"Well, we're 2-0," quipped the Sun Devil skipper. "I don't think anyone is too fired up about it right now, but we're 2-0. We did some things better tonight…I though the best thing we did was the fact that was got good pressure on a four-man rush. I know that was huge question coming in – if we could do that." Koetter was also pleased with the overall performance of his defense, but realized that they were kept on the field all too long. "When you get two drives when you're on the 1-yard line, and you don't score…you have a chance to break the game open and help your defense out. We have plenty of things to work on."
Another bright spot in the game was ASU's ground attack. "I thought that the three tailbacks ran hard," exclaimed the ASU coach. "They all averaged all more than four yards a carry. I thought Andrew was extremely sharp early, and then he went through a period where he was a little bit late…Riccardo Stewart was fantastic."
The Walter-Fulton connection was in full throttle on Saturday. Koetter commented: "Him and Skyler have a nice chemistry between them. We thought we could throw the ball vertically. We had some mixed success early. Dropped passes really hurt us early, and really took us out of our rhythm in the first half. But those weren't necessarily on Skyler."
Getting out to a fast start was once again the battle cry for the team, and unlike the NAU game the results were more encouraging. "We got off to a good start," said Koetter. "We had good chances when we had the lead. We got the ball right back, but again stupid stuff that's gonna be our downfall…we get the ball on the other side of the 50 and we fumble the snap."
"I can honestly say that with Andrew and Drew Hodgdon we have fumbled only two times the entire fall," continued Koetter. "Both of them in game and we lost them. It's not like they're fumbling it five times a day in practice. It just never happens. When you have a chance at the other side of the 50 to go up 14-0 right off the bat, that's not acceptable. Nobody feels worse than those two guys do."
Running back Hakim Hill saw extensive action, and showed flashes of his extraordinary talent. His head coach was satisfied with his effort. "Hakim gave us a little lift," stated Koetter. "He ran hard and showed his speed. That's a reflection of how he's practicing. I've been telling you the competition at tailback has brought out the best in all those guys." The Sun Devil coach mentioned that Cornell Canidate had to miss one day of practice because of a funeral, and "He was a little out of the loop on the game plan. But we'll need all those guys."
When asked if today's game sorted out the rotation in the running backs' crowded depth chart, Koetter said that the picture still remains less than clear. "Those guys all made mistakes that have to be corrected. We'll have to see how Mike Williams is doing on Tuesday come practice. When we have a chance to look at the tape, and put a numerical grade…there's more than just running the ball. Our tailbacks gave up some (quarterback) pressures that hurt us."
Coach Koetter mentioned that all four starters held out: Mike Williams, Mike Karney, Jason Shivers, and R.J. Oliver will be back for the Iowa game.
Coach Koetter's Post Game Quotes
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