The ASU signal caller was luke warm when assessing his performance. "There were a couple of plays that I would like to have back," said Walter. "One was a fade to Moey – I would have liked to put that in a better spot…by in large, I personally think it was decent. We have to be realistic, and go back to the grind stone and work hard…I think Utah State will be ready no question to play us next week."
Walter was noticeably delighted with the play of receiver Moey Mutz. "Moey made a name for himself tonight," exclaimed Walter. "Nobody knew who he was before tonight. Obviously, he has the speed. He played great. We had some young guys make some plays, and Moey was one of them." When asked to describe the two touchdown passes to Mutz, Walter replied: "The one designed to go to Skyler on an out and up. I saw that nothing was going to come out of the play, so I passed the ball to him (Mutz) on the backside. He made one guy miss and fall down, and ran it for the touchdown. The other one was designed to go to him. We tried to get the safeties bit down on the fake, and that ended up happening."
The game definitely didn't mark the fast start desired by the team. Nevertheless, Walter stated that coming from behind is too familiar of a scenario to get flustered over. "We've been down 22 points before (smile)," said Walter. "We would have liked to match their intensity better on both sides of the ball and special teams, but no panic at all when they scored first."
The NAU game marked the first three catches in wide receiver Moey Mutz's career. With two of those going for scores, suffice to say that it was a sensational night for the sophomore. Mutz stated that the game marked an opportunity for himself and his young unit to showcase their talents. "I'm always confident," said Mutz. "But it was a chance for me to prove myself…we had two receivers out. You always have the questions with Shaun (McDonald) gone, and having so many young receivers. If we had the depth I think we showed some of it tonight."
Despite the win, the receiver did admit that the post-game locker room was quite a somber scene. "Even though we did win by 34-14 it was a little down. Going in we had higher expectations, but a win is a win." When asked to pinpoint his team's deficiencies he stated: "I think overall discipline wise we had a lot of penalties in the game. People just making uncharacteristic penalties. We just need to knock those down. It was decent (performance) but there's always room for improvement."
Linebacker Jamar Williams headed another group who came into the season under a cloud of uncertainty. Just like Mutz, Williams said that this win offered a bag of mixed goods. "I had two missed two tackles," Williams commented on his personal performance. "And I was kinda upset over that. But I did well on my reads, and I did as well as I could do…overall it was a pretty good night for the defense. We had a lot of stops, but I'm disappointed in the stats. But the game is on the scoreboard." The sophomore agreed that the defensive effort as a whole was a bend but not break type. He was also upset at the fact that the Devils came out hesitant, while NAU was "ready to play."
Williams exclaimed that the ASU defense is a group that can always count on a different unit to make a play, when one unit fails to do the same. "On our defense we have playmakers," says the linebacker. "If our defensive linemen don't get a sack, and our linebacker doesn't get a tackle for a loss or a fumble, our defensive backs will make a play. I know our DB's will break on the passes, and they had a great night."
Did NAU surprise ASU with the looks they gave on offense? Williams in non-committal in his reply. "Not really. They came out with a lot of unorthodox formations; in their first game they showed only two formations so they were hiding a lot of things. But we knew what they were gonna do, we had a lot of guys step up like Justin Burks, Barton Hammit, Jordan Hill, Mark Washington on special teams…overall the linebackers showed what they can do."
In anticipation for the next game, the linebacker says that the remedy for improvement is quite simple. "As a defense, we know what we should have done," said Williams. "We should have come out there and out hit our opponent. We started to at the end, but in the beginning we should have come out stronger. Against Utah State and Iowa we'll have to come out a lot stronger. We're not gonna allow for them to get a lead on us."
"This game was a big wakeup call for us," Williams summed up the NAU victory. "Nobody is gonna lay down and give us a win. Just because we're ranked, just because we're ASU – nobody will give us a win. As a defense, our job is to go out there and stop the ball. I think we did a good job, but we can do better."
Players' Post-Game Quotes
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Richard remains confident in ASU run gameArizona State junior running back Demario Richard is still confident in the Sun Devils' ability to run the football despite their recent struggles.
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Patterson: Crump, Ball lead ASU's defenseArizona State junior Koron Crump has impressed defensive coordinator Keith Patterson with his mental approach to the game this season.
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Ask the Expert Q&A: OregonFor this week's Ask the Expert feature, we caught up with Stephen Summers of eDuck.com for his take on the Oregon Ducks.
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ASU still in play for Graham post visitArizona State is working to secure its future in the secondary and has been recruiting four-star prospect Thomas Graham to that end for more than a year and a half.
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