We've heard something similar in the past, but offensive coordinator Tim Lappano gave his strongest assurances yet -- a guarantee, in fact -- that Louis Rankin will receive support from a second tailback Saturday.
Lappano said there is still no decision on whether that will be J.R. Hasty, Brandon Johnson and Curtis Shaw, however he especially praised the physical running styles Hasty and Johnson showed during the bye week. But it sounds like at least one of the others will play at Arizona State -- regardless of score or situation.
Lappano also said that he is still trying to get the tight ends involved in the UW offense. In fact, the tight ends are regularly an early option for the quarterback and the lack of passes going their way seems to indicate that none of the three are getting open quickly or regularly.
Scouting report: The Sun Devils allow 14 points a game, lowest in the Pac-10, while scoring 28 ppg. They are first in pass defense efficiency, second in pass defense, third in rushing defense and total defense. Quarterback Rudy Carpenter is a pocket passer who ranks fourth in the league in passing and second in passing efficiency. Tailback Ryan Torain is a powerful runner who ranks fourth in the league, averaging 105 rushing yards per game. Both operate behind a veteran line. Linebacker Robert James in fifth in the Pac-10 with an average of 9.8 tackles per game. Strong safety Troy Nolan leads the league with four interceptions, and he returned one for a touchdown. The Sun Devils lead the league in time of possession, fourth down conversions, red-zone offense and kickoff coverage. Kyle Williams leads the Pac-10 in punt return average (12.6 yards). ASU is the only Pac-10 team that hasn't missed a field goal this season.