Saturday, Sept. 12

7 p.m. kickoffSite: Cougar Stadium, Provo, Utah

TV: ESPN2

Radio: KSL AM-1160

3 keys for a BYU victory

- REPEATING 1997: The Cougars surprised the Sun Devils 13-10 in Tempe last season. BYU's defense limited Arizona State to just 12 first downs and 245 yards of total offense. QB Kevin Feterik paced the Y. offense with 328 yards passing.

- BALANCED ATTACK: In last year's win, BYU's Brian McKenzie rushed for 112 yards on 23 carries. The Cougars could use a similar effort this time around. However, McKenzie has graduated, and no one else has yet to prove capable. The heat and humidity in Alabama last week produced cramps that sidelined several runners - leaving Will Snowden as BYU's leading rusher with 27 yards on four carries.

- RISE AND SHOUT: After opening the season before 83,818 crazed 'Bama football fans, a game in Provo's 65,000-seat Cougar Stadium should be worth something to BYU.

The game's edge

QUARTERBACKS

ASU sophomore Ryan Kealy is the real deal with 302 yards in last week's opener against Washington, but it's hard to completely overlook what BYU's Kevin Feterik did against the Sun Devils last year (17-of-30 for 328 yards). Edge: ASU.

RUNNING BACKS

ASU tailback J.R. Redmond, a junior who topped the 100-yard rushing mark for the fifth time in his career last weekend, is a Heisman Trophy candidate. BYU's runners, to put it kindly, are not. Edge: ASU.

RECEIVERS

ASU refers to Lenzie Jackson as Leader of the Pack. The senior headlines a talented cast of targets and has caught passes in 26 consecutive games. BYU's receiving corps is still establishing itself. Edge: ASU.

OFFENSIVE, DEFENSIVE LINES

The Cougars have preseason All-American and Arizona native John Tait anchoring their offensive line and plenty of experience on the defensive side, but neither line was overly impressive against Alabama. ASU's front forces are a bit smaller than BYU's, but senior Grey Ruegamer is considered by many to be the nation's premier center. Edge: Even

LINEBACKERS

After leading BYU in defensive points in 1997, middle linebacker Rob Morris opened the season right where he left off. He tallied 13 tackles and two sacks against Alabama. ASU is missing more than just Pat Tillman, with the 'backers the weakest ASU defensive unit. Edge: BYU.

DEFENSIVE BACKS

The next tackle made by ASU free safety Mitchell "Fright Night" Freedman will be the 200th of his illustrious career. The senior, however, is one of just three returning starters on defense. BYU has more overall depth with Heshimu Robertson and Jason Walker leading the charge against Alabama by teaming for 15 tackles. Slight edge: BYU.

SPECIAL TEAMS

OK, so Owen Pochman missed three field goals against Arizona State last season. He also provided the margin of victory with a game-winning 32-yarder with 4:39 remaining. BYU punter J.D. Hartsfield averaged 45 yards per kick against Alabama. Edge: BYU.

INTANGIBLES

The Y. holds the confidence card after last year's win in Tempe. Both teams opened '98 with losses and are eager to reach .500. BYU has home-field advantage, but ASU enjoys the element of revenge and better overall talent and depth on its side. Edge: Even.

OVERALL

ASU has superior firepower offensively but an inexperienced defense. BYU's defense can't afford to give up another 38 points this weekend. If the Cougars do, chalk up another "L." Edge: ASU.

ASU Offense

Potent. Sophomore quarterback Ryan Kealy and junior tailback J.R. Redmond headline an explosive attack capable of posting big numbers. After last weekend's 42-38 loss to Washington, ASU coach Bruce Snyder said he was disappointed his team didn't score 50 points. The Sun Devils had 465 yards of total offense - 302 yards passing and 163 rushing - in the season-opening setback. Kealy completed 20 of 35 passes against the Huskies, while Redmond turned 22 carries into 108 yards. The duo, who are candidates for postseason honors, helped the Sun Devils strike quickly last week. Four of ASU's five touchdown drives took 2:45 or less. Senior Lenzie Jackson wasn't on the receiving end of any touchdown strikes, but he did pull in four passes to extend his streak of games with a reception to 26 games. Another player to watch is center Grey Ruegamer. He is a preseason All-American.

