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My First Foray into Football – Idaho State at ASU

View from the PRess Box prior to the game.

Foos Ball is the Devil!

This past Labor Day weekend I shot my first college football game.  First things first, don’t let anyone ever tell you shooting football is easy.  Staying ahead of the play, running up and down the field all the while loaded up with long glass and heavy gear is a real challenge.  I rank it right up there with shooting golf on the physical level.  Despite that it’s a lot of fun to shoot as well.

A few weeks ago I learned I would be shooting some football this season.  As many of you know I am primarily a motorsports shooter so this would be foreign territory to me.  Immediately I knew that I wanted to get in some practice before my first real game.   I called up Scottsdale Community College and got credentialed to shoot their home opener against Snow College on August 29th.

I showed up early and shot a few photos during the warmup.

SCC WR Trey Gray catches a pass during warmups.

SCC WR Trey Gray catches a pass during warmups.

Nikon D700, 400mm, ISO200, f3.5, 1/1600th.

SCC WR Warren Johnson catches a pass during warmups.

SCC WR Warren Johnson catches a pass during warmups.

Nikon D700, 400mm, ISO200, f4.5, 1/1250th.

SCC WR Derrick Bouie looks on prior to the game.

SCC WR Derrick Bouie looks on prior to the game.

Nikon D700, 400mm, ISO200, f2.8, 1/1000th.

As the game was about the start there were some night skies forming.

SCC players look on prior to the start of the game.

SCC players look on prior to the start of the game.

Nikon D300, 17-55mm, ISO200, F2.8, 1/160th, Star Filter.

A break between plays during the first quarter.

A break between plays during the first quarter.

Nikon D700, 70-200mm, ISO2500, f2.8, 1/800th.

Shooting the action at the game yielded less than stellar results for me but more importantly I learned a lot in the process which was the goal for the day.  Having watched football most of my life I understand how the game works but there is no substitute for shooting.

Fast forward a week to Saturday, September 5th and Idaho State at Arizona State.  I arrived 2 hours early to get the lay of the land and explore the stadium a bit.  After checking in and getting setup in the photo room I went up to the pressbox to get a copy of the team’s rosters.  The view from the pressbox to the field is a very steep angle and pretty cool.

View from the Press Box prior to the game.

View from the Press Box prior to the game.

Nikon D300, 17-55mm, ISO200, f4, 1/250th.

From there I grabbed the rest of my gear and made a lap around the field.

An Arizona DPS officer looks on prior to the start of the game.

An Arizona DPS officer looks on prior to the start of the game.

Nikon D700, 70-200mm, ISO500, f2.8, 1/500th.

View of the field prior to the game.

View of the field prior to the game.

Nikon D700, 16mmFE, ISO500, f9, 1/500th.

The refs walk onto the field.

The refs walk onto the field.

Nikon D700, 70-200mm, ISO500, f4, 1/500th.

The ASU student section

The ASU student section

Nikon D700, 400mm, ISO3200, f3.5, 1/1000th.

Next I made a few shots during the team’s warmups.

ASU WR JJ Holliday catches a pass during warmups.

ASU WR JJ Holliday catches a pass during warmups.

Nikon D700, 400mm, ISO500, f2.8, 1/640th.

ASU RB Cameron Marshall catches a pass during warmups.

ASU RB Cameron Marshall catches a pass during warmups.

Nikon D700, 400mm, ISO500, f2.8, 1/640th.

ASU TE Stanley Malamala stretches prior to the game.

ASU TE Stanley Malamala stretches prior to the game.

Nikon D700, 70-200mm, ISO500, f2.8, 1/500th.

Then it was time for the pregame festivities

ASU Cheerleader

ASU Cheerleader

Nikon D700, 400mm, ISO2000, f3.5, 1/800th.

The ASU Cheerleaders perform before the game.

The ASU Cheerleaders perform before the game.

Nikon D700, 70-200mm, ISO1600, f3.2, 1/500th.

Pregame festivities.

Pregame festivities.

Nikon D300, 17-55mm, ISO1600, f6.3, 1/200th.

And finally it was time for the game to start.  ASU was a heavy favorite, 31 points so I was not expecting too much from Idaho State.  While on the sidelines I heard that ASU had paid Idaho State $495,000 to come down for the game.

Tangent Alert – Back when I was in school at the University of the Pacific (UOP) they had a Division 1A team for 2 years before it was shut down.  As I recall we were ranked 105 out of 107 D1A schools.  This was from 1991-1993 and at the time Nebraska was a powerhouse school.  Pacific played them both years on the road and were paid around $300,000 for each game.  On the up side Pacific beat the spread both games where Nebraska was favored by 65+ points, Go Tigers!

Aaaaand back to present day.  Shooting the SCC game the previous week did a lot to up my comfort level and my goal for this game was to come away with 20 or so solid photos.  My strategy was simple, stay ahead of the play and look for something interesting.  Below are some of my preferred shots from the first half.

ISU Kicker Jarrett Huk kicks off to start the game.

ISU Kicker Jarrett Huk kicks off to start the game.

Nikon D700, 400mm, ISO3200, f2.8, 1/1000th.

ASU QB Danny Sullivan takes the first snap of the game.

