Pac-10: No QB Shuffle at ASU

By Jason Owens - July 27, 2006

With two quarterbacks back from playing integral roles in leading an offense that finished No. 2 overall and No. 3 in passing in the nation last season, Arizona State coach Dirk Koetter has a difficult decision on his hands.

Widely regarded as a legitimate NFL prospect, senior Sam Keller returns from a 2005 season cut short by a hand injury. Before the injury, Keller started seven games and threw for 2,165 yards with 20 touchdowns and nine interceptions. All sophomore Rudy Carpenter did was step in and lead the nation in passing efficiency. As a freshman, he completed 68.4 percent of his passes for 2,273 yards, 17 touchdowns and just two interceptions. That added up to a 175.01 efficiency rating, besting Keller's mark of 142.15.

So, Koetter has a very enviable problem on his hands. While he hasn't named a starter, he insists that he will not have a revolving quarterback situation.

"We have two very good quarterbacks," Koetter said. "I think a two-quarterback system can work depending on the quarterbacks you have. It won't work with these guys. They're both very competetive and I wouldn't have it any other way. It's very delicate; it's going to make one guy very happy and one guy very sad. But we have to have one guy be the starting quarterback. These guys understand that."

While the offense, as usual, looks to be in good shape, the bounty of talent at ASU doesn't neccesarily translate to the defensive side of the ball.

"We have four starters back on defense," Koetter said. "When you're ranked 113th in the nation on defense (actually 114th), that may not be such a bad thing."

Posted by Jason Owens at 01:39 PM on July 27, 2006

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