September 2, 2007

'Efficient' start to new era

It took a real game for Arizona State's offense to accomplish what it could not in three fall camp scrimmages and a "Mock Game" that played more like an over-glorified walkthrough -- dominate the opposition.

Of course, the Sun Devil defense more than held its end of the bargain as well, hinting that its solid month of August may only be a precursor of bigger and better things to come.

In playing a real opponent for the first time this season, ASU was given chance to thoroughly dismantle a team on both side of the ball, and that's exactly what happened in Saturday's 45-3 throttling of a clearly outmatched San Jose State squad that was coming off a 9-4 2006 season.

"I thought we played pretty good," Erickson said, a clearly modest assessment. "We didn't make a lot of mistakes for a first game. Usually you make a lot of mistakes. We had a couple penalties early in the game and we had one turnover but other than that, it was about as efficient a football game as I've coached for the first football game."

Efficient indeed.

The Sun Devils averaged 6.1 yards-per-play, scored on six of their first possessions and converted 13-of-17 third down conversions. Quarterback Rudy Carpenter joked that he handed the ball off more than he ever has in his life, but still breezily completed 14-of-20 passing attempts for 197 yards and two touchdowns, without throwing an interception.

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