September 1, 2006

Opener not a great indicator of ASU potential

Many ASU fans are discouraged by what they saw in last night's season-opening 35-14 victory over Division I-AA Northern Arizona, a game that was tied at the half 14-14, but it's probably more appropriate to take a wait-and-see approach to the team for now, at least through next Saturday's home game against Nevada.

The highly unique, intentionally confusing style of play presented by the Lumberjacks on both sides of the ball was something ASU coaches knew about going into the game, but it was even more random and chaotic than they'd prepared for.

"They got three safeties that kind of, you know, I would say they do whatever they want and linebackers that do whatever they want," quarterback Rudy Carpenter said. "And even though sometimes it's un-sound what it does is it confuses us and we didn't know who to block who to throw to.

"Did it look weird to you guys? It looked weird to us, Carpenter said later. "We couldn't even make our 'front' calls. That's why we tried to go 'no huddle' to try to get them to stop moving around so much.

Playing a team like NAU in the first game of the season presented somewhat of a dilemma for the ASU staff. How much time should they spend working on getting the team up to speed on confusing NAU schemes, at the expense of preparing for more traditional style opponents?

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