WR/KR/PR Terry Richardson
Coach: Dirk Koetter
33-28, 5 years
2005 Record: 7-5
at Oregon State WON 42-24
USC LOST 28-38
at Stanford LOST 35-45
at Washington State WON 27-24
at UCLA LOST 35-45
vs. Rutgers WON 45-40

2005 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2006 Outlook

Is this the year Dirk Koetter’s team finally lives up to its promise? We all know Arizona State can score with anybody in the country but the Sun Devils defense, despite owning some serious talent, is just as likely to give it all back. That’s why the recruiting period’s theme was defense, defense, defense. But Koetter has never been a defensive specialist, that’s why Bill Miller was brought to coordinator status after being their LB coach. Miller’s second year at the stopping helm will be better, and how much so will genuinely define the entire team’s efforts and results. After giving up nearly 30 points per contest in ’05, most know the Sun Devils must get better here to take their place among the Nation’s elite. With nine returning starters returning from a dynamic offense, success is virtually assured on that side of the ball.

The new look defense will be under the microscope more than ever before and that’s saying something since Arizona State was a woeful 114th out of 117 Division I teams in total defense last season. The much-maligned unit finally looks to be much improved with the addition of a handful of transfers, including Northwestern's Loren Howard.

Koetter has seen fluctuating results, and he has yet to put State onto any true path of annual improvement. Though the record may get better, ASU as a team that opponents respect will have to be earned, and everything points back to the defense’s efforts in the pass-happy conference in which they currently reside. With two warm up games, the meat of the Pac-10 comes to “bear” as (at) Cal, Oregon, (at) USC and then Stanford are lined up in a row (Colorado as a non-con precedes this onslaught). ASU lost to each the last time played, so it won’t take long for their story to unfold/be told. Realistically, it doesn’t look good for Koetter’s sixth year to be much different than the previous five, so struggles and promise will be left on the field weekly as the offensive machine won’t be enough to overcome State’s marginal D. We would love to be wrong, but the (Sun) devil’s in the details we have just listed.

Projected 2006 record: 9-3
QB - 4.5 DL - 2.5
RB - 2.5 LB - 2
WR - 3.5 DB - 2.5
OL - 4 ..

Passing: Rudy Carpenter, 228-156-2, 2273 yds., 17 TD

Rushing: Keegan Herring, 158 att., 870 yds., 6 TD

Receiving: Rudy Burgess, 59 rec., 655 yds., 4 TD

Scoring: Jesse Ainsworth, 9-11 FG, 53-53 PAT, 80 pts.

Punting: Chris McDonald, 33 punts, 42.3 avg.

Kicking: Jesse Ainsworth, 9-11 FG, 53-53 PAT, 80 pts.

Tackles: Zach Catanese, 107 tot., 62 solo

Sacks: Zach Catanese, 2 sacks

Interceptions: Robert James, Derron Ware, Zach Catanese, Josh Barrett - 1 each

Kickoff Returns:
Terry Richardson, 23 ret., 27.3 avg., 0 TD

Punt Returns:
Terry Richardson, 22 ret., 15.3 avg., 2 TD


DT Jordan Hill
OFFENSE: Lee Burghgraef-HB, Derek Hagan-WR, Matt Miller-WR, Moey Mutz-WR, Chaz White-OT, Grayling Love-C
DEFENSE: Mike Talbot-DE, DeWayne Hollyfield-DT, Quency Darley-DE, Jamar Williams-SLB, Dale Robinson-MLB, Josh Golden-CB, R.J. Oliver-CB, Mike Davis-CB, Maurice London-S

As funny as it sounds, sophomore Rudy Carpenter is not expected to captain the Sun Devils this season despite leading the nation in passing efficiency last year. That’s because senior Sam Keller, who started the 2005 season before suffering a thumb injury, will be back and healthy. Both quarterbacks are top notch and either option is virtually a can’t miss proposition for the coaching staff. Keller gets the early nod because of his poise and uncanny accuracy but Carpenter will be ready to provide excellent mobility, solid quickness and a very strong arm if Keller falters. Carpenter gets the nod here as the better playmaker. He may not look pretty dropping back and throwing from the pocket, but he is the type of quarterback that will buy time so as to hit somebody 30 yards down the field. The future also looks bright with redshirt freshman Derek Shaw, who is one of the best quarterback prospects in the country.

Running Back
Talented sophomores Keegan Herring and Shaun DeWitt will be given every opportunity to handle the bulk of the running game for the Sun Devils. At just 175 pounds, Herring is slight but extremely fast and explosive. A true “home run” threat, Herring is a track star that just happens to be a great football player too. DeWitt has more size and the ability to handle the stuff in between the tackles. While not nearly as fast as Herring, DeWitt does have solid speed for his size and the feet to make people miss. Junior Preston Jones will also be in the mix. Jones is a poor man’s Herring. He’s very slight with good natural running ability but he doesn’t possess blinding speed. The future may be freshman Rodney Glass, a youngster with great vision and down field one-on-one skills.

