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Weber does it all in ASU victory

 by Alex Espinoza
 published on Monday, October 8, 2007

<b>HIGH STEPPIN':</b> Senior running back Ryan Torain attempts to avoid WSU’s Mike Graise during Saturday’s game in Pullman, Wash./issues/news/702140
Photo courtesy of Daily Evergreen
HIGH STEPPIN': Senior running back Ryan Torain attempts to avoid WSU’s Mike Graise during Saturday’s game in Pullman, Wash.
 

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Thomas Weber was as good as it can get.

A week after being named the Pac-10 Special Teams Player of the Week, the redshirt freshman kicker hit a field goal with 50 seconds left to give No. 14 ASU the 23-20 victory.

Weber is now 11-of-11 on the year, making him the only perfect kicker in the nation with double-digit attempts.

Weber also took over the punting duties and more than likely cemented his spot there with a strong performance.

He had an average of 41.5 yards per punt and a long of 50 yards. Two of his six punts pinned Washington State inside 10-yard line and two others went for touchbacks.

Not bad for his sixth career game and someone whose job was on the line just more than a month ago.

Weber fiercely battled freshman walk-on kicker Zach Richards during the preseason and Richards at times looked like he would be the Sun Devils' man.

But Weber now has left little question as to who handles the field goal kicking duties and staking his claim to the punting job as well.

THE BAD

The new-look offensive line yielded much of the same for ASU.

Junior Shawn Lauvao made his second consecutive start at left guard and senior Julius Orieukwu started at right tackle in place of senior Zach Krula giving ASU its third starting combination in as many weeks.

But junior quarterback Rudy Carpenter was sacked seven times for minus 56 yards and was hurried far too often. WSU brought a lot of pressure as word of ASU's weakness in pass protecting is spreading faster than a wildfire.

The offensive line continued its dominance in the run game though. Especially on the game-winning drive when senior running back Ryan Torain carried the ball three times for 27 yards.

THE UGLY

It's hard to argue that any victory can be ugly, but this was close.

The secondary looked spectacular at times, but still looked vulnerable to the big play. ASU was lucky to have what looked like a WSU touchdown pass in the first half be ruled an incomplete, otherwise things may have ended differently.

The offense got off to another bad start, and ASU can't expect to win these types of games against the Pac-10 elite.

Just check out the results of ASU's initial six drives:

Punt, interception, punt, punt, punt, interception, punt.

The good teams will bury the Sun Devils if the poor first half performances continue.

Nonetheless, the win is all that matters and despite its ugliness, it's much easier for ASU to swallow when it's sitting pretty at 6-0.

Reach the reporter at: alex.espinoza@asu.edu.



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