy.
The game drew a record crowd of 51,288, the first sellout in the 71-year history of the Sun Bowl.
Orton’s 80-yard touchdown strike was the longest pass in Sun Bowl history.