ASU Defense

Inexperienced with only three returning starters, ASU allowed Washington 431 yards of total offense and 42 points last week. The outburst may signal the end of a two-year run in which the Sun Devils have led the Pac-10 in scoring defense. ASU's cupboard, however, isn't completely bare. The three returnees were all-conference selections last season. Leading the cast is senior free safety Mitchell "Fright Night" Freedman. His next tackle will the 200th of his collegiate career. Senior defensive tackle Albrey Battle and junior cornerback Courtney Jackson are the Sun Devils' other experienced defenders. Washington surprised ASU last week with a shotgun formation that at time featured five receivers. If BYU opts to do the same, the Sun Devils may insert Redmond into the secondary on certain situations.

ASU Special Teams

Freshmen Stephen Baker (punter/kickoffs) and Mike Gauthier (place kicker) have replaced graduated veterans Robert Nycz and Marcus Williams. ASU position coach Dick Arbuckle isn't worried, though. He said the newcomers are Pac-10 caliber kickers. However, the Sun Devils aren't so green returning kicks. They have plenty of skill - as in their starting tailback and featured receiver - on the job. Against Washington, ASU returners were successful enough to rank among the nation's elite. Redmond is second in punt returns with an average of 33 yards, while Jackson is 19th on kickoffs at 26.8 yards.

BYU Offense

Quarterback Kevin Feterik made quite a debut as a starter in the Cougars' 13-10 victory over Arizona State last season. The lefty completed 17 of 30 passes for 328 yards. A similar performance would no doubt enhance BYU's chances to surprise the Sun Devils once again. To get the job done, Feterik will need better protection than he received in BYU's 38-31 season-opening loss at Alabama when he was sacked five times. It won't help that starting center Jimmy Richards has a sore shoulder after a partial dislocation against the Crimson Tide. Receivers like Margin Hooks and Junior Mahe, thus, may need to get open quickly and improvise on occasion. BYU's ground game was all but nonexistent against 'Bama. The heat and humidity led to cramping, which limited starting running backs Ronney Jenkins and Kalani Sitake to a combined 17 yards on eight carries. Will Snowden enters the games as the Cougars' leading rusher with 27 yards.

BYU Defense

Middle linebacker Rob Morris is where the buck stops here. The junior, who led the Cougars in defensive points a year ago, topped the charts with 10 unassisted tackles at Alabama. He combined on three others and had two quarterback sacks. He'll no doubt be the center of BYU's defensive efforts again this week. Arizona State's offense has proven effective both running and throwing the ball, so it's crucial BYU's line applies adequate pressure. Defensive end Byron Frisch, who returned a fumble 39 yards for a touchdown in the opener, will spearhead that effort. Another busy area promises to be the defensive secondary. Cornerback Heshimu Robertson and safety Jason Walker finished with six and five unassisted tackles, respectively, against Alabama. In order to succeed, BYU's defense needs to improve on third down. The Crimson Tide converted on 64.7 percent opportunities a week ago.

BYU Special Teams

With Jenkins returning kickoffs and Mahe fielding punts, the Cougars are capable of securing consistently good field position. Sophomore kicker Owen Pochman has made 32 consecutive PATs and three straight field goals. He does, however, need to avoid kicking the ball out of bounds on kickoffs. Alabama returned just two kicks in the season opener - benefiting with great field position on the others that sailed over the sideline. BYU's punting game was fairly successful with J.D. Hartsfield averaging 45 yards on four kicks.

ASU Sun Devils

Two-deep offense

QB 8 Ryan Kealy 6-2 205 So.

7 Steve Campbell 6-8 252 Sr.

TB 21 J.R. Redmond 6-0 211 Jr..

9 Dav. Hightower 6-2 207 Fr.

FB 44 Jeff Paulk 6-1 247 Sr.

35 Darrin Ransom 6-0 218 So.

WR 83 Lenzie Jackson 6-0 186 Sr.

84 Tariq McDonald 6-1 180 So.

SB 81 Kenny Mitchell 6-4 202 Sr.

12 Brian Forth 5-11 179 So..

TE 85 Kendrick Bates 6-6 245 Jr.

88 Matt Cercone 6-5 250 Sr.

LT 71 Marvel Smith 6-6 299 So.

