October 17, 2004
LOS ANGELES - Arizona State freshman tight end Zach Miller had a career high in receiving yardage Saturday in the Sun Devils’ 45-7 Pac-10 loss to USC.
Miller was ASU’s leading receiver with eight catches for 102 yards. His longest reception was 26 yards.
"I was supposed to have quite a few catches in this game," because of the game plan, the Desert Vista High School alumnus said.
Miller would have had other receptions except for tight coverage by the Trojans.
"They’ve got good players, great safeties," Miller said. "They like to keep every thing in front of them, then come up and make plays."
The Sun Devils dusted off the old-fashioned I-formation for the Trojans with H-back Lee Burghgraef acting as the fullback.
"We wanted to be balanced and get something good out of play action," coach Dirk Koetter said. "But they totally took us out of the run. They played cover-2 with the game so far gone."
BREAKING THE PRESS
USC is the first team to exploit the press coverage of cornerbacks Chris McKenzie and Josh Golden.
USC quarterback Matt Leinart’s pinpoint accuracy dropped the ball into his receivers’ hands before the ASU corners could react.
"We wanted a lot of one-on-one coverage with our receivers, and we exploited it," Leinart said.
USC offensive coordinator Norm Chow said, "Yes, sir, yes, sir" when asked if the Trojans were looking forward to playing against the coverage.
NEW PASSING LEADER
With a completion in the second quarter, Andrew Walter passed Jake Plummer as ASU’s career passing leader.
Walter has 8,897 yards; Plummer 8,827.
Former ASU star Pat Tillman, who was killed in Afghanistan while serving in the U.S. Army, was recognized with an honorary Lott Trophy, a new college award given the defensive IMPACT player of the year. IMPACT is an acronym for integrity, maturity, performance, academics, community and tenacity. A representative of the Tillman family was presented the award between the first and second periods.
ASU defensive end Kyle Caldwell suffered a hip-pointer with 6:34 left in the first period and played sporadically the rest of the game.
ASU kicker Jesse Ainsworth had a 47-yard field goal attempt blocked by Shaun Cody, the fifth block for the USC senior defensive lineman.