Sun Devils gameday: Arizona Wildcats at Arizona State Sun Devils - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Sun Devils gameday: Arizona Wildcats at Arizona State Sun Devils

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Posted: Saturday, December 1, 2007 3:11 am | Updated: 7:28 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

SUN DEVILS KEYS TO VICTORY: 1. Make Willie watch out: Let’s be clear — this is not a suggestion that ASU go headhunting for Arizona quarterback Willie Tuitama.

SUN DEVILS KEYS TO VICTORY

1. Make Willie watch out: Let’s be clear — this is not a suggestion that ASU go headhunting for Arizona quarterback Willie Tuitama. However, he has been knocked out of both of his previous Territorial Cup starts. Could the Sun Devils get in Tuitama’s head by getting in his face?

2. Wrap them up: The Thanksgiving night loss against Southern California featured the Sun Devils’ most feeble tackling of the season. The recognition and pursuit must be better against an Arizona offense with no shortage of weapons.

3. Earn the slop: There is a 60 percent chance of rain, meaning this could be the first UA-ASU game played in a steady downpour since the 1981 contest in Tempe. That would put a premium on tough running, so Keegan Herring and Dimitri Nance must be on the ball.

THE INTRIGUE

What is on the line? For ASU, a possible Bowl Championship Series bid; for UA, a possible bowl bid. For ASU, a chance to climax a successful first regular season under coach Dennis Erickson; for UA, a chance to end the year with four straight wins and feel at least cautiously optimistic about the future under Mike Stoops. For ASU, an opportunity to extend its recent domination — six wins in eight years — of the series; for UA, an opportunity to, once again, deny the Sun Devils a big postseason reward. Other than that, not much.

INJURY REPORT

Arizona

Out: OL Adam Grant (knee)

Arizona state

Out: DB Chris Baloney (leg); DB Josh Barrett (knee); DL Saia Falahola (triceps); OL Zach Krula (knee); DL Tranell Morant (knee); QB Samson Szakacsy (elbow); RB Ryan Torain (foot)

Questionable: TE Andrew Pettes (ankle); OL Brandon Rodd (ankle); DB Travis Smith (foot)

Probable: QB Rudy Carpenter (thumb); WR Chris McGaha (chest); OL Richard Tuitu’u (ankle)

WHEN THE SUN DEVILS HAVE THE BALL

The yards and points have been more difficult to come by for the Sun Devils during the past two weeks. ASU misses the ability of star running back Ryan Torain (foot) to sustain marches — the third-down conversion success rate fell in November — and ASU has compiled just four drives of 50 yards or more in the past two games. Of Torain’s replacements, Keegan Herring has delivered a long run on occasion, and Dimitri Nance has been effective near the goal line, but more consistency is needed to make an opposing defense respect play-action and keep it from teeing off on quarterback Rudy Carpenter.

ASU offense

SE: 1 Michael Jones

LT: 62 Brandon Rodd

LG: 67 Shawn Lauvao

C:76 Mike Pollak

RG: 63 Paul Fanaika

RT: 79 Julius Orieukwu

TE: 87 Brent Miller

SLOT: 6 Kyle Williams

FL: 13 Chris McGaha

QB: 12 Rudy Carpenter

RB: 24 Keegan Herring

Arizona defense

DE: 1 Louis Holmes

DT: 96 Yaniv Barnett

DT: 54 Lionel Dotson

DE: 53 Jason Parker

SLB: 39 Dane Krogstad

MLB: 33 Ronnie Palmer

WLB: 51 Spencer Larsen

CB: 3 Wilrey Fontenot

CB: 5 Antoine Cason

FS: 32 Nate Ness

SS: 20 Cam Nelson

WHEN THE WILDCATS HAVE THE BALL

The offense is classified as a spread, but the Wildcats utilize many more looks — such as two tight ends or the I-formation — than Oregon does. First-year offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes has developed a diverse package that has helped quarterback Willie Tuitama limit mistakes, and the result has been UA season records for completions, yards and touchdowns. UA uses a lot of quick passes to try and take advantage of an aggressive pass rush, and Mike Thomas, the Pac-10’s leading receiver, is a deep threat. Tailback Nic Grigsby offers balance, and Arizona is 3-1 when it has at least 100 team rushing yards.

Arizona offense

WR: 11 Terrell Reese

LT: 76 Peter Graniello

LG: 64 Colin Baxter

C: 50 Blake Kerley

RG: 75 Joe Longacre

RT: 77 Eben Britton

TE: 48 Rob Gronkowski

WR: 10 Mike Thomas

QB: 7 Willie Tuitama

TB: 23 Nic Grigsby

HB: 49 Earl Mitchell

ASU defense

LE: 97 Luis Vasquez

DT: 77 Michael Marquardt

DT: 90 David Smith

RE: 58 Dexter Davis

SLB: 44 Travis Goethel

MLB: 25 Mike Nixon

WLB: 29 Robert James

CB: 32 Omar Bolden

CB: 4 Justin Tryon

FS: 22 Rodney Cox

SS: 14 Troy Nolan

Arizona Wildcats at Arizona State Sun Devils

When: 6 p.m. today

Where: Sun Devil Stadium

TV/Announcers: ESPN2/Mark Jones, Bob Davie and Stacey Dales

Radio: KTAR (620 AM)

Records: Arizona 5-6, 4-4 Pac-10; ASU 9-2, 6-2

Rankings: Arizona unranked; ASU No. 13 Associated Press/No. 13 USA Today (coaches)/No. 13 Bowl Championship Series standings

Series: Arizona leads 44-35-1 but has lost six of the past eight meetings

Last meeting: Nov. 25, 2006, at Tucson — ASU 28, Arizona 14

Line: ASU by 7

Tickets: Sold out

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