66 Dane Beem 6-6 275 So.

LG 64 Randy Leaphart 6-3 281 Sr.

53 Scott Peters 6-3 295 Fr.

C 51 Grey Ruegamer 6-4 301 So.

63 Korey Ramsay 6-3 280 So.

RG 75 Victor Leyva 6-4 294 So.

64 Randy Leaphart 6-3 281 Sr.

RT 79 Troy Davis 6-5 290 Sr.

73 Thomas Schmidt 6-6 291 Jr.

Two-deep defense

LE 91 Quincy Yates 6-8 248 So.

78 Levi Jones 6-6 277 Fr.

LT 97 Albrey Battle 6-3 287 Sr.

92 Junior Ioane 6-4 312 Jr.

RT 95 Ryan Reilly 6-2 270 Jr.

90 Che' Britton 6-1 272 Jr.

RE 58 Derrick Ford 6-1 229 Sr.

36 Erik Flowers 6-4 241 Jr.

LB 30 Stephan Trejo 6-3 245 So.

10 Eric Fields 6-3 219 Fr.

LB 55 Joe Cesta 6-1 225 Sr.

1 Terrelle Smith 6-1 238 Jr.

LB 40 Adam Archuleta 6-0 208 So.

39 Alfred Williams 6-1 194 Fr.

CB 3 J'Juan Cherry 6-0 205 Jr.

26 Kareem Clark 5-10 186 Jr.

CB 23 Court. Jackson 6-1 192 Jr.

6 Phillip Brown 6-0 185 Jr.

SS 31 Christon Rance 6-2 196 So.

22 Court. Palmore 5-11 195 Fr.

FS 13 Mitch. Freedman 6-0 201 Sr.

6 Phillip Brown 185 Jr.

Specialists

PK 29 Mike Gauthier 5-9 178 Fr.

P 16 Stephen Baker 5-11 186 Fr.

PR 21 J.R. Redmond 5-0 211 Jr.

KR 21 J.R. Redmond 5-0 211 Jr.

KR 9 Dav. Hightower 6-2 207 Fr.

Statistics

Individual leaders

Passing Cmp.-Att. Yds. TDs Int.

Kealy 20-35 302 3 0

Rushing No. Yds. Ave. TDs

Redmond 22 108 4.9 1

Hightower 9 39 4.3 1

Receiving No. Yds Ave. TDs

Spann 4 71 17.8 0

Redmond 4 68 17.0 0

Jackson 4 67 16.8 0

All-purpose Run Rec. PR KO Total

Redmond 108 68 66 12 254

Scoring TDS PAT FGS PTS

Gauthier 0 5 1 8

Bates 1 0 0 6

Heap 1 0 0 6

Hightower 1 0 0 6

McDonald 1 0 0 6

Redmond 1 0 0 6

Team comparisons

BYU ASU

3rd-down conversion 8-14 12-19

Defensive 3rd-down 11-17 8-15

4th-down conversion 0-0 1-2

Defenseive 4th-down 1-2 2-3

Net punting yards 38.8 36.0

Turnover conversion 2-2 3-3

Red zone conversion 3-3 4-4

ASU's 1998 season

L 42-38 Washington (0-1)

Sept. 12 at Brigham Young 7 p.m.

Sept. 19 North Texas 8 p.m.

Sept. 26 Oregon State 8 p.m.

Oct. 3 at USC 5 p.m.

Oct. 10 Notre Dame TBA

Oct. 22 Stanford 8 p.m.

Oct. 31 at Washington St. TBA

Nov. 7 California 5 p.m.

Nov. 14 at Oregon 3 p.m.

Nov. 27 at Arizona 5:30 p.m.

ASU on BYU

Head coach Bruce Snyder: "The only thing we can do now is see if we can beat BYU. We have to see if 11-1 sounds nice."

More Snyder: "I like their runners, they could be a pretty good running football team."

QB Ryan Kealy: "There is a bitter taste in our mouths from last year. I don't think we thought we played as well as we could have."

BYU Cougars

Two-deep offense

QB 7 Kevin Feterik 6-1 195 Jr.

12 Drew Miller 6-0 200 So.

RB 16 Ronney Jenkins 5-11 170 So.

15 Will Snowden 5-10 210 So.

FB 34 Kalani Sitake 6-1 250 So.

