UCLA is a pleasant memory for Osweiler

Every quarterback can point to one game early in his career, as the proverbial "coming out party" or "turning point." For ASU signal caller Brock Osweiler there is little doubt which contest falls into that category. Last season, the then sophomore led the Sun Devils to a 55-17 comeback victory over UCLA as he completed 27 of 36 passes for 380 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions.

"It's crazy how times flies," Brock Osweiler reflected. "To think it was almost a year ago, playing UCLA when I was kind of given really my first real big shot. It brings back great memories and that (game) was a lot of fun, but that was last year. They're a new football team and we're a new football team."

Head coach Dennis Erickson quipped that may have had a different recollection of that day.

"I remember it was 17-0 and (UCLA) was ahead," Erickson said. "That was really the first time he played for a long period of time. He came out and played well and we need a performance like that from him this year.

"But yes, that is when everything kind of started for him."

Ironically, in seven of the eight contests leading up to that game against the Bruins, Osweiler didn't even see the field, which make his performance on November 26th, 2010 that more improbable. The quarterback doesn't know if that game did actually provide him the confidence that has made him the player he is today, yet he naturally knows it had some significance in his career.

"It definitely got the ball rolling," Osweiler confessed. "UCLA gave me the confidence that I could be a starter at the Pac-10 at the time, Pac-12 now. I played well and I just tried to build upon that with every football game this year. So far it has been working."

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A college head coach will have some of his imprint on the offense and/or defense, but special teams is often a team aspect where the head coach will delegate responsibilities. While this is no different with Erickson, both his former kicker Thomas Weber and current kicker Alex Garoutte applauded Erickson's approach with them.

And what exactly is that Erickson kickers' methodology?

"I stay the hell away to be very honest with you," Erickson deadpanned. "I try not to get in their way; I try not to get into their psyche. Dealing with them is like dealing with my golf swing which is not good.

"They teach themselves. They had kicking coaching as they grow up. They all have their little deal where they help each other out. I just cheer when we make one and yell when we don't."

Erickson said that even though Garoutte this year has had some less than average practices that he still has confidence in his redshirt freshman.

"He's kicking them through in the game and I have a lot of confidence in him," Erickson stated. "It's nice to have confidence in a guy that you know will come through."

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Left tackle Evan Finkenberg who has missed the last three games with a knee injury that required subsequent meniscus surgery is according to Erickson slated to return to his starting role this weekend. As a result Dan Knapp will vacate that spot and return to his normal right tackle role and will be backed up by Aderious Simmons who started at right tackle while Finkenberg was sidelined.


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