H-Back/Tight End
The Sun Devils use an H-Back (or movement tight end) and/or a prototypical in-line tight end in their offense. A pair of brothers, Zach and Brent Miller, will man each position. Younger brother Zach is the tight end and one of the nation’s best. An all-American candidate (Honorable Mention, NC.net), Zach has been compared to Todd Heap. He possesses great hands, an innate ability to find the seams and the ability to gain yardage after the catch as he sees three or four throws per game come his way. Older brother Brent is not the big play threat his brother is, but has developed into a solid lead blocker. Redshirt frosh Jovon Williams will back up Zach Miller but needs to add weight before he even thinks about being a contributor. Big things are also expected from sophomore Andrew Pettes, who has the ability to be a dual threat down the line.

A couple of seniors, Terry Richardson and Jamaal Lewis, will get first crack at the starting jobs, but a deep and talented group of underclassman will be ready to contribute also. Richardson is the most proven performer and generally can be counted on for a few big plays each week. At 6-foot-4, and 225 pounds, Lewis is a monster who should be a great target in the red zone. Nate Kimbrough provides the Sun Devils with a nice combination of size and speed while redshirt freshman Chris McGaha and Brandon Smith were highly recruited guys with great pedigrees. Also look out for JUCO-transfer Angelo Richardson, a former teammate of Keller from high school. Richardson has great hands and leaping ability.

Offensive Line
A deep and talented veteran group returns full up front and will be one of the strengths of the team. Junior Mike Pollak is the leader of the unit and the starting center. Pollack is a bit undersized but is an excellent technician with the movement/footwork to get out and pull. Junior Brandon Rodd will line up at left tackle, but he needs to provide better blind side protection for Keller or Carpenter after 36 sacks were registered by foes. Still, ASU coaches feel Rodd could be one of the best natural pass protectors in the country. Senior Stephen Berg will flank Rodd at the left guard position. A real mauler, Berg has the size and strength to win consistently at the point of attack. Speaking of size, 6-foot-7, 320-pound senior Zach Krula will start at right guard while the right tackle position will be manned by All-Pac-10 senior Andrew Carnahan. Krula and Carnahan work very well together and are one of the best right sides in the country. Backing up that group is a talented crop of young players who will vie for considerable playing time including sophomores Leo Talavou and Paul Fanaika, and juniors Robert Gustavis and Julius Orieukwu. The average running play was under four per try, so this group has to take heed to lessons learned and step up like the talent they are.

No problems here. This unit is loaded with an embarrassment of riches. Two excellent quarterbacks, a home run hitter in the backfield, one of the nation’s best tight ends and a plethora of an exciting options on the outside. Then, add one of the best offensive lines in the country to the mix and you have the Arizona State offense. This was (second ranked nationally for total offense) and should be an unstoppable unit that again will routinely put up 30-40 points per tilt. They just have to find more balance (58th in rushing, second in passing) to gain that much more consistency so they can win those shootouts the marginal defense insists on providing.


TE Zach Miller


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Sam Keller-Sr (6-4, 240) Rudy Carpenter-So (6-2, 204)
TB Keegan Herring-So (5-10, 190) Shaun DeWitty-So (6-2, 216)
HB Brent Miller-Jr (6-5, 236) Dane Guthrie-So (6-3, 274)
WR Mike Jones-So (6-3, 200) Jamaal Lewis-Sr (6-4, 230)
WR Terry Richardson-Sr (6-1, 187) Rudy Burgess-Jr (5-10, 181)
TE Zach Miller-Jr (6-5, 258) Andrew Pettes-So (6-4, 262)
OT Brandon Rodd-Jr (6-4, 300) Julius Orieukwu-Jr (6-7, 311)
OG Stephen Berg-Sr (6-5, 309) Leo Talavou-So (6-4, 371)
C Mike Pollak-Jr (6-4, 300) Thomas Altieri-Fr (6-2, 294)
OG Robert Gustavis-Jr (6-4, 312) Zach Krula-Sr (6-7, 339)
OT Andrew Carnahan-Sr (6-8, 300) Richard Tuitu'u-Fr (6-5, 362)
K Jesse Ainsworth-Sr (6-3, 220) ..



Defensive Line
The Sun Devils are looking to improve up front with a rotation system. Added depth and talent will see more players getting snaps. The coaching staff hopes that keep players fresh and able to get after the quarterback in the pass happy Pac-10 later in games, a problem in ‘05. Senior tackle Jordan Hill has really settled in after a move from linebacker. He’s added weight and developed into a very powerful and explosive player. Junior BYU-transfer Michael Marquardt will line up next to Hill. Marquardt is an undersized guy who relies on speed and quickness to penetrate and blow up plays in the backfield. Senior Kyle Caldwell will line up outside with big expectations. The team’s best pass rusher, Caldwell must develop more consistency for Arizona State’s defense to improve. Talented sophomore Tranell Morant will man the other end spot. Florida-transfer and Miami-native Morant is more of a “tweener” - between a defensive tackle and an end - but had an excellent offseason and should be able to hold up well versus the run. Pushing Morant will be Northwestern transfer-Loren Howard, a natural end with excellent hands. A pair of junior college transfers from a year ago, Shannon Jones and Will Kofe, provides the sustentative depth and should receive quite a few snaps. There are enough new hats to make us think this area could drastically improve, but the proof will be in the pudding, so to speak.

