for this game

Carpenter guides Arizona State to victory

Aug 31, 2008 - 6:12 AM TEMPE, Arizona (Ticker) -- If Arizona State has designs of being a "giant killer" this season, it needed to start faster than it did last season. On Saturday, it did exactly that.

Rudy Carpenter threw for a touchdown and accounted for 428 yards of total offense, sending the 16th-ranked Sun Devils to a 30-13 victory over Northern Arizona on Saturday in the season opener for both teams.

Arizona State - the only school that will meet both No. 1 Georgia and No. 2 Southern California this season - was able to do something Saturday it did not do well last season, jump out to an early advantage.

The Sun Devils led after the first quarter only three times last year, and were outscored, 128-50, in the first quarter.

Coming off a highly successful 2007 campaign in which he threw for 3,202 yards and 25 touchdowns, Carpenter began his final season as the Sun Devils' quarterback in fine fashion, going 22-for-28 for 388 yards and rushing for a team-high 40 yards on five carries.

Along with running back Dimitri Nance - who rushed for two scores - Carpenter guided Arizona State (1-0) to a 27-0 halftime advantage.

The Sun Devils covered 80 yards on five plays on their opening drive, which ended when Carpenter hooked up with Kerry Taylor on a 52-yard scoring pass. After two unsuccessful drives for both teams, Thomas Weber converted a 34-yard field goal - the first of four consecutive scoring drives for Arizona State.

On the next drive, Nance capped a 10-play, 99-yard drive with a three-yard run to stake the Sun Devils to a 17-0 advantage before he scored again on a six-yard plunge midway through the second quarter.

Weber increased the lead to 27-0 with a 36-yard field goal with 1:34 to go until intermission and added a 28-yarder midway through the third quarter to give the Sun Devils a 30-point lead.

Robbie Dehaze put the Lumberjacks (0-1) on the board as time expired in the third quarter with a short field goal. Northern Arizona continued chipping away when Lance Kriesien hit Brian Riley for a three-yard TD pass at the 9:09 mark of the final quarter.

Dehaze added his second field goal with 5:16 to go to account for the final score.