PALO ALTO, Calif - All season, Arizona State receivers coach Eric Yarber has implored his charges to play by one rule: Be quarterback friendly.
The play of the wideouts had been instrumental in the Sun Devils’ first four games of the season — all victories. And when quarterback Rudy Carpenter needed a friend on Saturday, a receiver stepped forward.
Rudy Burgess’ 62-yard catch-and-run touchdown in the second quarter was a tide-turner, giving ASU a 14-0 lead (with the subsequent two-point conversion). Not long afterward, the Sun Devils scored another touchdown, taking permanent control of the game.
In five games, the ASU receivers have compiled 1,083 yards in receptions, well on their way to eclipsing the 1,475 yards the unit had for all of 2006.
“Everyone has stepped up to the challenge this year,” sophomore wide receiver Chris McGaha said. “I don’t think you could ask more out of the wide receivers than what we are getting now.”
Carpenter has gotten much praise for his ability to scramble out of the pocket and make plays. A quarterback cannot do that if his receivers lack the ability to get open late downfield or come back to the ball.
In other words, being quarterback friendly.
“I think they know that when I’m back there, the play isn’t over until the whistle blows,” Carpenter said last week. “A lot of our big plays have come off broken plays, and the receivers have done a great job in helping me out.”
Stanford receiver Mark Bradford suited up after being away from the squad for several days due to the death of his father.
The senior spent time at his home in Los Angeles before returning to campus on Saturday.
Bradford finished with three catches for 31 yards.
Coaches usually scoff at doing interviews on the day of a game, but most in the Pac-10 gladly oblige for Stanford radio analyst Bob Murphy, who is retiring after this season. Murphy has been behind the microphone for 43 years.
Arizona State coach Dennis Erickson was interviewed by Murphy shortly after ASU’s team bus arrived at Stanford Stadium on Saturday. The coach brought two retirement gifts — a dozen golf balls and Sparky Sun Devil club head covers.
Dane Guthrie, a defensive lineman who was converted from tight end this season, played defensive tackle for the first time this season. He also saw time at his normal end spot. …
The Sun Devils have outscored the opposition 78-7 in the second quarter this year. …
Backup quarterback Danny Sullivan, who attended nearby Los Gatos High School, had about 200 friends and family in attendance on Saturday. The group watched him complete one pass for 7 yards during mop-up time.