26 Aaron Cup 5-11 230 Sr.

WR 14 Margin Hooks 5-10 190 So.

88 Ben Horton 5-11 175 So.

WR 17 Aaron Roderick 5-9 165 Sr.

8 Mich. Westbrook 5-7 175 Fr.

TE 91 T. Ofahengaue 6-3 245 So.

96 Carlos Nuno 6-4 246 Jr.

LT 75 John Tait 6-7 290 Jr.

69 A. McCubbins 6-4 295 Jr.

LG 71 John Skiba 6-2 285 Jr.

55 Hanale Vincent 6-4 300 Fr.

C 66 Jimmy Richards 6-3 305 So.

68 Jason Scukanec 6-2 275 Fr.

RG 62 Matt Johnson 6-4 325 Jr.

61 Kam Valgardson 6-4 270 So.

RT 70 Joe Wong 6-6 315 Sr.

76 Ford Poston 6-6 290 Jr.

Two-deep defense

LE 56 Ed Kehl 6-4 300 Sr.

72 Hans Olsen 6-4 280 So.

LT 97 Daren Yancey 6-6 285 Sr.

58 Chris Hoke 6-3 280 So.

RT 98 Issiah Magalei 6-2 285 Sr.

94 Ifo Pili 6-3 305 Fr.

RE 93 Byron Frish 6-5 260 Jr.

99 Setema Gali Jr. 6-4 245 So.

WLB 10 Brad Martin 6-1 240 Sr.

51 Josh Lowe 6-2 230 So.

MLB 44 Rob Morris 6-2 250 Jr.

49 Jeff Ellis 6-1 225 Sr.

SLB 54 Derik Stevenson 6-4 240 Sr.

47 Justin Ena 6-3 245 Fr.

LCB 5 Brian Gray 6-2 205 Jr.

28 Rob Warcup 5-9 160 Jr.

RCB 19 Hesh. Robertson 5-9 180 So.

36 Doug Henstrom 6-2 185 Jr.

SS 4 Chris Ellison 5-10 185 Sr.

13 Tyler Nelson 6-3 215 Jr.

WS 2 Jason Walker 6-1 195 Sr.

9 Jason Anderson 6-1 190 Fr.

Specialists

PK 29 Owen Pochman 6-0 165 So.

P 27 J.D. Hartsfield 5-10 170 Sr.

PR 17 Aaron Roderick 5-9 165 Sr.

KR 16 Ronney Jenkins 5-11 170 So.

KR 88 Ben Horton 5-11 175 So.

Statistics

Individual leaders

Passing Cmp.-Att. Yds. TDs Int.

Feterik 19-30 182 1 1

Rushing No. Yds. Ave. TDs

Snowden 4 27 6.8 0

Mahe 6 25 4.2 1

Cupp 4 23 5.8 0

Receiving No. Yds Ave. TDs

Hooks 4 65 16.3 0

Mahe 4 38 9.5 0

Scoring TDs PAT FG Pts.

Pochman 0 4 1 7

Ofahengaue 1 0 0 6

Feterik 1 0 0 6

Mahe 1 0 0 6

Team comparisons

BYU ASU

Total offense 280 465

Total defense 339 431

Scoring offense 31 38

Scoring defense 38 42

Rushing offense 98 163

Rushing defense 143 113

Passing offense 182 302

Passing defense 196 318

Takeaway/giveaway -1 -1

BYU's 1998 season

L 38-31 at Alabama (0-1)

Sept. 12 Arizona State 7 p.m.

Sept. 19 at Washington 1:30 p.m.

Sept. 26 Murray State noon

Oct. 3 at Fresno State 8 p.m.

Oct. 10 UNLV noon

Oct. 17 at Hawaii 10 p.m.

Oct. 24 San Jose State noon

Oct. 29 San Diego State 6 p.m.

Nov. 7 New Mexico noon

Nov. 14 at Texas El Paso 3 p.m.

Nov. 21 at Utah 1 p.m.

BYU on ASU

Coach LaVell Edwards: "Who knows what this game will be. You have two very good offensive football teams."

QB Kevin Feterik: "We've got to start out fast and jump on them early, then I think our defense will be able to shut them down."

LB Rob Morris: "We have a lot of respect for Arizona State, and I think if you ask them, they would say the same about us."