Defense Holds Strong in Sloppy Scrimmage
Brandon Smith Scored on a Fumble Recovery
Brandon Smith Scored on a Fumble Recovery

Posted Apr 12, 2008


Another Saturday scrimmage, another solid showing by the players in the white jerseys. For the second week in a row, the ASU offense managed just two touchdowns, and had a handful fumbles on the afternoon. Ten penalties on both sides of the ball were down from the number of infractions last week, but hardly a positive point to take from Saturday morning’s outing at Sun Devil stadium.

“There were some good things and some bad things,” said Head Coach Dennis Erickson. “I thought the intensity level, in terms of hitting and being physical picked up pretty good. I thought those first groups are both playing pretty well, when you start getting down towards the end you see more screw-ups, you see some fumbled snaps. Rudy (Carpenter) is playing pretty well. We’re making progress, I like where we are at right now.”

The offense’s first possession netted a 51-yard filed goal by Thomas Weber. The Lou Groza Award winner had a much better outing than last week, as he was perfect on all attempts including from 49 and 32 yards. His backup Zach Richards also faired well successfully converting his both of his attempts from 32 and 42 yards.

On its second possession Keegan Herring scored on the ground from one yard out. This would be one of two rushing touchdowns with the later coming through in an unconventional manner.

Rudy Carpenter, who 12-20 for 154 yards, threw a beautiful pass down field to Kyle Williams who caught the ball and then fumbled (forced by cornerback Pierre Singfield) it into the end zone. Brandon Smith was on the spot to recover the pigskin after the 29-yard completion. It was certainly a mixed bag of goods for Smith, who started the game. He drew the ire of the coaches on some plays, while making beautiful catches on others.

The leading receiver was Kerry Taylor with four catches and 68 yards. He would also have had a 46-yard TD, if the play wasn’t called back for a sack of defensive lineman David Bertrand on Carpenter. On that play, Taylor did a great job of wrestling the ball away from cornerback Terell Carr in the end zone and preventing an interception.

Tight end Wes Evans had a solid day with 35 yards on three catches. Starting tight end Dane Guthrie was still nursing a shoulder injury and consequently Andrew Pettes was running with the first team.

Jarrell Woods led running backs with 30 yards, and fumbled on one of his six carries. Quarterback Chasen Stangel, who did have a nice day throwing the ball, fumbled twice. He was 6-12 for 54 yards, and his numbers could have better if not for tight end Lance Evbuomwan dropping a sure touchdown pass. Signal caller Samson Szakacsy had more rushing yards (33) than passing (23).

Defensive tackle David Bertrand started for the second straight scrimmage for David Smith who’s out with a concussion. The transfer from Arizona tallied a sack, tackle for loss and a QB hurry. Fellow defensive lineman Paul ‘Unga had two sacks, while James Brooks and Dexter Davis each had one.

Linebacker Morris Wooten was one of five defenders who had five stops and each of the senior’s tackles was more violent in nature than the other. He also had a forced fumble .Linebackers Gerald Munns and Anthony Reyes each had five tackles. Munns and cornerback Travis Smith each registered a fumble recovery.

“Defensively we were flying around,” Erickson stated. “Had a couple fumbles and turned it over. The biggest thing we are doing is we are making too many mental mistakes, assignment wise. We were a little simpler today on defense.”


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