Sun Devils Hold Out Injured Players For Scrimmage

With just over a week before the season opener, Coach Koetter does not see any reason exposing his already hobbled players to further injuries. Thus, several members of the squad will view Friday's mock game, which is closed to the public, from the sidelines.

"Because it's a mock game," Said Koetter, "Mike Karney, Lee Burghgraef, Riccardo Stewart…it really makes no sense for those guys to go down in a situation that doesn't mean much to their position. Anybody that we've been holding out, we would like to target Sunday as a return date. Sunday is really our official start of NAU prep. On Sunday we will have our normal Tuesday practice, so it will be a run down day where you do double your work." The ASU head coach also mentioned that on Friday the various scout teams will be lining up against the offense and the defense. The team won't run a live scrimmage, but rather work on various game like situations.

Aside from the trio of players mentioned above, there are several others that won't suit up. "Kyle (Caldwell) won't be playing." Koetter Said, "He was suppose to be fit with his custom brace (which he was) today. They (the trainers) were real encouraged with what he did in the workout yesterday. We hope he can start on Sunday. There gonna have him do some individual (drills) today, tomorrow, and Saturday. It's still day to day, but he's getting a lot closer." The Sun Devil skipper provided updates on other team members, which have not fully practiced in a while. "We would like to get Matt Miller out there. He's close; he's about 85%. I would anticipate him up and running on Sunday. Lamar (Baker) is actually gonna get a second opinion (on his groin/hamstring) tomorrow. Joey (Smith) has a hip flexor that hasn't responded as well. It's almost been ten days, and a hip flexor should be healed by now. We're gonna have try something different, because what we're doing isn't getting him better right now."

Koetter admitted that the team is "pretty antsy" to kickoff the season, in light of the plethora of college football games taking place in the next few days. The preparations for the season opener against NAU continue as planned, and the task on hand is a challenging one. "You can only go so far when you working on last year's tapes. That's one of the hardest things about an opening game. We have our basic game plan in on both sides of the ball. Most teams will go into that first game with a vanilla game plan."

While the offensive line and running back positions are seeing fierce position battles, the third year ASU coach says that the wide receiver spot is quite different in nature when it comes to the jockeying on the depth chart. "The thing about receivers – they know we'll play a lot of those guys." Said Koetter; "There's only one tailback on the field at a particular time. Where at wide receiver, we're gonna be at three receivers a good percentage of the time. So those receivers are pretty confident that the top five or six will play." Koetter made a point to mention that a few of the less known wideouts have been leaving a lasting impression on him. "Some of those receivers that nobody ever heard of – Moey Mutz, Stephen Bisnett, Alex King are doing a nice job and really elevated their game." When asked about the redshirt prospects of true freshman Rudy Burgess he replied: "Rudy is on the bubble, and he's making it tough on us. He's sharp, he's competitive…Every time we give him a chance to make plays he does it."

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