Knapp splits reps at new position

Injuries, position changes and depth chart adjustments have been reoccurring theme for the Sun Devils this year. Junior offensive lineman Dan Knapp started the year at left tackle before injuring his MCL against Oregon. Now healthy, Knapp has been moved from left tackle to right.

Freshman Evan Finkenberg has started the last two games at left tackle in absence of Knapp. Now Knapp and Aderious Simmons have been rotating at the first team right tackle spot since last week and it feels a bit like summer ball all over for the two hulking linemen.

"(Knapp) is doing good," Erickson observed. "Him and Aderious are competing this week and I'm not sure who we're going to start yet. We're just kind of watching them compete against each other during practice. We haven't been able to do that too often the last couple of years. It's good for both of them. But he's looking good. It's a little different. His set is a little different so of course it's taking a little bit of adjustment but he did it last week so that helps."

Another injury the Sun Devils have been dealing with is the loss of cornerback Deveron Carr. The Scottsdale, Ariz. native had been a starter since week one Erickson recently announced that Carr was likely to have season ending surgery. Osahon Irabor, a redshirt freshman from Upland, Calif. Has replaced Carr in the starting lineup.

Irabor came to ASU with many accolades and would have earned playing time as a true freshman if not for injury, according to Erickson.

"(Irabor) is playing well for a redshirt freshman," Erickson said. "He's a very physical player. We thought a year ago he was going to play as a true freshman and then he got hurt. We're happy with where he's at. Obviously you don't want to lose a guy like Deveron but he's stepping up and playing well.

After their first Pac-10 win of the season over the Washington Huskies, the Sun Devils got a much needed break with a bye week. Things will pick up again this Saturday when the maroon and gold travel up north to Berkeley to take on the Golden Bears of Cal.

Much like many teams in the Pac-10, The Golden Bears have been somewhat of an enigma this year as well. It seems to be either feast or famine for head coach Jeff Tedford's squad and last week was no different. Cal went on the road for a game with the USC Trojans and came out with their tail between their legs losing 48-14. USC scored 42 unanswered points in the first half alone.

Yet, Dennis Erickson knows that Cal is a solid team and won't put too much stock into the drubbing at the hands of the Trojans. Like ASU, Cal is 3-3 so far this year but has yet to lose at home.

"I don't think they're unlike a lot of teams," Erickson explained. "A lot of teams play better at home, almost throughout the country. Cal plays extremely well at home. They got behind the other day and we're kind of just digging out of a hole, so that game to me you just kind of throw out. They're a good team. They have a lot of guys back from a team that beat us. We're going to have to play as well as we can to be in the game. They're a good football team."

Junior quarterback Steven Threet knows this will be one of the tougher contests of the year and could be a game that proves pivotal in the Sun Devils bid for their first bowl appearance since 2007.

"(The Washington win) was really nice." Admitted Threet. "Any time you win the game it's big but to get one on the road in some inclement weather, it was good for us. Obviously, having the bye helps us rest up and get healthy again and be ready for this last stretch."

"We're really just focused on Cal right now. It's a big test up in Berkeley and we have to be ready for them. I feel like with the guys we have, the work ethic we have, guys are in the film room, studying the playbook, watching film and really putting in the effort to get better."


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