The Arizona State Locker Room
EL PRESIDENTE CARPENTER: Vice President Love, Coach Erickson, distinguished trainers and water boys, my fellow Republicans: By law and by custom, we meet here following each season to consider the state of the team. This year, we gather in this chamber deeply aware of decisive days that lie in front of us. As I stand before you this evening, our mandate is clear: seven wins is not enough.
You and I serve our team in a time of great consequence. During this offseason, we have the duty to reform defensive schemes vital to our ability to force three and outs next fall; we have the opportunity to score hundreds more points than even our glorious offense was able to manage in 2006. We will work for a prosperity that has the Republic has known in the past only intermittently, and fleetingly, and we will answer every danger and every enemy that threatens the inevitable success of the people of Arizona State. (Applause.)
In these days of promise and days of reckoning, the Republic can be confident. In a whirlwind of change and hope and peril, our faith is sure, our resolve is firm, and our pass rush is strong. (Applause.)
This team has many challenges. We will not deny, we will not ignore, we will not pass along our problems to other coaches, to other recruits, and especially to other quarterbacks. There are no other quarterbacks...Ahem. I said... (Applause.) Thank you. We will confront these challenges with focus and clarity and an improved third down conversion rate.
During the last two years, we have seen what can be accomplished when we work together. We have won seven games and achieved a bowl game each season. To lift the standards of our running game, we achieved historic rates in yards per carry - which must now be carried out to every back and occasionally wide receivers on every level of the depth chart, so that every recruit to Arizona State, and not just 1,200-yard junior college transfer Ryan Torain, may learn to keep his shoulders square to the line of scrimmage and bring great success to TPROASU. (Applause.) To protect our quarterbacks, we reorganized our offensive line and created the Department of Massive Polynesians, which is mobilizing to recruit humongous blockers with unpronounceable surnames from Hawaii, Samoa and seemingly all Western states against the speedier edge-rushing threats of a new era. To bring our defense out of recession, we delivered the largest number of safeties in the box for run support in a generation. (Applause.) Most importantly, to insist on integrity on Arizona State sidelines, we passed tough reforms and are holding coaches to account.(Applause.)
And we have seen results. We rushed for 100 yards in every game and scored 17 touchdowns. Torain started the final twelve games and rushed for 100 yards four times, including 191 against California and 299 against Arizona and Hawaii, while former starter Keegan Herring continued to play a significant role. Both young men return next season. (Applause.) Safeties Josh Barrett and Zach Catanese finished first and third on the team in tackles, respectively, and the run defense improved by more than 50 yards per game over 2005. (Applause.) And you may have heard we orchestrated a little coaching change. (Laughter.) Dirk Koetter served his team well, and to the best of his abilities. But now we bring in a coach with a championship track record, who will dispense his duties in line with the party's best interests, install an offense that will better utilize the Republic's valuable passing resources while
keeping his mouth shut and staying out of my way learning to compromise and approach strategy and personnel with a more open mind. (Standing Applause.)
Some might call the successes I have outlined a good record; I call it a good start. Tonight I ask the Offense and the Defense to join me in the next bold steps to serve our fellow Republicans.
Our first goal is clear...
We must have a record that includes enough victories to qualify for at least the Holiday Bowl. (Applause.) After recession, high numbers of sacks allowed, turnovers and passing declines, our offense is recovering - yet it's not growing fast enough, or strongly enough. With our instate rival's win total rising, our team needs more receivers to get open, more offensive linemen to expand holes for the running game, more running backs to put up the sign that says, "Blitz Coming From the Nickel." (Applause.)
Points are created when the offense is more efficient; the offense is more efficient when the quarterback has time to invest in finding and delivering accurate throws to receivers; and the best way to ensure the quarterback has time to run the offense is to make the sure the defense isn't sure whether he's going to throw in the first place. (Applause.)
I am proposing that all the formations and hot read calls I first proposed without success under Coach Koetter in 2005 be made permanent and effective this year. (Applause.) And under my plan, as soon as I signal an audible, these extra passes will go directly into the receiver's hands down the field. Instead of gradually trying to move the chains with the same old conservative play-calling, we should throw deep on two out of every three first downs. (Applause.) Instead of fluctuating the number of attempts per game based on opponent strengths and tendencies, we should aggressively rain bombs on everyone without discretion, which will also further increase our yards per carry by spreading out a defense and stunning it with rare handoffs. (Applause.) Hal Mumme showed us the way, and Hawaii showed us it can work! (Standing Applause.)
Our second goal is high quality playing time for all Arizona State players. (Applause.) The Sun Devil system has always been a model of skill and innovation, with a pace of substitution that will give us more energy in the fourth quarter. Yet for many players, the demands of the classroom, weight room and film room to see the field are too much - and many have no playing time at all. These problems can only be solved with a system governed by the Republic that promises quality snaps for all, not just those with the greatest statistics and bench press totals. (Scattered Applause.)
Sun Devils are doing the work of a successful team every day - lifting weights, studying film, ribaldly hazing but also bringing companionship and guidance to freshmen. These good works deserve our praise; they deserve our personal support; and when appropriate, they deserve the assistance of the university, the Arizona Board of Regents, and lucrative equipment contracts. But this support is not enough if our roster is not also free to express its diversity. We must work toward a system in which all Arizona State players feel the freedom to write appropriate slogans glorifying the Republic on their arm bands, choose their own positions, and transfer and non-scholarship Sun Devils receive the help they need. (Applause.) Instead of monolith coaches and coordinators and oppressive playbooks, we must put runners and blockers and tacklers whose sweat has built the program back in charge of Arizona State football. (Applause.)
I urge you to pass these measures, for the good of both our university and our win total. Even more, I ask you to take a crucial step and line up in multi-receiver sets that generations before us could not have imagined.
In this century, the greatest offensive progress will come about not through endless fullback dives or bubble screens, but through technology and innovation. Tonight I'm proposing $1.2 billion in research funding for biological and mechanical enhancements to my body so that Arizona State can lead the nation in passing yards and passing touchdowns. (Applause.) Join me in this important innovation to make our throws arrive with greater accuracy and zip, and our Republic much less dependent on opponents' tendencies to mix man and zone coverages. That is very confusing. (Applause.)
I ask the athletic department and the Board of Regents to commit $1.2 billion over the next year, including nearly $875 million in new money, to turn the tide against passes that arrive late and are underthrown, or that never escape my hands because of the offensive line's rank incompetence. This funding is imperative, because my eligibility is running out. (Applause.)
Many challenges, in-conference and outside of it, have arrived in a single season. In two years, Arizona State has gone from a sense of regular mediocrity to an awareness of potential greatness; from losing records in the PAC Ten to about .500, roughly. And we go forward with confidence, because this call of history has come to the right team.
Sun Devils are a resolute people who have risen to every test of our time. Adversity will revealed the character of our team, to the nation and to ourselves. Arizona State is a strong program, and honorable in the use of our strength against weaker opponents on our schedule. We exercise power over teams like I-AA Northern Arizona without conquest, as we were compassionately tied with the Lumberjacks entering the fourth quarter, and Stanford, by whom we were defeated in 2005.
We Sun Devils have faith in ourselves, but you trust not in yourselves alone. You do not know all the ways of your el Presidente, yet you can trust in them, placing your confidence in the loving quarterback behind all touchdowns, and all victories.
Pray your leader may have the wisdom to guide this team into its future of unprecedented glory. And may the NCAA continue to bless the People's Republic of Arizona State University. (Standing Applause.)