King-sized senior Beau Manutai will be the middle linebacker. At 265 pounds, Manutai can deliver punishing hits and should be an immovable object against the run. But pass coverage may be a different story, and State needs more big plays from this big man, period. Undersized junior Robert James handles the weakside. James has continued to improve each year and should be ready to become an upper-echelon Pac-10 linebacker this season. Another smaller ‘backer, sophomore Chad Lindsay, will line up on the strong side. I’m not sure how Arizona State expects the 212-pound Lindsay to hold up over a tight end, but a lack of other options at the position may be the problem. Sophomore Adam Vincent has better size and strength than either Lindsay or James, but the team doesn’t think he has the speed to play outside. This unit (especially in coverage, see below) will be the key to ASU’s 114th rated D improving, and as a unit will have much to prove before opponents fear them.

Defensive Back
This unit has been the Achilles Heel but has the talent to turn things around. Senior Keno Walter-White and sophomore Chad Green are the corners. Walter-White was one of the best junior college cornerbacks in the country before arriving last season. He didn’t hold up well, but Walter-White has the physical skills to be a top-tier corner if not hung out to dry by a poor pass rush week in and week out. Green is the best young corner on the team and will be given every opportunity to play on a consistent basis. Juniors Littrele Jones and Rudy Burgess, along with redshirt freshman Travis Smith, are all untested and seem shaky. The real depth should come from more new blood, JC-transfer Justin Tryon. Quarterbacks did not look his way often at the lower level and we feel he could be a true shutdown corner. At safety, Arizona State has more experience with junior Josh Barrett and senior Zach Catanese expected to get the starting nods. Barrett has played extremely well (11 breakups) on a bad defense and should be one of the best dual-edged safeties in the Pac-10. Catanese, a highly touted transfer last season, is a tackling machine who lacks the athleticism to excel in coverage. ASU also expects contributions from sophomores Rodney Cox and Jeremy Payton. Payton, a converted wide receiver, has the instincts and athletic ability to be an excellent coverage safety if he can pick up the nuances of the position. Since most of the guys listed here weren’t much of a part of their 112th-ranked pass defense, there is no reason to believe that the shuffling and such changes won’t produce better results.

Obviously the Sun Devils need to improve mightily here. In recent years, the defense has improved its speed and skill level but it has not shown up on the field yet. It was blatantly evident that 2005’s main 11 on D cost them games the offense was winning. Teaching has been the buzzword in the spring. ASU needs their athletic playmakers to improve their fundamentals and become more disciplined. Big plays are their first chore, for just keeping them to a minimum would make a huge difference. Only then will the added athleticism start to show up on game day and not be wasted by an ungelled starting group. Roundabout, if State’s running game can keep these guys off the field more, the whole team effort will improve.


DB Zach Catanese


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Dexter Davis-Fr (6-2, 250) Will Kofe-Sr (6-2, 290)
DT Michael Marquardt-Jr (6-4, 288) Brett Palmer-Jr (6-2, 295)
DT Jordan Hill-Sr (6-2, 298) David Smith-So (6-3, 268)
DE Kyle Caldwell-Sr (6-3, 261) Tranell Morant-So (6-5, 280)
SLB Chad Lindsey-So (6-0, 212) Wes Evans-So (6-3, 245)
MLB Beau Manutai-Sr (6-1, 262) Mike Nixon-Fr (6-2, 216)
WLB Robert James-Jr (5-11, 225) Derron Ware-Sr (6-4, 220)
CB Chad Green-So (5-10, 190) Justin Tryon-Jr (5-9, 178)
CB Keno Walter-White-Sr (5-11, 182) Littrele Jones-Jr (5-9, 181)
S Josh Barrett-Jr (6-2, 220) Rodney Cox-So (6-1, 213)
S Zach Catanese-Sr (6-2, 219) Jeremy Payton-So (6-1, 208)
P Jesse Ainsworth-Sr (6-3, 220) Chris MacDonald-Jr (6-3, 218)




Ainsworth does double duty as the team’s placekicker and is one of the Pac-10’s best with a big leg and solid accuracy out to 45 yards, but was 0-for-2 from beyond the 40 last campaign. He’s also very good on KOs (over half were touchbacks), which enables the ASU coverage teams to excel.

ASU has two solid punters in Jesse Ainsworth and Chris MacDonald. The senior, Ainsworth, should get the nod due to his superior accuracy and the fact the Richardson had four blocked last time around. Net punting was as big a problem (109th ranked) as the defense was in ’05, an area that has to improve if field position battles are to be won.

Return Game
Loads of speed here. Richardson (and Burgess) will probably be the top choice(s), and either has enough speed to make a difference. Herring has the kind of jaw-dropping speed to go the distance at any time but he’s too small and it doesn’t look like ASU will let him take part in the return game.