ASU QB Danny Sullivan takes the first snap of the game.

Nikon D700, 400mm, ISO3200, f2.8, 1/1000th.

ASU WR Gerell Robinson is chased by ISU LB AJ Storms.

ASU WR Gerell Robinson is chased by ISU LB AJ Storms.

Nikon D700, 400mm, ISO3200, f2.8, 1/1000th.

ASU RB Dimitri Nance is tackled by ISU DB Phillip Pleasant

ASU RB Dimitri Nance is tackled by ISU DB Phillip Pleasant

Nikon D700, 400mm, ISO3200, f3.5, 1/1000th.

ASU QB Danny Sullivan makes a run upfield.

ASU QB Danny Sullivan makes a run upfield.

Nikon D700, 400mm, ISO3200, f3.5, 1/1000th.

ASU QB Danny Sullivan is tackled by ISU DL Rustin Phillips after a run up field.

ASU QB Danny Sullivan is tackled by ISU DL Rustin Phillips after a run up field.

ASU QB Danny Sullivan is tackled by ISU DL Rustin Phillips after a run up field.

ASU QB Danny Sullivan is tackled by ISU DL Rustin Phillips after a run up field.

ASU RC Dimitri Nance celebrates after scoring a touchdown.

ASU RC Dimitri Nance celebrates after scoring a touchdown.

Nikon D700, 70-200mm, ISO3200, f2.8, 1/1000th.

ASU QB throws before being tackled by ISU DL Sean Rutten.

ASU QB throws before being tackled by ISU DL Sean Rutten.

Nikon D700, 400mm, ISO3200, f3.5, 1/1000th.

ISU QB Kyle Blum throws while ASU LB Brandom Magee tries to block the pass.

ISU QB Kyle Blum throws while ASU LB Brandom Magee tries to block the pass.

Nikon D700, 70-200mm, ISO3200, f2.8, 1/1250th.

ASU WR Kyle Williams celebrates after scoring a touchdown.

ASU WR Kyle Williams celebrates after scoring a touchdown.

Nikon D700, 400mm, ISO3200, f3.5, 1/1000th.

ASU RB Shaun DeWitty is tackled by ISU DL Sean Rutten (50) and DB Dustin Tew (27)

ASU RB Shaun DeWitty is tackled by ISU DL Sean Rutten (50) and DB Dustin Tew (27)

Nikon D700, 400mm, ISO3200, f3.5, 1/1000th.

ASU kicker THomas WEbber (28) kicksoff after an ASU score.

ASU kicker THomas WEbber (28) kicksoff after an ASU score.

Nikon D700, 70-200mm, ISO3200, f2.8, 1/1000th.

ASU LB Mike Nixon makes an interception and runs it back for a touchdown.

ASU LB Mike Nixon makes an interception and runs it back for a touchdown.

Nikon D700, 400mm, ISO3200, f3.5, 1/1000th.

As expected ASU dominated ISU and took a comfy 23-0 lead at the break while holding ISU to zero net offensive yards.  At halftime I went into the photo room caption and transmit a batch of photos then it was back on the field.

The ISU Bengals did not fair much better in the second half but they manage an impressive 57 yard field goal, their only score of the game.

The ISU cheerleaders.

The ISU cheerleaders.

Nikon D300, 17-55mm, ISO1600, f2.8, 1/500th.

ASU scores

ASU scores

Nikon D300, 17-55mm, ISO1600, f2.8, 1/500th.

ASU LB Vontaze Burfict sacks ISU WB Russel Hill

ASU LB Vontaze Burfict sacks ISU WB Russel Hill

Nikon D700, 400mm, ISO3200, f3.5, 1/1250th.

ASU LB Vontaze Burfict sacks ISU WB Russel Hill

ASU LB Vontaze Burfict sacks ISU WB Russel Hill

Burfict made a great sack with this play, check out the video.

ASU RB Ryan Bass celebrates as he scores a touchdown.

ASU RB Ryan Bass celebrates as he scores a touchdown.

Nikon D700, 400mm, ISO3200, f3.5, 1/1250th.

ISU RB Clint Knickrehm is chased by ASU DE Jamaar Jarrett.

ISU RB Clint Knickrehm is chased by ASU DE Jamaar Jarrett.

Nikon D700, 70-200mm, ISO3200, f2.8, 1/1250th.

ASU RB Jarrell Woods is tackled by ISU DB Keith McGowen.

ASU RB Jarrell Woods is tackled by ISU DB Keith McGowen.

Nikon D700, 400mm, ISO3200, f3.2, 1/1250th.

ASU Mooseknuckle Brigade.

ASU Mooseknuckle Brigade.

Nikon D700, 400mm, ISO3200, f3.2, 1/1250th.

When the clock ran out ASU won the game 50-3 and I went back to the photo room to transmit again.  When finished there was one more photo I had to take.

Me on the field after the game.

Me on the field after the game.

Nikon D700, 16mmFE, ISo3200, f2.8, 1/1600th.

While I feel this was not my best work I was reasonably pleased for my first time shooting football and know what to work on for the next game.  Stay tuned next week for coverage of the SCORE Terrible’s Primm 300 off road race and the USPSA Handgun National Championships.

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