TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- Redshirt freshman Rudy Carpenter is Arizona
State's new starting quarterback. The job appears to be in good
Carpenter threw for 401 yards and three touchdowns in his first
collegiate start Saturday and the Sun Devils ended a three-game
skid with a 44-20 victory over Washington.
All three touchdown passes were to Matt Miller, for 12, 69 and
10 yards. Miller, a senior, had five catches for a career-high 139
yards. Derek Hagan caught nine for 115 yards to move to third in
the Pac-10 in career receptions with 236.
Carpenter, playing in place of injured Sam Keller, completed 27
of 34 passes with no interceptions, but was sacked seven times
behind Arizona State's injury-depleted offensive line.
"Those were some of the best passes I've had in my career
here," Miller said. "They were right there. I don't know what it
is with Rudy, but he was just throwing perfect balls tonight."
After the game, Sun Devils coach Dirk Koetter announced that
Keller -- the starter in the first seven games -- is out for the
season and would undergo surgery next week to repair ligament
damage in his right thumb. He was injured against Oregon three
weeks ago. Koetter said he knew then that surgery would be required
but had hoped to put it off until after the regular season.
In the meantime, Koetter had said the injury was a sprain.
"I originally told you sprain because I didn't want you guys to
know more than that," Koetter told reporters.
Carpenter's 401 yards were second-most by a freshman quarterback
in Arizona State history. Jeff Krohn threw for 432 against Oregon
"I was just trying to complete passes wherever I could,"
Carpenter said. "I just wanted to get out here with a win. I
didn't care how well I played. We have three more games and
hopefully I'll get an opportunity in those games."
Carpenter credited Keller.
"He's been in my ear all week about certain coverages,"
Carpenter said. "I don't get a chance to play a lot. Coming off
the field he was just telling me what they were doing, certain
stunts and blitzes they were bringing, making sure that I was still
calm and keeping my head in the game."
James Sims, who started the season at fullback, rushed for a
career-best 140 yards in 24 carries Washington, including touchdown
runs of 1 and 3 yards. Sims started because Louis Rankin was out
with a sprained toe.
The Sun Devils (4-4, 2-3 Pac-10) had not won since beating
Oregon State on Sept. 24.
The Huskies were intercepted twice and fumbled the ball away
"It is difficult to tell how well we played," Washington coach
Tyrone Willingham said. "We had some good things going for us but
the taste of losing clouds that right now."
Washington (1-7, 0-5) trailed only 24-20 until Arizona State put
the game away with three touchdowns in the final 5:04. The game
ended with Josh Golden's 58-yard interception return for the Sun
Arizona State went 64 yards in 10 plays, throwing 10 yards to
Miller to put the Sun Devils ahead 31-20 with 5:04 to go. Jamar
Williams intercepted Isaiah Stanback's pass on Washington's next
possession. The Sun Devils went 51 yards in eight plays. Preston
Jones' 10-yard touchdown run boosted the lead to 38-20 with 1:09
Carpenter picked up where he left off last week in the team's
45-35 loss at Stanford, when he was 19-for-25 for 304 yards and
three TDs in the second half after ASU fell behind 45-7.
Washington's only lead was at 3-0. Carpenter's 1-yard sneak put
Arizona State up 7-3, then Stanback fumbled and Dale Robinson got
the first of his two recoveries, this one at the Arizona State 43.
Carpenter went 5-for-6 on the subsequent drive, capped by a 12-yard
pass to Miller to make it 14-3.
But the Huskies moved the ball consistently on the ground. They
went 74 yards in nine plays without throwing a pass. Sims' 1-yard
run cut the lead to 14-10.
Carpenter's 69-yard pass play to Miller over the middle quickly
made it 21-10. A seven-play, 73-yard drive, with Sims running 3
yards for the score, cut the lead to 21-17 with 1:48 remaining in
the half. Jesse Ainsworth, who also took over punting in the game
for beleaguered Chris MacDonald, kicked a 21-yard field goal as the
half ended to put Arizona State ahead 24-17.
The Huskies rushed for 213 yards.
Stanback said this loss hurt worse than all the others.
"In the fourth quarter, I don't know what I was doing," he
said. "I wanted to make a play so bad."